Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Washington's state-funded preschool ranks high in quality again

The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), Washington's state-funded preschool program for low-income 3- and 4-year-olds, met 9 out of 10 quality benchmarks yet again this year in a national preschool report released today.

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research's "The State of Preschool 2009," ECEAP meets the benchmarks in:

  • Program standards
  • Staff-to-child ratio
  • Maximum classroom size
  • Assistant teacher degree requirements
  • Teacher specialized training
  • Meals
  • Monitoring
  • Screening/referral and support services
  • Teacher in-service
Washington does not meet NIEER's benchmark in teacher degree--ECEAP requires lead teachers to have at least an AA, while NIEER's benchmark calls for a BA for all lead teachers. Only two states (North Carolina and Alabama) met all 10 benchmarks, and only eight other states also met 9 out of 10.

We are proud of our state's high-quality preschool program! More than 8,000 children around the state are enrolled this school year. Thanks to Governor Chris Gregoire and the 2010 Legislature, even more children will have access to preschool in the coming years.

To read ECEAP's program standards, click here.
To learn more about ECEAP and whether your child might be eligible, click here.

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