Members Meet with Legislators in Washington State to advance ECEAP
ReadyNation members David Graybill and Michael Cade speak in support of ECEAP.
On January 21, ReadyNation members David Graybill and Michael Cade met with legislators at the Washington State Capitol to discuss the importance of increased access to the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) to help young learners start strong in school and life. Graybill also gave testimony at the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee in support of the components of HB 2661 that aim to increase access to ECEAP.
In their discussions, Graybill and Cade shared their perspectives as business leaders and how proven investments like ECEAP can increase short- and long-term benefits for children and families including stronger kindergarten readiness rates, stronger performance in K-12 education, and on-time graduation rates which leads to post-secondary success in the workforce and life.
As a business leader, I say we cannot afford to wait any longer to increase access to high-quality early learning programs like ECEAP that make a big difference for children, parents, and employers.
Mr. David Graybill, ReadyNation member
For instance, ECEAP students make significant gains over the course of their school year. Between the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019, there was a 131 percent and 105 percent increase in the number of students at or above age level in the areas of math and literacy respectively.
Additionally, research shows students who participated in ECEAP scored significantly higher in third- to fifth-grade math and reading in comparison to their peers who did not participate. Data also shows that 33 percent of children who had received six or more months of ECEAP were fully ready for kindergarten in all six developmental domains, compared to only 27 percent of other low-income children
Graybill, having served for 27 years as the CEO of Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, and Cade, as Executive Director of the Thurston Economic Development Council, affirmed that the employers they know say they want skilled, innovative employees with strong work ethic.
ECEAP helps build those workforce readiness skills by promoting executive functioning skills like communication and problem solving as well as hard skills like early math and literacy.
ReadyNation’s reports have examined the economic impact of the nation’s infant-and-toddler child care crisis on working parents, employers, and taxpayers. In all, the crisis costs our nation $57 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue. The report cites that productivity challenges affect both employer and employee, and causes employers to lose $12.7 billion annually due to child care challenges faced by their workforce. Access to quality programs like ECEAP continues to be of great importance for economic vitality for families and the community.