Healthy Starts for Immigrant and Refugee Children


Grantee: Living Well Kent Collaborative
Timeframe: July 2021 – June 2024 | Amount: $600,000

Year 1: July 2021 – June 2022. Amount: $200,000
Year 2: July 2022 – June 2023. Amount: $200,000
Year 3: July 2023 – June 2024. Amount: $200,000


This project will support healthy childhood development and improve access to early intervention services for Somali and East African families served by linguistically and culturally attuned family childcare providers in Kent/South King County.

This project will address health outcome and access disparities among children in immigrant and refugee families in Kent, with a primary focus on Somali and East African families. The project works with and through a group of 148 culturally specific family childcare providers (and trainings will be available to 20 Iraqi and Afghan FFN providers) to reduce disparities. Together, the 148 providers serve an estimated 2,072 children annually based on licensed slots.

Families in the community traditionally access unlicensed childcare through what is known as “Family, Friends, and Neighbors” (FFN) providers. While these providers bring linguistic and cultural strengths, they often lack the formal training to maximize healthy childhood development opportunities for physical, oral, and mental health and timely detection of developmental concerns. Living Well Kent (LWK) has worked hard to support 148 Somali/East African providers in becoming licensed family childcare homes. The proposed project will meet our project’s goal of improving healthy childhood development and access to care by building on the inherent strengths of these providers. Through this project, each family childcare home will become a trusted hub for improving childhood health and wellbeing.

Funds will be used to: 1) EQUIP childcare providers to support immigrant and refugee children’s health; 2) CONNECT families to health services and screenings; and 3) DEVELOP cultural competency among early intervention and health care providers.


About Our Grantee

Living Well Kent Collaborative

Living Well Kent (LWK) is a community-driven collaborative dedicated to the vision of public spaces and initiatives that encourage healthier lifestyles and better living. It is focused on creating a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable city. LWK’s specific goals include creating community in which all residents thrive:

  • Widespread access to healthy and affordable food for all residents
  • Safer streets and public spaces  that encourage physical activity
  • Greater equity and therefore opportunities to achieve full potential
  • A strong sense of community inclusion
  • We recognize that our community is ethnically and culturally diverse and that our work must stay grounded in diverse voices.

We believe that all people and food have purpose. We seek to understand and celebrate each other across barriers around culture, age, values, gender, ethnicity, politics, and physical, linguistic, intellectual or developmental abilities.

Major Grant

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