What is ECEAP?

ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) and Head Start provide free services and support to eligible children and their families. They serve children who are from low income families or who have developmental or environmental risk factors that could interfere with school success. They help children and families get ready for kindergarten. Prospect Enrichment Preschool is partnered with ECEAP and provides related services. Contact us today to find out if you are ECEAP eligibile. 

General Information

ECEAP (pronounced "E-Cap") is the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program funded by Washington State. Head Start is funded by the federal government.

Both ECEAP and Head Start include:

  • Early learning preschool or home-based services to support children’s development and learning.
  • Family support and parent involvement.
  • Child health coordination and nutrition.
  • Services responsive and appropriate to each child's and family's heritage and experience.

Children who attend ECEAP and Head Start preschools learn to manage their feelings, get along with others and follow classroom procedures. They build the beginning skills for reading, math and science. The programs work closely with parents to support their children’s health and education and to meet family goals. They help families access medical and dental care and social services. 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 go onto college.
  • 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.

    ECEAP and Academic Benefits 

  • A 2014 evaluation by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) found that children who participated in ECEAP had significantly higher math and reading test scores in the third, fourth, and fifth grades than similar children who did not participate. 
  • Children who participated in the 2015-16 school year showed significant progress in social-emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development and early literacy and math skills. 
  • ECEAP – Beyond the Classroom 

    ECEAP’s comprehensive approach goes far beyond the children’s classroom. Parents receive support through the program as well. ECEAP “truly helps future kindergarteners and parents” says Maria, an ECEAP parent. 

    Parents have opportunities to develop leadership skills and work towards their personal goals with the help of program staff. ECEAP staff also assist families with the transition to Kindergarten. 

    Nicole, whose son attends the Kennewick School District ECEAP program, describes his tremendous progress since attending ECEAP. “The school and teachers worked hard to accommodate our family’s specific needs,” she explains. Another parent adds that “ECEAP made it possible for our daughter to catch up to the level she should be at.” 

    Enrolling in ECEAP

    Enrollment for ECEAP services happens at the local level. Each ECEAP program is unique and tailored to the community needs. Interested families are encouraged to contact an ECEAP program to learn more and apply for admission. 

Learn More

Visit the ECEAP webpage to learn more about the program at  https://www.del.wa.gov/eceap. For general questions contact  ECEAP@del.wa.gov or call 360-407-3650.