FY20 thread Annual Report | Child Care is No Small Matter

Letter from thread’s CEO

At thread, we’ve always known that early childhood education is “No Small Matter.”  Events over the past year have brought to light just how critical child care is as an infrastructure support for Alaska’s working families and economy.

Prior to the pandemic, thread had increased efforts to shift Alaska’s child care conversation towards long-term change in support of families having access to affordable, quality child care. In October 2019, more than 150 people attended thread’s third Economic Impact Summit on Early Care & Learning where we shared the latest research and stories, and engaged in design thinking around the issues of child care.  One highlight of the Summit was the Anchorage debut of the national child care film “No Small Matter,” along with keynote sessions with the filmmakers to spark local engagement on the issue.

When COVID-19 disrupted the daily lives of all Alaskans in early 2020, thread was honored to be in a position to advocate for, and support the early childhood education sector and families due to our work in previous years.  As communities moved into lock down, most child care programs stayed open caring for children of first responders, healthcare workers, and others. Since the onset, Alaska’s early childhood education sector has embraced the unknown, adapting to rapidly changing conditions, and finding creative solutions to evolving challenges.

In this annual report you’ll discover how thread not only celebrated and supported our critical early childhood education sector, but how child care is still “No Small Matter” and remains our focus today. Child care programs are still struggling through COVID, and Alaska’s economic recovery depends on these businesses being there for families on the other side of the pandemic.

This past year has been memorable, but together we are making it through. Our hope is that you continue to join us in this imperative work.

Thank you for your partnership in supporting Alaska’s early childhood education sector.

Our Impact

Supporting Families

I am very thankful for having thread’s quality help. Each time I’ve called for assistance I was treated like my family is very important. All my questions were answered without any hesitation. I’m a new mom and feeling comfortable and confident in my child care search was all thanks to thread.”


Anonymous Parent

Supporting Child Care Programs & Early Childhood Educators

COVID-19 Support

  • thread’s COVID-19 Quality Initiative was supported by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Mat-Su Health Foundation.

We truly appreciate that thread has continued their support and availability as an educational resource during this global crisis.


Northern/Interior Program

Engaging the Community

  • No Small Matter: A Summit on the Economic Impact of Early Care and Learning in Alaska: 150+ policymakers, business leaders, and members of the early childhood education community attended. Plus, 300 movie goers joined thread and the filmmakers at the Anchorage premiere of the film No Small Matter.
  • thread’s 13th annual Book Party in the Park: provided over 7,000 free books to children in Anchorage.
  • thread Awards: recognized AnneMarie Mattacchione, recipient of the 2020 Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award, and Carousel Child Care Center and Denali Preschool and Learning Center, recipients of the 2020 Program Quality Improvement of the Year Award.
Year in Review

The highlights below show how through adversity, thread continued to empower parents, support child care professionals and programs, and collaborate with Alaska’s communities.

thumbs up

Cool Timeline

Protecting Early Childhood Funding
thread began the new fiscal year advocating to keep early childhood funding intact in the FY20 state operating budget.  Numerous action alerts were sent to legislators and a petition received 1000+ signatures. Funding was restored as a result of the community effort.
Let’s Have a Book Party!


thread’s 13th annual Book Party in the Park was held in Anchorage.  More than 7,000 gently used books were distributed to roughly 560 attendees.

Supporting Alaska’s Military Families

Hosted a booth at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during “Alaska 101: A Family’s Guide to the Last Frontier,” an event showcasing local services for new military families.

Child Care in Film


A viewing of the national film No Small Matter , followed by Q&A with the filmmakers was held at the Bear’s Tooth Theatrepub to kick-off thread’s 3rd Economic Impact Summit on Early Care & Learning. There were 300 attendees at the event. The film was later shown in the Mat-Su Valley, Valdez, and to the Alaska State Legislature.

Compensation Model

As part of the Economic Impact Summit on Early Care & Learning pre-events, John Hopkins University (JHU) IDEALS Institute presented a new Wage & Compensation Model for Alaska’s early childhood education workforce.

No Small Matter – Economic Impact Summit


thread’s 3rd Economic Impact Summit on Early Care & Learning brought together more than 150 early educators, business and community leaders, policymakers, and families for dialogue and engagement around new economic data and the issues facing early childhood education in Alaska. The theme, No Small Matter, was based on the national documentary highlighting the importance of child care.

Reaching Future Leaders

Showcased thread’s job and volunteer opportunities at UAA’s Department of Residence Life’s Anchorage Community Connections Resource Fair for students living on campus. The fair helps residential students learn about opportunities to participate and serve in the Anchorage community.

Business Collaboration

Participated in the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s 2020 Economic Outlook Luncheon non-profit exhibitor hall, showcasing thread’s statewide services to more than 500 business and community members.

