ECEAP & Head Start
Washington state’s comprehensive preschool program, The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), is designed to serve 3 and 4-year-old children and their families who meet the income and environmental eligibility criteria, and it is available for free. ECEAP is committed to preparing children for kindergarten through education, health and nutrition services, family support, advocacy training, and parent education. The YWCA ECEAP takes an approach that prioritizes long-term success, utilizing trauma-informed care, Conscious Discipline (a research-based social-emotional curriculum that prioritizes the adult’s role), enriched learning environments, and dedicated staff to promote social-emotional skills, resilience, and academic readiness.
The ECEAP program is designed to support the whole family, promoting long-term success in both school and life. By addressing the needs of the whole child and their family, ECEAP aims to ensure that gains made are sustainable. This preschool program is provided for free and offers kindergarten readiness through education, health and nutrition services, family support, advocacy training, and parent education.
ECEAP serves eligible children and families based on the state median income to ensure that all children have the opportunity to succeed. Children who participate in ECEAP and similar programs have been shown to experience a range of benefits. They are typically healthier when they start kindergarten and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. Additionally, they are more likely to be employed and earn higher wages as adults, less likely to require special education or repeat a grade in school, and less likely to become pregnant as a teen or involved in criminal activities. These findings are supported by data from the Washington State Department of Early Education.
What does the ECEAP program provide?
- A high-quality preschool classroom experience for children 3 – 4 years old
- Support for each child’s development and learning
- Nutritious meals and/or snacks during class time
- Family support and parent involvement
- Child health coordination and screenings
Who is eligible?
- Children 3-4 years old who are (only 1 item needed to qualify):
- From a family with a low annual income (at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level)
- Qualify for school district Special Education services
- Have developmental or environmental risk factors that could affect school success
Interested in learning more?
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