2023 Year End Reflection

As an early learning hub, Early Learning Multnomah (ELM) makes strategic and equity-focused investments to empower and build capacity of partners, educators, and families. Our goal is not to build a big table and bring people to it. Rather we drive systemic change by leveraging our network to get the right people at the right tables across Multnomah County.

ELM continues to center racial equity in all our decisions; in our programs, priorities, partnerships, and investments. ELM operates within United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, which is engaged in and supportive of ELM’s approach as an early learning hub. 

Celebrating 2023


550 students placed in tuition free preschool slots

For the 2023-2024 school year, ELM’s Preschool Promise staff processed nearly 700 applications and placed 550 students into preschool classrooms. These students will receive high-quality, tuition-free preschool through this investment from the Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC).

Learn More



Representatives from publicly-funded preschool programs in Multnomah County have come together to form a partnership with a common goal: expanding preschool access. The Ready for PreK Partnership meets monthly to build referral networks and solve shared problems. In May 2023 the partnership launched Preschool Marketplace, a ground-breaking online resource that brings together information on publicly-funded preschools in one place.

Learn More



Now in its second year of enrollment, PFA is expanding preschool access for families, resourcing preschool providers, and strengthening its organizational capacity to scale up the program in the years to come. Some of this year’s highlights include:

  • 96% of available spots enrolled
  • 89% of students from families at or below 350% of FPL
  • 73% identify as Black, Indigenous, or Children of Color
  • 38% speak a language other than English at home
  • 75% more pilot sites from previous year
  • Over 70% of the 38 small center and home-based pilot site owners/directors identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. 

Parent leaders' voice gets stronger

The PAC (Parent Advisory Council) continues to meet monthly to make strategic and policy recommendations that direct ELM’s priorities and programs. This year, after months of thoughtful conversation, the PAC created a tiered leadership model that makes space for new parent voices while honoring those of the seasoned leaders, some of whom have been contributing to the PAC since its birth 10 years ago.

Learn More


Partners and school districts hear from over 500 families

This summer, United Way’s APRNI Community Researchers conducted an in-depth survey of over 550 residents on their relationship to their neighborhood and available services. This winter, the team is conducting a student climate survey to better understand students' sense of safety, belongingness, and access to support. The data collected from these two surveys will strengthen the work of the partner organizations of the Albina Rockwood Promise Neighborhood Initiative. 

Learn More


    Ahead in 2024


    • Augmenting preschool partnerships and simplifying the application process
    • Expanding enrollment in Preschool Promise and supporting preschool providers
    • Facilitating learning events that unpack the experiences of Black Boys in our education system
    • Honoring the 10th anniversary of the Parent Advisory Committee
    • Designing and implementing a STEM curriculum for pilot Preschool Promise classrooms