Report Ranks WA 31st in Nation for Preschool Access

Gary Burris, senior policy associate at the Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle, says there’s a big reason for the discrepancy between high quality and low access. Washington has focused on enrolling children with special needs and from low-income families, an approach that he says costs more but is also very effective. 

“They’re focused on supporting the whole family, with home visits and other services, getting families referrals to the kinds of services they need. Perhaps it’s domestic violence or alcohol or substance abuse. So it’s a whole-family approach to supporting the child, and that really is what you need to do to help kids be ready for school.”

Burris says ECEAP has been successful and the state wants to expand it. However, he says, this year the Legislature pushed that plan back to 2025 because of the budget crisis.

The report is online at

– Chris Thomas