What is Community Funded ECEAP?
The unmet need for high-quality early learning opportunities led to the creation of Community Funded ECEAP (CFE). CFE is a result of Senate Bill (SB) 5107, which passed in 2017.
SB 5107 creates additional early learning opportunities by allowing local governments, school districts, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations to contribute funds to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to expand access and eligibility of Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). Organizations can use local and private non-state funds to expand access of existing or investing in new early learning programs.
CFE is the same as the ECEAP, but with a different funding source. ECEAP is funded directly by the Washington State Legislature and CFE uses alternative funding sources.
CFE replicates ECEAP, which is aligned with nationally researched programs that show exceptional returns on investment. ECEAP data shows measurable improvements among participating children and families and the success stories of these families confirm the impact of the program.
Why Community Funded ECEAP?
Washington State Legislature is committed to expanding access to early learning and ECEAP services. ECEAP eligibility requirements provide needed opportunities for many of our state’s children who are furthest from opportunity. There are still early learning gaps for many preschool children in communities across Washington.
- Families who are living in poverty are struggling as the reduced rate lunch cost goes up. Being at 185 percent federal poverty level (or $47,638 for a family of four) and higher, families continue to struggle.
- Hard-working families are still unable to cover living expenses and need accessible high-quality preschool programming for their children.
- According to DCYF’s ECEAP and Head Start Annual Saturation Study, there are still large number of families who are not prioritized or eligible to receive ECEAP or Head Start services each year
CFE addresses the increasing need for high-quality early learning by creating opportunities for more children in Washington’s communities; particularly 4-year-olds not currently served.