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.