The Growth Gap is a Yakima Herald-Republic reporting series and newsletter on how Washington state’s declining child care sector is edging out young learners. We’re zeroing in on how this issue impacts children, families, providers and our economy in Central Washington – with an emphasis on long-term outcomes for early learners.


Meet Janelle

Meet Janelle

I’m Janelle Retka, a 28-year-old illustrator and education journalist reporting for the Yakima Herald-Republic here in Central Washington and creator of The Growth Gap. I’m a proud auntie of three (soon to be four – looking forward to meeting you, Baby Lou!) and a dog mom to Marv, a now-4-year-old street dog I adopted while living and reporting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a handful of years.

Thank You

The Education Writers Association funded this project. Yakima Herald-Republic team members Greg Halling, Joanna Markell, Margaux Maxwell, Vera Sanabria, Amanda Ray and Aidian Holder contributed to this project. Mia Rose Sato provided engagement consulting. Laura Mishkin served as the design editor.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Sports Alerts

Weather Alerts