Federal dollars help state spend more on preschool

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- Thanks to some help from the federal government, Washington is providing more state-subsidized preschool this fall, making early education one of the few places the state budget is increasing this year.

A total of 165 additional preschool lots are available this fall in the state Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. They are being paid for with a $2.2 million increase in dollars from the federal Child Care & Development Fund for the next two school years.

Even with the increase, only about 25 percent of eligible children in the state have places in subsidized preschool programs.

The state preschool program is similar to the federal Head Start subsidized preschool program.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com