What We Do
thread works to increase access to affordable, high-quality early care and education for Alaska’s children. We do that by providing direct services for families, educating early childhood professionals, and collaborating with our communities. thread is driving change through special projects and advocacy. We join with other early childhood supporters to advocate at the local, state, and national levels to promote policies that increase access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education programs for all Alaska families.
thread works with partners on special projects throughout the state of Alaska to further our mission. Some of this work includes:
- Nap Mat Exchange Project: In 2019, in an effort to protect children from neurotoxic chemical exposures, thread, along with the Anchorage Health Department, the Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), and Healthy Babies Bright Futures, facilitated a nap mat swap with Anchorage child care programs. More than 330 old nap mats were traded in for new toxic-free ones, including sheet covers. Read the Healthy Babies Bright Futures case study here.
- Safe Sleeping for Alaska’s Babies Campaign: In 2012, the Safe Sleeping for Alaska’s Babies Campaign replaced outdated cribs in early childhood
education programs throughout Alaska with new products meeting national safety standards. It also raised awareness of safe sleep practices in programs throughout the state.
- Obesity Prevention Initiative: This ongoing initiative assists early childhood education programs in reducing childhood obesity by helping children build healthy habits. The initiative places an emphasis on improving practices involving nutrition and physical activity which align with the national Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) program.
- Happy, Healthy Babies: In 2014-2015, this initiative assisted early childhood education programs in creating an environment that supports breast feeding.
- The ABC Project: The Art By Children (ABC) Project was a collaboration between the Alaska State Council on the Arts and thread to bring together local artists and early childhood education programs from across the state.
- The Summit on the Economic Impact of Early Care & Learning: This biennial event brings together Alaska business leaders, medical professionals, policy makers, and community members to explore and discuss the economic impact the early childhood education industry has on our state. Learn more.
Throughout Alaska, 38,000 children under the age of six have working parents. In order for parents to work, many depend on child care. Yet, in too many communities, child care is difficult to find, more difficult to afford, and too often of questionable quality. thread is working with communities and policymakers across Alaska, to help bring high-quality early childhood education environments to children and families across the state. Join us.