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School Readiness and Preschool
Preschool Programs for Three- and Four-Year-Olds
The City of Seattle funds preschool programs which help children prepare for kindergarten, academically, socially and physically. These programs honor family, language and culture and help children develop the skills and love for learning that lead to academic success.
The Seattle Step Ahead preschool program, funded by the 2011 Families and Education Levy offers culturally and linguistically appropriate preschools to eligible four-year-olds. The goal is to help participating children develop the skills they need to be successful in school and acquire a passion for lifelong learning.
Part-day programs provide a three and a half-hour instructional day for children, four to five days a week from September to June. Full-day programs provide six or more hours a day for children, five days a week from September to June. Teachers provide daily opportunities for children to improve skills in language and literacy, math concepts, science, social studies, arts, physical development, and social and emotional development.
The Seattle Human Services Department provides Families and Education Levy funds to Step Ahead Program classrooms for the school year. City allocations to the nonprofit, community-based organizations providing these services are determined through a competitive process that is conducted by the Human Services Department. Funding continuation during funding cycles depends upon program performance and funding availability.
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, high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate preschool services for eligible three- and four-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 a part-day preschool or full-day integrated services. Part-day programs provide three to four hours of instruction for children, four to five days a week from September to May/June. Full-day programs provide full day care for working families as well as preschool, five days a week from September to May/June. Teachers provide daily opportunities for children to improve skills in language and literacy, math, science, social studies, arts, physical, social and emotional development.
The Seattle Human Services Department provides approximately $1,831,488 to nonprofit, community-based organizations operating ECEAP classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year. Funding is provided by the WA State Department of Early Learning and the City of Seattle.
Eligibility and Application Information for ECEAP and Seattle Step Ahead Programs
Part-day Step Ahead and ECEAP preschools are located in numerous locations in Seattle. Full-day Seattle Step Ahead and ECEAP Preschools are located in licensed child care centers in Seattle. Payment assistance may be available if families need help paying for a full-day program through the Working Connections Child Care or City of Seattle Child Care Assistance Program. The requirements for the ECEAP and Step Ahead Programs are listed below.
Step Ahead Program Information:
For both ECEAP and Step Ahead, families must be within the income limits listed below:
To be screened for eligibility and to apply, schedule an appointment with the programs directly or contact the City of Seattle at 206-386-1050 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about our partners and similar programs, contact the agencies listed above or:
Seattle Human Services Department
Accommodations for people with disabilities provided upon request.