House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Human Services & Early Learning Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Increasing early learning access for children ages three and older.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Wellman, Darneille, Palumbo, Wilson, C., Kuderer and Saldaña).
Hearing Date: 3/15/19
Staff: Dawn Eychaner (786-7135).
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is the state's voluntary preschool program for 3 and 4 year olds. The ECEAP provides comprehensive services that include education, health and nutrition, and family support for participating children and their families. Children are eligible for the state-supported ECEAP who are eligible for special education due to a disability, are from a family with an income at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), or who qualify under rules adopted by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).
The DCYF rules require an eligible child to be 3 years old but not yet 5 years old by August 31 of the school year in order to enroll in the ECEAP.
Early Support for Infants and Toddlers.
Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires individual and family intervention services for children from birth to age 3 who have a disability or developmental delay.
The DCYF is the lead agency for IDEA Part C and the delivery of early intervention services through the state's Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program. Early intervention services include family resource coordination, developmental services, occupational or physical therapy, and speech or language therapy.
Early Head Start.
The Early Head Start (EHS) program is a federally funded early learning program that serves pregnant women and infants and toddlers under the age of 3. The EHS program provides comprehensive support, including child development and family support services, designed to nurture healthy attachments between a child and his or her caregiver.
Summary of Bill:
The DCYF must adopt rules to allow the inclusion in the ECEAP, as space is available, of a child who turns 3 years old at any time during the school year when the child has a family income at or below 110 percent of the FPL and has:
received early intervention services in the ESIT program; or
been a participant in the EHS or successor federal program providing comprehensive services for children from birth through age 2.
Children enrolled in the ECEAP under these criteria are not considered part of the state-funded entitlement.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.