The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) serves 4 year old children whose family income is at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Patterned after the Federal Head Start program, ECEAP is funded by the Department of Community Trade and Economic Development. One of the program's primary objectives is to establish a classroom environment that promotes creative thinking, self-direction and positive social development.
Through ECEAP, children are prepared to enter the public school system ready to learn. The program provides expertise in developmentally appropriate practices and classroom environments, health and nutrition, family support, staff training, and transition services. Parent involvement plays a significant role in the overall success of the program, empowering parents to become influential in the educational development of their children. In 2001, the program served 450 children in the communities of Pasco, Othello, Quincy, Royal City, Moses Lake, Washtucna, Grandview, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Wapato and Mt. Vernon.