Letter: Preserve early learning opportunities



The Oct. 8 story, “Early learning spotlighted, shadows loom: In Olympia, local woman touts program at risk of budget cuts,” gave a wonderful report about the Early Childhood Education Assistance Program. The story gave well-deserved recognition to Judy McConathy, a Head Start teacher whose sons went through ECEAP’s early learning program and are now successful college students/graduates. McConathy’s employer, Educational Opportunities for Children & Families, is the provider of the program from which her sons graduated.

EOCF is proud to employ McConathy and 250 other wonderful persons who work to provide early learning services to about 2,000 children per year in Southwest Washington. EOCF is the fifth-largest provider of ECEAP services in Washington state. As executive director of EOCF, I want to express our pride in McConathy and her accomplishments, and we appreciate the recognition given to her and to the ECEAP program, which depends on the state budget and is, like all state services, threatened by the current state budget picture. We encourage legislators to preserve funding for this critical early learning program so important to educational success in school and in life for many of our youngest learners.

Doug Lehrman