Washington State’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is expanding the number of slots available to children, ages 3 to 4 years old for the 2022-23 school year.
At the close of the 2022-23 ECEAP Request for Application for ECEAP Services, 17 applicants applied for 1,331 ECEAP slots across the state. DCYF expects to be able to award most of the slots requested as a result of funding that was recaptured from some returned Part Day slots and additional investment from the legislature in the 2022 Legislative Session.
What’s coming up?
- The FSKA ECEAP eligibility requirements are anticipated to be launched in the Early Learning Management System (ELMS) in May 2022.
- The new ECEAP eligibility standards which meet the policy of the Fair Start for Kids Act have been written into the 2022-23 ECEAP Performance Standards. The Performance Standards will be finalized in May and come into effect on July 1, 2022.
- The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) for ECEAP Eligibility has been drafted and the stakeholder engagement process has begun. The rules pertaining to ECEAP Eligibility are projected to be finalized by September 2022.
How does the ECEAP expansion affect Tribal children?
The Fair Start for Kids Act details that DCYF “must consult, obtain the advice and consent of, the governing bodies of the state’s federally recognized tribes in developing an agreed-upon definition of the term ‘Indian’ for the purposes” … of ECEAP eligibility. DCYF is currently implementing internal preparation work and planning in anticipation of beginning the consultation process with Tribes in the Summer of 2022.
ECEAP provides child-centered, individualized preschool education and health coordination services on a foundation of strengths-based family support for the specialized population we serve. Research shows high-quality early learning programs like ECEAP save states money over the long run by reducing the need for remedial services in schools, social services, and criminal justice.