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The Case for Legacy Gifts to Orcas Island Children’s House:
An Early Learning Center since 1969

Children’s House Mission and Goals:
Children’s House is an early learning childhood center serving Orcas Island families since 1969; it is the oldest preschool on the island and the only school on Orcas providing care for infants through six year olds. Children’s House helps to preserve the sustainability of our unique Island by giving working families an education-oriented pre-school for their young children.

A solid, caring and stimulating early childhood education is crucial in the develop-ment of young brains. Children’s House gives children an exceptional learning foundation through a play-based curriculum and is committed to four core goals:

• Provide Licensed Childcare for Infants and Toddlers
• Provide Low Student-Teacher Ratio
• Provide Play-based Curriculum
• Provide Living wages with benefits for teachers and staff

Even when Children’s House started 40 years ago the fees paid by parents did not cover the full cost of providing high-quality education for their children.  Annual fund-raising has always been required because OICH not only subsidizes tuition for some families, we also are dedicated to keeping our student-teacher ratios low. By the 1990s it became clear that real stability and continuity would require something more: an Endowment of at least $1.5 million. The early endowment campaign was a great success. With the stimulus of several very generous challenge grants and the generosity of more than 200 island donors, Children’s House now has an endowment of $650,000.

The income from these funds has already begun to give Children’s House more flexibility, greater economic certainty, and some latitude to proactively plan. But we need to build on this foundation. To ensure the financial health of Children’s House and to reach our goals, we need to go the rest of the way.

Your Legacy Gift Can Help Us Reach Our Goal:
Specifically, your legacy gift will move us closer to achieving two priorities:

• Ensure early learning care for Orcas Island children. Interest income from your legacy gift will ensure quality early learning education for Orcas Island children without limiting the unique services we provide. Your gift will enable Children’s House to better plan for the future.
• Provide living wages for our dedicated teachers and staff. Your long-term gift will make certain that our teachers and staff will earn living wages, including continued training opportunities and benefits. Ensuring that our teachers are educated professionals reinforces our mission of offering an exceptional learning foundation for Orcas families.

The strategies of the Children’s House curriculum vary by age, but our core values remain the same: to provide a high-quality, play-based educational environments for all of the Island’s children.  These values are in line with those of the Endow Orcas campaign, and are in the best interest of all who love this special place. We all benefit when the island has the essential social infrastructure to ensure that our children have healthy, physical, social and emotional growth and offer contributions, rather than challenges to our community.

Orcas Island Children’s House August, 2008