ECEAP (pronounced “E-Cap”) is the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program for children 3 and 4.

ECEAP includes:

ECEAP includes:

Free early learning child care to support child’s development and learning. Family support and parent involvement. Child health coordination and nutrition. Services responsive and appropriate to each child’s and family’s heritage and experience. Children who attend ECEAP learn to manage their feelings, get along with others and follow classroom procedures. They build the beginning skills for reading, math and science. The programs work closely with parents to support their children’s health and education and to meet family goals. They help families access medical and dental care and social services.

Children in this type of high-quality program nationwide are:

  • Healthier when they start kindergarten.
  • Less likely to be in special education or repeat a grade in school.
  • More likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.
  • Less likely to become pregnant as a teen or become involved in a crime.
  • More likely to be employed and to earn more as an adult.


Children are eligible for ECEAP based on their age and family income. Up to 10 percent of ECEAP children can be from families above the income limit if they have:

  • Developmental factors such as developmental delay, disability, or other special needs.
  • Environmental factors such as homelessness, family violence, chemical dependency, foster care, or incarcerated parents.

After eligibility is determined, children are prioritized for enrollment as space is available.

ECEAP children must be 3 years old but not yet 5 years old on August 31st of the school year, and:

  • On Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for special education or
  • From families at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level, which includes all children in foster care and all families with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash grants. Some children may be accepted who are over the income limit, if they have developmental or environmental factors.