Report | October 3, 2017

ECEAP Important for Children and National Security

Washington State’s Pre-K Program (ECEAP) addresses the problems that disqualify 69% of Washington’s young adults from military service

The military leaders of Mission: Readiness in Washington State recognize the need for enough qualified candidates to defend our nation. The lack of recruits is a growing concern given that 71 percent of young adults nationwide and 69 percent in Washington are ineligible for military service due to problems related to education, health, and behavior (substance abuse and crime).

Early childhood is a time when children acquire specific skills and knowledge, including literacy and working with numbers, social and emotional skills critical for relationships, and engagement in school and learning. The development of critical executive functioning skills that shape the way we manage our attention, our emotions and our behavior to achieve our goals also begins in early childhood. High-quality pre-K programs can also help improve military eligibility by helping young children learn positive behaviors and healthy habits that carry into adulthood.

From an early age, children need regular immersion in a positive learning environment in which they can develop the needed pre-academic habits and skills that will prepare them for life’s challenges.

Rear Admiral (Ret.) Bill Center, U.S. Navy

Washington’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is a proven strategy to increase children’s academic and social-emotional skills. Expansion of this program will help our children start on the right track so they are prepared for success in school and in life. This report goes into further detail on the importance of ECEAP for Washington State’s children and for our future national security.

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