Help us get 2700 new kids into ECEAP!
We need YOUR help!
The situation: The House and Senate leaders are behind closed doors right now working out how much they should spend on K-12, early learning, and everything else. What we hear about these negotiations is NOT GOOD. The Governor asked for 2700 new children in ECEAP over the next 2 years, which would put us on track to reach all eligible children who want ECEAP by 2020. We need to make sure that legislators are hearing from people in their districts that ECEAP should be a PRIORITY, not just a little something left over after they fund K-12 and cut everything else.
We’re asking you: We would like each of you to contact your legislators (and any other legislators you know nearby!) by phone, email, letter, pigeon, singing telegram, whatever you’ve got. Then talk to your friends, HS/ECEAP staff, post on social media, make some noise so more people are contacting their legislators. You can multiply your advocacy power by getting others to join you.
- To find out your legislators’ names, type your address into the districtfinder, and click through to find their info.
- Write them each a letter (our favorite if you have time – everybody loves a letter!)
- Send an email
- Call the hotline, 1.800.562.6000. They have Spanish interpreters!
You’re asking the Legislature: We’re asking for 2700 new children in ECEAP over the next two years, and a 16.7% increase in the cost-per-child so we can maintain the high quality and outcomes of ECEAP and recruit and retain great staff. We’re also asking for $26.3 million for facilities for ECEAP – we’ve got to have somewhere to put the kids! We have some great fact sheets that outline what we’re asking for and why.
Messages: If you scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see a sample letter to a legislator, but here are the main things we want to get across:
- ECEAP WORKS, and that’s why we’re asking for 2700 new children and an increase in the cost per child to be able to recruit and retain quality staff.
- Investments in K-12 will NOT be successful if we don’t also invest in ECEAP. Kids who start behind, stay behind, and ECEAP closes those gaps before they arrive in Kindergarten.
- PERSONAL MESSAGE – High quality pre-k like ECEAP/Head Start is important to my child/ren and my family because . . .
Extra Credit: We’d love to see some Letters to the Editor in local papers throughout the state about how important high quality early learning like ECEAP is to our families, our schools, our economy, and the future of Washington State. I’ve attached a “writing a letter to the editor” sheet, but here is the basic process:
- Google your local paper website.
- Figure out what the process is to submit – we can help you!
- Draft a letter and feel free to email it to us to review and give feedback.
- Follow up with newspaper the following week to see if/when it will be published or if you need to edit.
Your letter can basically be a modified version of your letter to your legislators, with the messages above!
We know this was really long – thank you so much for taking some time out to make a difference for thousands of future ECEAP children and parents/grandparents! Please don’t hesitate to give us a call (425.453.1227) or email with any questions, and feel free to share this information with others!
Sample Letter to Legislators:
Dear Senator/Representative ______________________,
My name is _______________and I live in ____________. My daughter/son attended/attends ECEAP/Head Start at ________________.
ECEAP/Early Learning is important to my family because (tell your story – how has Head Start/ECEAP helped your child? How has it helped you or other family members?).
I know the legislature is focusing on K-12 this year, but without high-quality preschool to get kids ready for kindergarten, those investments will not be effective and the gaps between high and low income will not be closed. ECEAP has been proven to close those gaps and get kids ready.
I have seen how important quality pre-k is in my own family. I ask you to support ECEAP expansion so 2700 other children will be able to get to kindergarten ready to succeed. Our programs also need an increase in the rate per child and support for facility expansion so we can make sure the expansion is successful.
Thank you for your support of early learning,
Email or phone