Northwest Center Kids History

Northwest Center was founded in 1965 by parents who refused to institutionalize their children with developmental disabilities or accept the prevailing notion that their children could not be taught. Banding together to form Northwest Center, they hired their own teachers to develop education programs targeted to special needs and found that their children could indeed learn.

That was only the first step. Still frustrated that children with disabilities weren’t accepted in public schools, these parents authored and won approval of civil rights legislation that opened the doors of Washington State schools to all children—with no exceptions. The Education for All Act was the first such law in the nation and served as the model for federal legislation.

The spirit of advocacy and innovation that gave rise to our organization has continued to influence our development. Now over four decades later, Northwest Center has grown to become the largest community service organization serving the needs of children and adults with disabilities in the Pacific Northwest.

Chinook History

Through collaboration with King County, the City of Seattle and Northwest Center, Northwest Center Kids at Chinook became a reality in 2010.  We are licensed through the Washington Department of Early Learning to provide childcare for children from 6 weeks to 6 years and are supported by our early intervention/therapy department, a Birth To Three contractor with King County.  We are a division of Northwest Center, a not for profit 501©3 corporation.

Northwest Center was founded in 1965 by a group of parents of children with developmental disabilities that wanted their children to have the right to education. Those parents succeeded in the creation of several important inclusion laws that granted all children the right to free and appropriate education. Since then, Northwest Center Kids has served younger children in an inclusive environment that promotes education, acceptance and developmentally appropriate practice. Later, NorthwestCenter grew to include services for adults with disabilities, including programs of rehabilitation and vocational training. Northwest Center is the largest, most comprehensive non-profit of its kind in the northwest. The center is dedicated to people and has a passion for excellence, a commitment to service and a respect for all families.

Through a Federal Grant from the Department of Education, Northwest Center designed a curriculum including toddlers with disabilities into a typical high quality childcare. Through four decades of listening to families and enhancing the program we continue to be leaders in the field of inclusive early learning. We provide child development for children with and without developmental disabilities. Families are supported through programs of education, advocacy, therapy and financial assistance. We honor and celebrate families with diverse backgrounds and cultural values.

Northwest Center Kids has a vision. We believe that all children—with and without disabilities—should have the opportunity to learn, play, and grow together.

We believe play, independent thinking, problem solving and self-initiated learning experiences are keys to healthy development.