Seattle Times Columnist Talks Early Learning

In the 3/28/13 edition of the Seattle Times, Jerry Large wrote a great column about the strong research in favor of investment in quality pre-k programs, and the support that K-12 leaders, teachers, and parents voice for expansion of ECEAP in Washington.

“Washington has a much-praised program called ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program), which provides preschool education, health services, intensive family support, and helps parents be involved in their children’s education.

The results are amazing, everyone loves it, but there’s not enough money to go around. There’s no room for more than 32,000 eligible 3- and 4-year-olds, according to the Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP. [ . . .]

Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu said his district is among those with the greatest unmet need for early education. He said it’s time for the state to see prekindergarten as part of basic education.

“If we want our students to be successful throughout their K-12 experience, to graduate high school and be college- and career-ready and to have successful adult lives,” he said, “then we’ve got to start at the early learning level.”

Susan Enfield, Highline School District superintendent, said a seamless education experience that begins early is, “truly the only way that we are going to close the gaps and ensure equity and access for all of our children.”