Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program

Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is Washington's pre-kindergarten program that prepares 3- and 4-year-old children from low-income families for success in school and in life. The Depart­ment of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) oversees the program. 

Since 1985, ECEAP has focused on the well-being of the whole child by providing comprehensive nutrition, health, education and family support services to Washington’s most at-risk young children. ECEAP reaches the children most in need of these foundations for learning. The program is aligned with nationally researched programs that have shown exceptional returns on investment.
ECEAP is effective at:

  • Increasing children’s social-emotional, physical and pre-academic skills. 
  • Helping families move toward self-sufficiency and build their capacity to support their children’s success.  
  • Ensuring that each child receives medical and dental care to start school healthy. 

During the 2018-19 school year, ECEAP serves 13,491 children at more than 370 locations across Washington. DCYF administers ECEAP through 53 contracts with school districts, educational service districts, community colleges, local governments, tribal organizations, child care centers and homes, and non-profits.  

ECEAP Expansion

DCYF is working to ensure that 90 percent of children are ready for kindergarten, with race and income no longer predictors of readiness. To help achieve this goal, expansion of ECEAP in communities across the state is occurring in yearly until 2022-2023. By that time, the State Legislature has determined that “any eligible child shall be entitled to be enrolled in the program “as codified in RCW 43.216.556 (Sec. 5).

Are you interested in starting or expanding ECEAP services?
Do you want to know more about how DCYF is planning on meeting expansion goals with partners in the state?

Partnership for Pre-K Improvement