CFE Funding

CFE Funding Organization

Dollars Needed for a Child's School Year

The annual cost of the CFE child learning space or “slot” depends on the type of ECEAP model being funded. “Slots” are the number of individual spaces in sites funded with CFE funding. These include:

  • Part Day Slots: 3 hours per day – $8,237/year
  • School Day Slots: 5.5 - 6.5 hours per day – $11,309/year, on average across regions
  • Working Day Slots: 10 hours per day – $17,656/year, on average across regions

Slots are allocated by prioritizing children and families furthest from opportunity. More than one child may occupy a slot in the course of a school year, as children leave the program and new children enroll. CFE slots are purchased at the same rate as state-funded ECEAP slots.

To ensure that children benefit from CFE and that the preschool site provides services without disruptions, DCYF requires funding commitments to include at least a full school year funding for all slot models.

Prioritization of High-Quality Early Learning

All families in CFE receive comprehensive services identical to the ECEAP model including classroom learning, health coordination and family partnerships.

To maintain the standard of high-quality early learning, DCYF ECEAP staff provide the infrastructure, monitoring, capacity building, quality improvement and technical assistance to ECEAP and CFE contractors.

Three percent of the total CFE provided by funders is set aside for the DCYF ECEAP state office administration and quality assurance costs. The remaining 97 percent is passed back to the local CFE program for operation costs.

CFE contractors use the funds to operate and maintain ECEAP Performance Standards.

CFE Funding Process

Funding a child or children for a school year is simple and easy:

  • Complete a funding commitment form
  • Send the form to
  • DCYF will contact you to discuss the funding agreement
  • After signing the funding agreement, DCYF coordinates the transfer of funds to a designated CFE account through check or money order 
  • For accountability and transparency, there is a fund management system in place to manage all CFE funds:
    • Early Start account created by the Washington State Legislature
    • Account remains in the custody of the state treasurer
    • DCYF manages funding transactions for CFE
    • Funds are tracked by DCYF and the treasurer's office