Early Education >> Number Not Served by Head Start / ECEAP

Lack of funding prevented more than 10,000 eligible 3- and 4-year-olds from participating in Head Start and ECEAP in 2011. 

Education is widely regarded as the great leveler, an “intervention” that pays off in higher wages and better health. But we know now that timing is crucial. Providing quality education before age 5 creates a powerful domino effect, yielding sustained benefits to individuals and society at large. 

The quality, cost, and availability of child care can vary widely across communities. The burdens of poor quality and limited choice often fall on poor families.  Public funding of early childhood education tries to address these gaps, but falls short of serving all eligible children. 

  • In 2011, more than 10,000 King County children who were eligible for the federal Head Start program and Washington State’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) went unserved. 
  • The majority of eligible children who could not be accommodated lived in Seattle or King County’s South Region; more than half were concentrated in 4 South Region school districts – Highline, Kent, Federal Way, and Renton.