SNOQUALMIE—Encompass Northwest was started by a group of passionate parents in search of a place for children with special needs to belong in the community. Nearly 55 years later, the nonprofit continues to expand.
This comprehensive childhood-development center, based in the Snoqualmie Valley, plans to break ground on a new pediatric therapy and early learning facility in June.
The local nonprofit currently has two locations in North Bend and one in Carnation. The new building will be located in downtown Snoqualmie, just down the street from City Hall.
“A new building is necessary because therapy programs need custom space, which was lacking,” said Lisa Yamasaki, director of development at Encompass Northwest.
She said there is not enough space to meet demand in the existing facilities, and many programs have waiting lists. The new building will allow for an estimated 30% more clients, she added.
Funding for the Snoqualmie location comes from an assortment of private donations, state funds and grant money. Encompass recently received a $350,000 grant from the Vancouver-based M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.
The new facility will allow enough space to include applied behavior analysis (ABA) for those with autism or other developmental disorders. Yamasaki said Encompass wants to see “all children thrive regardless of barriers.”
Encompass provides “wrap-around services” for the entire family, which enables children to receive therapy services in their preschool classes. Therapies focus on speech, feeding, social skills, behavior and rehabilitation. The nonprofit supplies clinic-based, mobile and in-home therapy support services to help children with developmental delays or behavioral challenges and create a treatment plan.
“We’re about inclusion, not separation,” said Nela Cumming, executive director of Encompass Northwest.
Yamasaki said the organization will offer a range of early learning, pediatric therapy and family enrichment programs for children at the new location. The Snoqualmie location will also allow for outdoor, nature-based learning, she added.
Encompass currently provides early learning programs for children ages 1-5 at the North Bend and Carnation sites, which include toddler groups and full- and half-day preschool classes. The organization also hosts enrichment summer camps for children ages 2-7 in a variety of themes designed to continue learning outside of the classroom.
Income-eligible families in the Snoqualmie Valley and Riverview school districts can attend preschool free of cost through the state-funded Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). The ECEAP preschool program features meals and snacks, field trips, health screenings, bus transportation and many more benefits.
Toddlers within the same school district boundaries can enroll in ParentChild+, a free in-home early literacy coaching program designed specifically for families with children ages 16-30 months.
“We are all about partnering with families,” Yamasaki said.
She said family enrichment is a core value at Encompass. Various programs focus on resources for parents and caregivers of young children, in addition to research-based parenting information and free workshops.
The organization even offers regular Parents’ Night Out sessions for parents to invest in their relationships on a night out while the kids are cared for by Encompass staff.