Monday, February 13, 2017

WA Celebrates 30 Years of Comprehensive Pre-K

Taken at Tacoma Day ECEAP site
in Tacoma, WA.
The Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) celebrated 30 years of serving Washington children and families with the state's exemplary Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), the state's version of Head Start.

The program estimates serving approximately a quarter of a million children since it's start 30 years ago. Since then, the program has expanded and continues to grow with support and success. 

More about ECEAP

ECEAP provides early learning preschool or home-based services to support children’s development and learning that includes:
  • Family support and parent involvement.
  • Child health coordination and nutrition.
  • Services responsive and appropriate to each child's and family's heritage and experience.

ECEAP models include:
  • Part Day classes are 2 ½ or more hours, several days a week, during the school year.
  • Full School Day classes are 5.5-6.5 hours per day, 4 or 5 days a week, during the school year.
  • Extended Day is available at least 10 hours a day, year round, combining child care and ECEAP. Parents must meet work or training requirements.
For more information about eligibility and enrollment, go here:

How DEL Celebrated

Senator Andy Billig address his
community about ECEAP in Spokane.
DEL hosted two events, one in Spokane on October 4 and at the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia on February 9. Both events welcomes guest speakers including Senator Andy Billig (in Spokane) and Representative Ruth Kagi (in Olympia), as well as real ECEAP teachers.

The event in Spokane welcomed over 100 guests from the ECEAP community and was featured state-wide in one of DEL's first ever Facebook Live posts.

ECEAP kids shared their wishes for the
future on star center pieces.
In Olympia, former ECEAP teacher, Sophia Rychener shared stories of the many children and families she has helped in Thurston County, and guests from Child Care Aware of Washington and the Washington Association of Head Start and ECEAP came to show support. 

"While we can see that few children start their Pre-K year in ECEAP with kindergarten entry skills," said Ross Hunter, DEL Director, "at the end of one year of ECEAP, the percentage of kids with kindergarten entry skills is higher, and with even more ECEAP, the outcomes are even greater."
Representative Ruth Kagi and DEL Director Ross Hunter
have fun at the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia.
For more information about outcomes for kids in ECEAP, go here: ECEAP Outcomes Report.
If you own an early learning program that is interested in becoming an ECEAP site, go here: ECEAP Letters of Interest.

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