2013 State Advocacy Goals – Expand ECEAP!
We have our approved 2013 WSA State Advocacy Goals, and we have an ambitious agenda in Olympia this year.
Also, here are some helpful issue briefs that give a little more information about our goals for ECEAP, Birth-3 services, and childcare.
WSA State Advocacy Goals 2013
Take a Balanced Approach to the Budget
WSA supports a balanced approach to the budget that acknowledges the impact of deep cuts over the past few years by including new revenues to support critical programs for children and families. As lawmakers rise to the challenge posed by the court’s McCleary decision, the single best thing we can do to ensure the success of our commitments for all children is to make sure they have the early learning opportunities they need. Support of these programs is crucial for our kids and our economy:
- Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)
- Working Connections & Seasonal Child Care (serving children 0-12)
- Home Visiting (Home Visiting Services Account)
- Early Achievers
- Child Care Aware of WA (formerly Child Care Resource & Referral Network)
- Reach Out and Read
- Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregiver Support
- Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS)
Expand Access to High-Quality Early Learning
Keep the Commitment to PreK from Birth to Five
Rigorous research finds that high-quality early learning can boost school achievement, lower enrollment in special education, increase college attendance rates, and improve other health, social, and economic outcomes. Yet, thousands of eligible children don’t have the opportunity to enroll in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). Building an exemplary early learning system is critical to making sure kids have what it takes to succeed in school and work—particularly low-income children and children of color. Expand ECEAP by 1,500 children in the upcoming biennium and work toward the legislature’s commitment of full implementation by 2018. Make a simultaneous investment in targeted, voluntary, comprehensive programs for infants and toddlers at greatest risk of academic failure.
Promote High-Quality Child Care
It takes a diversity of quality care options for parents to give their kids a great start in life. No matter the setting, we know that the early years set the foundation for future learning. High-quality child care provides children with positive learning experiences for healthy development. In addition to pursing system improvements, chart a path for increasing access to high-quality care that includes:
- Raising the reimbursement rate for Working Connections Child Care by 10 percent
- Supporting quality improvement activities by providing 5 percent rate enhancement to providers in Level 2 of Early Achievers
- Creating a plan for implementing tiered reimbursement to cultivate quality care
For more information, please contact:
Joel Ryan, Executive Director, Washington State Association of Head Start & ECEAP
425-453-1227, email@example.com, www.wsaheadstarteceap.com