Young children growing up in the U.S. today have unprecedented access to preschool and early intervention programs, giving them an extraordinary opportunity to succeed academically and otherwise. Our region of the country is no exception. Following the lead of many other states, Washington’s legislature has steadily expanded funding of early childhood programs since 2011. Southwest Washington was ready for this expansion for the 2017-2018 school year with Educational District 112’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) and Head Start programs. Head Start is federally funded and has been available since the 1960s; however, ECEAP is relatively new and state funded. Both programs serve the same children from low income households, foster care, and those with developmental delays, offering services to help them thrive before entering the K-12 system.
The goal of these programs is not only to prepare students for kindergarten, but to serve the whole child. This includes their emotional, educational, physical and even family needs.
Head Start and ECEAP qualifications and information:
ESD 112 qualify calculator. https://www.esd112.org/ece/early-head-start/
Washington State Head Start Association. https://wsaheadstarteceap.com/index.cfm
Washington Department of Early Learning. https://del.wa.gov/
Washington State Department of Children Youth and Families https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/earlylearning-childcare/eceap-headstart
Head Start locator: https://del.wa.gov/partnerships/head-start/washington
National Head Start Association: https://www.nhsa.org/why-head-start/head-start-locator
1-2-3 Grow and Learn: https://www.esd112.org/ece/1-2-3-grow-and-learn/
Local Head Start and ECEAP providers:
Innovative Services NW: http://www.innovativeservicesnw.org/
ESD 112: https://www.esd112.org/ece/
Statewide site locator: https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/eceap/ECEAP-Site-Locator.pdf