Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program

The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), funded through the State of Washington's Department of Early Learning and the City of Seattle, offers part-day and full-day, high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate preschool services for eligible 3- and 4-year-olds and their families. The primary goal is to help participating children develop the skills they need to be ready for school and acquire a passion for lifelong learning. Families have access to information, resources, and training that support them in moving towards their individual and family goals.

ECEAP also acknowledges that families are their child's first teacher and it is important that families have access to information and resources that help support their child's development.

Each ECEAP site is unique and may offer part day, school day or working day services. Part day programs provide a minimum of three hours of instruction for children, four to five days a week from September to May/June. School day programs provide a minimum of 5.5 hours of instruction per session, four or five days a week from September to June. Working day classrooms are open a minimum of 10 hours per day, five days per week, year-round. Teachers provide daily opportunities for children to improve skills in language and literacy, math, science, social studies, arts, and physical, social and emotional development.

ECEAP provides:

  • Nurturing staff who are well trained in how to foster each child's sense of security, confidence and readiness for kindergarten
  • Developmentally and culturally appropriate classroom activities designed to support the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child
  • Health, nutrition and developmental screenings to support healthy growth and development
  • Inclusive services for children with disabilities
  • A safe and healthy environment for children
  • Additional support for families including parent education and referrals for needed resources

DEEL provides funds to non-profit, community-based organizations operating ECEAP classrooms. Funding is provided by the Washington State Department of Early Learning and the City of Seattle.

Eligibility and Application Information

Part day ECEAP preschools are offered at two of our locations. School day and working day ECEAP preschools are located in multiple licensed child care centers across Seattle. Payment assistance may be available through Working Connections Child Care or the City of Seattle Child Care Assistance Program if families need help paying for a full day program.


  • Families with income at or below 36% of the state median income (see chart below).
  • Qualified by a school district or tribal school for special education services.
  • McKinney-Vento eligible.
  • Has participated in Early Head Start, Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program (ESIT), Early ECEAP, Early Childhood Intervention and Prevention Service program (ECLISPE), or received IDEA Part C Early Intervention Services.
  • Is a tribal child, temporarily defined by DCYF and ECEAP Tribal Workgroup, and at or below 100% SMI.
  • From a family with income that exceeds 36% of the SMI (S) and impacted by specific prioritization factors identified by DCYF that are linked by research to school performance, within the limits set by DCYF and the State Legislature.
  • Child in foster care.

2023-24 Income Limits:

Family Size

Gross Monthly Family Income
2 -0-  to  $2,346
3 -0-  to  $2,898
4 -0-  to  $3,450
5 -0-  to  $4,002
6 -0-  to  $4,554
Call for family size greater than 6

2023-24 School Year Brochure Links:

  • English
  • Translated versions coming soon 

2022-2023 School Year Brochure Links:

Education and Early Learning

Dwane Chappelle, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94665, Seattle, WA, 98124-6965
Phone: (206) 233-5118
Phone Alt: Childcare and Preschool: (206) 386-1050
Fax: (206) 386-1900

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