Help Me Grow Transition

thread continued to deliver Help Me Grow Alaska call center services then transitioned services to the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership.  Since the call center launch in January 2017, more than 278 children and their families received assistance with referrals and developmental screenings, as well as one-on-one support.

And the Winner is…


Many thread training workshops were delivered at the Anchorage Association for the Education of Young Children Conference.  During the conference, thread awarded the Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award to Carousel Child Care Center and Denali Preschool and Learning Center. AnnMarie Mattacchione M.ED of Fairbanks received thread’s Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award, given to an early educator each year who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and professional development.

Presenting at CBJ

In a presentation to the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Assembly,  thread provided data and other information to help policymakers develop options for addressing capacity, affordability, and quality of child care. Findings were based on interviews conducted with local child care center directors and family child care owners.

To the Capital!

During the legislative session thread met with 23 legislators in Juneau, educating them about the importance of early childhood education.  As part of a “Lunch and Learn” hosted by the Children’s Caucus, thread joined the Alaska Early Childhood Advocacy Group to present early childhood data and information to legislators.

COVID-19 Arrives

In response to COVID-19, thread partnered with the State of Alaska Child Care Program Office, Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Municipality of Anchorage’s Child Care Licensing Office to support child care programs, early educators, and families during the growing crisis.

Going Virtual

On March 17, 2020, thread’s statewide offices physically closed, but stayed open for business by providing all services, including child care referrals and early educator trainings virtually.

Sharing COVID-19 Resources

To provide timely COVID-19 resources and updates to Alaska’s early childhood education sector and families, thread launched an online COVID-19 Resource Center.  A weekly COVID-19 resource e-news was sent to more than 3,700 early childhood educators statewide. thread also partnered with the Rasmuson Foundation to survey programs about their PPE/supply needs.

Speaking Up

Federal, state and local advocacy efforts were scaled during COVID-19, including advocacy to the Alaska Governor and State Commissioners to stabilize child care.  thread presented at Municipality of Anchorage Assembly hearings and engaged with other local governments around supporting child care needs.  As a result, $18.5M was dedicated to child care at the local level.


Call to Action

As child care programs struggled financially to stay open, more than 800 Alaskans signed thread’s petition urging state and local leaders to provide economic relief to the sector.

We Love Your Spirit, Rain or Shine

Celebrated Provider Appreciation Day statewide with a virtual gratitude wall and video message to Alaska’s early educators.

Relief to Child Care

thread awarded $412,000 to more than 300 early childhood and school age programs statewide with a COVID-19 Quality Initiative, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), Rasmuson Foundation, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Alaska Community Foundation, Wells Fargo, and ConocoPhillips.

Investing in Technology

Progress continued on the Powering Ahead with Technology Project, a multi-year initiative to improve thread‘s technology. Project scheduled for completion in 2021.

Supporting Quality

As the implementation partner, thread continued to support the growth of Learn & Grow and Alaska SEED,  ensuring quality child care will be there on the other side of the pandemic.  At the end of FY20, 34% of eligible programs were enrolled in Learn & Grow, and nearly 1,200 educators were in the Alaska SEED Registry.

“Throughout the pandemic, thread has continued to step up to the plate, whether it be reaching out to programs to see if we are in need of anything, sending weekly emails with resource links, to now this financial assistance.” 

– Owner, Family Child Care Business, Cordova

Financial Position

Activity Summary

Support (government, foundation, corporation, individual)$5,932,673
Revenue (training, contract, other)$300,411
Total Support & Revenue$6,233,084

Program Services$5,514,061
General and Administrative$526,614
Total Expenses$6,088,118

Statement of Financial Position (June 30, 2020)

Current assets$1,903,910
Non-current assets$295,974
TOTAL ASSETS$2,199,884
Current liabilities$467,473
Non-current liabilities$ 91,693
Without donor restrictions$1,540,714
With donor restrictions$ 100,004

To request the full FY20 audited financial statements, please contact thread.

Donors & Supporters, We’re Grateful!

We are grateful to the many individuals, foundations and businesses who supported our efforts this year!

About Us

thread is Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral Network offering services to families, early childhood educators, early childhood education programs, and communities statewide. The Network consists of three sister organizations who deliver the services throughout the state—threadAEYC-SEA; and Thrivalaska.

Our Vision

That all early childhood education is accessible, affordable, and high-quality to support positive outcomes for children and families.

Our Core Values

  • Empowerment
  • Access
  • Child Care Professionalism
  • Children’s Rights
  • Entrepreneurial Incubator

Learn more about our work

Meet our Board of Directors

Download a printable version of this report.

Additional Reports