Annual Evaluations

Child Care Aware of Washington


Athena’s collaboration with CCA WA has been primarily focused on formative and developmental program evaluations that support program development and effective implementation. The core project involves CCA WA’s implementation of the Early Achievers program statewide, where Athena was initially engaged to conduct the program’s first program evaluation during its first year of rollout. Over the years, our collaboration with CCA has expanded to encompass other aspects of early learning, including supporting CCA and its statewide regional partners partners with evaluation and program development in several other areas, such as Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC), Washington Scholarships for early learning professionals, and the child care call center and other services to families.


Athena has drawn on its deep evaluation experience and a commitment to the principle of “evaluation with” versus “evaluation of” to meet the needs of CCA WA, its funders, and regional partners. By employing diverse evaluation methods such as quantitative data collection and analysis, structured interviews, regional listening sessions and statewide surveys in multiple languages, This work has actively engaged Early Achievers program participants (child care providers) elevating their voices, and applying an equity lens to highlight the challenges faced by underresourced and marginalized communities. This has lead to positive programmatic changes and new policies, such as improved language access services for English language-learning child care providers.

Consultancy has expanded beyond program evaluations to include work related to partner communications, organizational development, and leadership.  As part of our Early Achievers evaluation work, Athena assisted in identifying challenges with communication processes between CCA WA, its partners and funder, to which Child Care Aware reacted proactively to enhance collaboration.  Athena has also supported CCA WA and its statewide network of six regional partners with strategic implementation planning, promoting an integrated network and system.


The continuing partnership, along with the ongoing program evaluations, have played a vital role in supporting Child Care Aware's dedicated efforts to continuous improvement and commitment to high quality early learning and child development. Child Care Aware, its partners, and state funder have used the sound analysis and recommendations developed in our evaluations to strengthen program delivery methods, more equitably and effectively meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse child care providers, and improve other outcomes for participants. They have also used our evaluations to convey needs for programmatic and funding changes to state policy makers, which has resulted in positive legislative changes.

The Athena Group has been contracted to evaluate CCA WA’s implementation of Washington’s statewide Early Achievers program since 2013. Over the course of 10 years, Athena has been proud to be a Child Care Awarec ollaborator deeply involved in other programs and efforts to strengthen to child care program quality, childhood mental health and social emotional health, and organizational development. This collaboration has evolved, and the work has been instrumental in improving communication and relationships among partners, strengthening cultural responsiveness and equity in program administration and community engagement, and providing essential data for program development and enhancement.

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