Former Executive Director Brianna Jackson pictured with our Leschi students in 2001.
Launch was founded in 1977 as Community Day School Association. Over the years we became better known simply as “CDSA.” Our first location at Montlake Elementary was the first after-school private child-care program to operate within Seattle Public Schools (SPS). It was started by a group of parents who wanted to create a safe and nurturing after-school environment with quality programming for their children.
In September 1988, CDSA opened a second location at Leschi Elementary. The agency continued our quest to provide quality programming through internal efforts and by participating in local and national initiatives to assess and improve quality.
Over the next several years CDSA developed the vision which would guide us in our work for the next two decades—specifically, a vision of making high-quality, affordable child care accessible to every child. This vision guided our expansion into seven more Seattle Public School locations which, like Leschi Elementary, were all Title I schools.
We opened preschools at several of our locations and were one of the first providers in the Seattle Family and Education Levy’s Step Ahead preschool program. We welcomed children receiving subsidies from DSHS and the City of Seattle, and put no limit on the number of children receiving subsidies in our programs. Our preschools all sought and achieved accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and then went on to achieve quality ratings by Washington State’s Early Achievers program. We welcomed children and families of all cultural, linguistic, religious, economic, and ethnic backgrounds and sought to build our programs into warm centers of learning and community.
Throughout the years we formed strong partnerships with the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, and a wide variety of local nonprofit organizations. We strived to remain leaders in the fields of early learning and youth development, and are proud of the respect we earned from our families, partners, and community.
As we approached our 40th anniversary, we felt it was time to stop and reflect on how far we’ve come and where we wanted to go. It was vital for us to consider what work still needs to be done for the children and families we serve, how we accomplish that work, and how we talk about the work we do with a cohesive message.
The result of this effort was a new name—Launch—a new logo, a new look, and most importantly, an updated mission statement and values. We are thrilled to honor the incredible history of CDSA with a new brand that will help communicate our goals, values, and deep commitment to the children and families of our community.