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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)

Background
The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct an outcome evaluation and return on investment analysis of the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). WSIPP produced two reports: one summarizing the national research literature on the long-term effectiveness of early childhood education programs of various types and a retrospective evaluation of the effectiveness of Washington’s ECEAP program through fifth grade for a sample of children born between 1999 and 2004. Many children in this initial study are expected to have graduated from high school by 2019. This offers the opportunity to examine additional long term outcomes of ECEAP.

The current project
WSIPP’s Board of Directors authorized WSIPP staff to produce two reports, which will update findings from the initial reports produced in January and December of 2014.

The first report will update the meta-analysis of state and district early childhood education programs for low-income children provided nationwide. To the extent possible, it will also examine the effectiveness of other types of early education.

The second report will update the original outcome evaluation of ECEAP, examining academic and other outcomes over a longer period of time. The report will include an analysis of the impact of ECEAP on high school graduation for at least two cohorts.

The 2019 Washington State Legislature added an additional component to WSIPP’s ECEAP work. The legislature directed WSIPP to update the previous ECEAP outcome evaluation and examine the short- and long-term impacts on program participants, including high school graduation rates for up to two cohorts. This third report must consider the effects of full-day and half-day programming on the outcomes.

The first report is due by December 15, 2019, the second report is due by December 15, 2020, and the third report is due December 31, 2021.
Chasya Hoagland, (360) 664-9084 View Legislation