Everett College is one of 10 Early ECEAP (Early Childhood Education Assistance Program) sites in Washington. The college currently has 22 slots for infants and toddlers.
In early May, DCYF staff spoke with three Early ECEAP parents asking them what the program means to them.
Here is what they said:
Parent No. 1 is a full-time working mother with two children in Early ECEAP.
“At drop-off time, my baby opens his arms when he sees the teacher. At first, I was worried, what if he doesn’t take the bottle, how will he eat? I feel confident when I leave. This took about a month for me. Thank you for allowing me to catch my breath. I am comfortable and confident (leaving my children each day).”
Parent No. 2 is a mother who attends Everett College, with one child in Early ECEAP
“We moved here just before the pandemic. My son had not been around people and I felt extra nervous leaving him. He started slow with half days and I got emails, pictures, and texts letting me know he was okay. Now, he’s 22 months old and is running into school. They are doing things with him that I didn’t think were possible (for babies) and I could not go to school without this center.”
Parent No. 3 is a father who works full time, while the mother attends Everett College. They have one child in Early ECEAP.
“We moved here in 2019 from Africa and wondered are other children here who are not born here and don’t speak English yet? We had plans to get a babysitter, but then we were approached by staff after they recognized we were having a baby and were told they take babies. Our son is now learning so much that we didn’t even teach him. We were worried when we heard the center might close and we were so happy to hear the good news that it wasn’t. It is more than help that any family can offer. I can work. My wife goes to school and our son is getting smarter than all my kids.