Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DEL reports on outcomes for children who attend state's preschool program in 2012-13

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) reported gains in student achievement and the lowest-ever turnover rate for children who attend Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), Washington's state-funded preschool program.

During the 2012-13 school year, DEL administered ECEAP through 40 contracts with educational service districts, school districts, community colleges, local governments and nonprofits. ECEAP served children in 37 of 39 Washington counties at 269 sites.

In the 2012-13 school year:

  • ECEAP had space for 8,391 children. ECEAP served 9,328 children. The ECEAP turnover rate has decreased each year to 11 percent in 2012-13, the lowest in ECEAP’s recorded history.
  • At its peak in May 2013, the ECEAP waiting list had 1,186 4-year-olds and 1,281 3-year-olds, totaling 2,467 children. 
  • Approximately 32,322 children in Washington were eligible for ECEAP and were not served by ECEAP or the federal Head Start program. Head Start and ECEAP serve 37 percent of Washington children who are eligible for ECEAP. 
  • ECEAP received 9 out of 10 quality points from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for our state early learning guidelines, comprehensive family and health services, staff professional development requirements, class sizes, staff–to-child ratios, meals and DEL’s monitoring of program quality. The 10th quality point would require ECEAP lead teachers to have a bachelor’s degree. DEL currently requires an associate or higher degree with 30 quarter credits of early childhood education. 
During the 2012-13 school year, ECEAP children progressed from below age level to at or above age level during their time in ECEAP:

Read the 2012-13 ECEAP Outcomes report.

Starting this school year, ECEAP is expanding thanks to the 2013 state operating budget, which increased the number of slots and the per-slot funding for ECEAP children. This school year, ECEAP added 350 slots; next year ECEAP will add 1,350 slots and increase the per slot-funding for ECEAP. Each subsequent year after 2014, ECEAP will add up to 2,400 slots until 2018-19, when it becomes an entitlement for all Washington children who qualify.

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