CALL US TODAY: 253-593-6641


To EDUCATE, EMPOWER, and UPLIFT our children, youth, and community to increase access to opportunities


The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program is a free program funded by Washington State, serving low-income families and their children 3-4 years old. ECEAP supports social-emotional development and school readiness of the whole child and engages the whole family in accessing services to address individualized goals and needs for the duration of their time in the program (1-2 years).

Program Models offered:

Working Day- up to 10 hours of preschool and childcare for households working, going to school or doing other WorkFirst approved activities 25 hrs. per week or more.
School Day- 6 hours of preschool, operating on a school district schedule (winter, spring, and summer breaks, etc.).

Early Head Start (EHS) Center Based Child Care Partnership- Federally funded through the Office of Head Start

Early ECEAP- State Funded through the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF)

The EHS and Early ECEAP birth to three models are comprehensive early learning education programs that serve children and their families prior to entering preschool. Children develop social skills and emotional well-being in the classroom. Through play, planned and spontaneous instruction, children are introduced to early language, literacy and concept development in a licensed childcare setting. This early intervention sets children and families up for success upon entering the K-12 school system.

Teachers utilize Teaching Strategies GOLD®, Arts Impact, and The Creative Curriculum® to create developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive and engaging lesson plans, and assess progress toward school readiness for each child and their family throughout the year. Assessments and screenings are conducted to support each child’s progress and address any health, nutrition and/or developmental concerns. Teachers and Family Support Specialists work in partnership with parents/guardians to access services that can address any of these concerns and ensure the whole child, and thus the whole family, is prepared for the K-12 school system.

Enrollment Qualifications

ECEAP children must be 3 or 4 years old on August 31st of the school year to which they are applying. EHS/ Early ECEAP children must be 6 weeks to 3 years old and identify as one of the following priority populations:

  • On Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  • Families at or below 100 percent (EHS), 110 percent (ECEAP), or 200 percent (Early ECEAP) of the federal poverty level, and/or from the following priority populations-
    • Families experiencing homelessness
    • Immigrant and refugee families
    • Children and families receiving public assistance (TANF, SSI, Childcare subsidy)
    • Children in foster and kinship care or receiving services from Child Protective Services (CPS), Family Assessment Response (FAR) or Indian Child Welfare (ICW).
    • Families impacted by the opportunity gap (Black/African American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaska Native)

Eligible families are initially determined based on age and income.

Children and Families enrolled in our early learning programs receive the following:

  • Early childhood education and group socialization experiences
  • Parent-child bonding & attachment education and support
  • Nutritious meals and education
  • Child health & developmental screenings, assessments and follow-up
  • Family support services and community resources
  • Family engagement, advocacy and leadership opportunities
  • Culturally responsive services that individually address each family's need

Children in this type of high-quality program nationwide are:

  • Healthier when they start kindergarten.
  • Less likely to be in special education or repeat a grade in school.
  • More likely to graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education.
  • Less likely to become pregnant as a teen or become involved in a crime.
  • More likely to be employed and to earn more as an adult.

After eligibility is determined, children are added to a wait list and prioritized for enrollment as space becomes available.

Access and complete the application here.

Applications can be submitted in person, or via email, mail or fax:

Mailing Address- 2021 S. 19th street Tacoma, WA 98405

Fax- (253) 597-4178

Program Contacts ECEAP:

Cristina Gill-Hennis
253-593-6641 Ext. 1

Dawn Ngiraingas
(253) 593-6641 Ext. 1

Marissa Guerrero
(253) 593-6641 ext. 1

Mary Johnson

Program Contacts EHS/Early ECEAP:

Latoya Smith
(253) 593-6641 ext. 1