For the 9,800 children in Washington who attended the state’s preschool program this past school year, the challenges went well beyond learning to count and identify letters.
Nearly half — 4,112 — live in families with incomes that are half of what the federal government considers the poverty line. Roughly 10 percent are homeless, 13 percent have at least one parent with mental health issues, and for 12 percent of them, one or more of their parents never finished middle school, much less high school.
But a report from the state’s Department of Early Learning suggests that the Washington Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is making a big difference in these 3- and 4-year-olds’ lives – emotionally, physically, and academically.
The report looks at the results from a new tool that the preschool teachers are using to rate everything from how well their students follow directions to how well they know the alphabet.More