Tribal ECEAP

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) acknowledges and respects our government-to-government relationship with Tribal Sovereign Nation contractors and sub-contractors. We also acknowledge the historical trauma that Native people have experienced since colonization particularly in institutional settings.

Tribal Nations have an inherit sovereign right over how to educate their children in a culturally relevant manner. We feel great honor in supporting tribes in caring for and providing high quality learning for their youngest learners. We are committed to building strong relationships with Tribal Sovereign Nations and strive to support them in implementing high-quality early learning approaches that are reflective of each Nation’s culture and values.

Currently, we do this through:

  • The creation of the ECEAP Tribal Pathway and the ECEAP Tribal Specialist position.
  • Creating requirements that can be individualized in ways that honor the unique traditions and perspectives of tribes.
  • Implementation of flexible programming that promotes tribes cultural and language preservation and revitalization efforts.
  • Honoring the unique traditions and perspectives of tribes.
  • Working with tribes to remove barriers for contracting with DCYF ECEAP and providing ECEAP services.
  • Individualized trainings for tribal early learning staff and tribal specific learning communities.
  • Requiring DCYF ECEAP staff to participate in government-to-government training.
  • Our teams commitment to increasing the number of tribal children receiving services in ECEAP tribal early learning programs as this fits with each sovereign nation’s needs.
  • Robust partnership with DCYF Office of Tribal Relations staff.

Tribal ECEAP Providers

Are you a Washington State Tribe interested in providing ECEAP? Below is a list of current tribal ECEAP providers. Tribes with contact information listed are willing to talk with you about ECEAP and how it has worked for their tribe.

Tribal Contractors
Tribal Subcontractors
  • Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe
  • Spokane Tribe
  • Squaxin Island Tribe: Julie LeClair, 360-426-1390,

Tribal ECEAP Legislative Report

A 2020 report to the Washington State Legislature with recommended changes to ECEAP that would remove barriers for tribes to provide ECEAP in their community and increase supports for tribal children who attend at non-tribal sites. These recommendations are based on feedback from the tribal ECEAP workgroup and DCYF tribal advisory groups. Read the Tribal ECEAP Pathway Recommendations to the Legislature.

Tribal ECEAP Recruitment Flyers

Information about expanded ECEAP eligibility for tribal children. Flyers can be customized with your program's contact information. DCYF has made four different Tribal ECEAP Recruitment flyers for your ECEAP program to use.


Resources for the classroom including curriculum, health and book lists. Please note that these resources are not required, but instead are intended to provide tribal early learning staff with support not offered previously

Curriculum and Classroom Observation Tools

Designed for tribal early learning programs.  

  • Free books, e-books and resources from the CDC for diabetes prevention and healthy eating in Native communities. Although these books were created for K-4, most are appropriate for a Pre-K classroom and could be adapted if needed. These books work well with small groups of children.
  • Powwow Sweat are powwow dance exercise videos.
  • The Cedar Box Curriculum is a traditional foods curriculum from the Muckleshoot Tribe. It is a resource for ideas and concepts that can be incorporated into curriculum planning.
  • Physical Activity Kit (PAK) is a program from Indian Health Services that encourages increased physical activity across the lifespan for Native people. Each book has two links one to a PDF with activities and one with a video demonstrating an activity.
    • Books 1, 2, 3, and 4 contains activities for children that can be used or modified for pre-k
    • Book 5 contains activities for infants, toddlers, and pre-k age children
    • Book 7 contains activities for elders
    • Book 8 contains resources for physical activity

Resources to support families in achieving their goals

Health Supports for Families
Financial Education
  • Oweesta offers culturally appropriate training programs to help Native organizations establish and sustain financial education.
Higher Education

Scholarships and funding for higher education for Native people


Information for individuals who would like to research their family history and eligibility to enroll in a tribe

Indian Child Welfare

Provides information and support for Native families who are involved in the child welfare system


Tribal training calendar - these trainings and meetings are intended for tribal ECEAP sites

Non-tribal training calendar - these trainings are for non-tribal sites interested in learning about working with tribal families and partnering with local tribes

  • Government to Government training is available for ECEAP contractors.
    The ECEAP Government to Government Training supports participants cultural awareness and learning about partnering with tribes as well as explores tribal sovereignty and tribal governments. The training includes time for questions and group discussion and assist participants in furthering their relationships with local tribes and in their work with Native people. After completing the training, attendees should have a better understanding of tribes, their people and unique culture, and an enhanced awareness of the importance of multi-culturalism.
    See non-tribal training schedule for training dates.