Skip to main content
Update this image

Challenging D.C.’s literacy crisis by encouraging a love for reading and lifelong learning in youth

July 20, 2018

Portland, Ore. (July 20, 2018) – KinderCare Education (KCE) announced today a partnership with First Book and Reach Out and Read DC to help provide books to D.C. youth as part of an ongoing commitment to literacy and early childhood education.

One-fifth of working-age adults in the nation’s capital lack the literacy skills to read a newspaper or even complete a job application. As they open two new centers in the community, KinderCare is committing to help break the cycle of illiteracy by focusing on building reading skills in childhood. KinderCare is supporting 16 Reach Out and Read clinics in the D.C. area, ensuring more than 26,000 local children between the ages of infancy to five years old have books and literacy tools needed to thrive.

“Through these community partnerships, we are able to enhance educational opportunities for children and families in D.C., putting them on a pathway to success,” said Wei-Li Chong, President of KinderCare Learning Centers and KinderCare Education at Work. “We are committed to making a positive difference and support a child’s love for learning in these critical developmental years.”

"The most important thing we could possibly give our children is a great start," said Becki Last, senior vice president for Network Engagement at First Book. "We already know that access to quality early childhood education has an enormous, lifelong impact on our kids' academic success, and their development overall. Expanding KinderCare's presence in Washington, D.C., means we are expanding access to opportunity, and to dream. That is the heart of our mission at First Book, and we couldn't be more grateful to KinderCare and Reach Out and Read for this partnership."

“Reading helps build stronger, more imaginative minds. Through this partnership with KinderCare and First Book, we are supporting thousands of children and their parents and caregivers in D.C through the medical home as they build strong relationships and brains in the earliest years of life. We are grateful for this opportunity to support the Reach Out and Read intervention and the critical work of our health care providers in clinical locations across DMV,” said Callee Boulware, executive director for Reach Out and Read Carolinas.

New KinderCare Centers in D.C.

The partnership announcement with First Book and Reach Out and Read coincides with the opening of two new KinderCare centers in D.C. at Penn Quarter and Watergate East, providing needed child care spots for hardworking families in the nation’s capital.

With a curriculum designed to nurture children academically, socially, emotionally, and physically, KinderCare better prepares students for elementary school. Kindergartners in KinderCare programs are, on average, performing at first grade levels, consistently outperforming their peers in math and reading, according to the latest TerraNova results. And whether they are learning to crawl or learning their first words, KinderCare kids continue to advance in their education and developmental milestones the more time they spend in the organization’s early childhood education programs.

For families interested in learning more about KinderCare, KinderCare is hosting a national Open House on Saturday, July 21 in select centers across the U.S. Families are invited to drop into their local center, meet the teachers, and hear more about KinderCare’s programs.  

Visit KinderCare’s website for a list of participating locations around the country.

About KinderCare Education®

KinderCare Education is an experience-based provider of early education and child care with more than 32,000 employees, including more than 27,600 teachers, serving 170,000 families every day, where they need us:

  • In neighborhoods with our KinderCare® Learning Centers that offer early childhood education and child care for children six weeks to 12 years old,
  • At work through KinderCare Education at Work™, family-focused benefits for employers including on-site and near-site early learning centers and back-up care for last-minute child care, and
  • In local schools with our Champions® before and after-school programs.

KinderCare Education operates more than 1,300 early learning centers, more than 500 Champions sites, and is supported by a corporate team of nearly 500 headquarters employees based in Portland, Oregon. In 2018, KinderCare Education earned their second Gallup Great Workplace Award – one of only 39 companies worldwide to do earn this award. To learn more, visit  

About First Book

First Book transforms the lives of children in need. Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book is creating equal access to quality education — making everything from brand new, high-quality books and educational resources, to sports equipment, winter coats, snacks, and more – affordable to its member network of more than 375,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need.

About Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric primary care and encouraging families to read aloud together. The evidence-based Reach Out and Read intervention is integrated into medical clinics and designed to foster intentional skill-building in parents, resilience in families, and positive bonding between children and families. 

# # #

Watch this video to learn more about KinderCare's partnership with First Book and Reach Out and Read, and about how KinderCare helps children get their best start in life.