State-funded Preschool Enrollment, Turnover and Slots
Data source: Caseload Forecast Council, ECEAP forecast February 2016
It is estimated that 7,377 additional enrollment slots beyond the 2015-16 level of 11,691 are needed by state fiscal year 2021 to serve the eligible children whose families it is assumed would choose to participate. This means an average of 1,844 enrollment slots will need to be added per year beginning in the state fiscal year 2018. The ECEAP Caseload Forecast technical work group has agreed to revisit the assumptions behind the number of slots needed to reach entitlement as we learn more about uptake rates and get closer to fall of 2020.
Increasing access to high quality early learning experiences prepares children for success in school and life. ECEAP reaches children most in need of these foundations for learning. In the 2015 legislative session, the year ECEAP is slated to serve all eligible children and families who choose to participate was changed from 2018-19 to 2020-21. This is required by RCW 43.215.455-456 and is based on the caseload forecast required in 43.215.456(6).
The process is driven by legislative budget decisions. Between 2013-14 and 2016-17, the Legislature added 3,330 ECEAP slots. This means, we will have added 32% of the needed new slots, while 50% of the allowed eight years have passed. We have completed the "saturation study" process to fairly award the slots to communities with state-funded full day kindergarten, as required by statute, where there is lower than average access to ECEAP or Head Start.
- We are conducting outreach to underserved communities to assist them with readiness to deliver ECEAP services.
- In August 2016, we will receive the results of the ECEAP Facilities Study, regarding availability and cost of additional classroom space for expansion.
- We are refining the criteria for new ECEAP sites.
- We are continuing a pilot with a consortium of family child care homes, to broaden the ECEAP mixed delivery system.
To learn more about ECEAP services, legislation and caseload forecasts visit the following websites:
Reported by: Department of Early Learning (DEL)