How will ECEAP help my child?
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP, pronounced "e-cap") helps children and families get ready for kindergarten. ECEAP is funded by Washington state and is free to enrolled families. It serves three- and four-year-olds from low income families, or with developmental or environmental risk factors that could interfere with school success.
ECEAP includes preschool education, health services coordination, and family support services. Children who attend learn to manage their feelings, get along with others and follow classroom procedures. They build the beginning skills for reading, math and science. The program works closely with parents to support their children’s health and education and to meet family goals. ECEAP also helps families access medical and dental care and social services.
Compared to similar children who do not attend, children in programs like ECEAP are:
- Healthier when they start kindergarten.
- More likely to graduate from high school and go onto college.
- More likely to be employed and to earn more as an adult.
- Less likely to be in special education or repeat a grade in school.
- Less likely to become pregnant as a teen or become involved in a crime.
Research shows high-quality programs like ECEAP save states money over the long run by reducing the need for remedial services in schools, social services and criminal justice.
In the words of ECEAP families
An Iraqi family from the Snohomish County thanked ECEAP for "providing humanitarian service and education" for their children. Prior to moving to America, the Arabic speaking family had no knowledge of the English language. The family said that ECEAP taught their son how to write and comprehend numbers as well as about games, sports, the animal world, and more. "These qualities were not all found in the past. The program (ECEAP) was the dawn of this energy and knowledge of how to use them… we owe it to this great service."
In Douglas County, a boy in ECEAP struggled with serious behavior concerns, including harming others. His father was in prison and there was a new father figure in his life. ECEAP staff set up mental health services for him and met with the family to plan strategies to work with him at home. They also adjusted specific classroom areas to meet his needs. The ECEAP team communicated daily with his family to share and learn. During the year in ECEAP, the boy benefited from attention from his teachers, the support of the mental health consultant, and lessons in Talk About Touching. By the end of the year, he was able to socialize with other children and use his words, instead of violence, to express feelings. The whole family left ECEAP better prepared with anger management skills.