SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of February 5, 2020
Title: An act relating to rating requirements for child care providers.
Brief Description: Concerning rating requirements for child care providers.
Sponsors: Senators Wilson, C. and Nguyen; by request of Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 2/03/20.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Staff: Ailey Kato (786-7434)
Background: Early Achievers. This program is the state's quality rating and improvement system for early child care and education. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families administers the program in partnership with other organizations. The quality of care is assigned a rating on a scale of 1-5, with level 1 being the minimum requirements for licensing and level 5 being the highest possible level of quality.
In 2015, the Early Start Act required licensed child care and early learning providers serving non-school-age children and receiving state subsidies to be enrolled in Early Achievers and meet certain rating deadlines.
Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. This state-funded voluntary preschool program serves children ages three and four from low-income households, eligible for special education, or who have other risk factors.
New Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) providers must enroll in Early Achievers within 30 days of the start of the ECEAP contract. The providers, including licensed or certified child care centers and homes, must rate at a level 4 or 5 within 24 months of enrollment or the start of the ECEAP contract.
If ECEAP providers rate below a level 4, providers must complete remedial activities and rate at level 4 or 5 within six months of beginning remedial activities.
Child Care Providers Receiving State Subsidy Payments. Subsidized child care programs include Working Connections Child Care and Seasonal Child Care.
Existing child care providers serving non-school-age children and receiving state subsidy payments had to rate or request to be rated at level 3 or higher in Early Achievers by December 31, 2019. If child care providers did not meet this deadline, they are no longer eligible to receive state subsidy.
New child care providers must rate or request to be rated at level 3 or higher within 30 months of enrollment. If new child care providers do not meet this deadline, they are no longer eligible to receive state subsidy.
If providers do not rate or request to be rated at level 3 or higher following a remedial period, they are no longer eligible to receive state subsidy.
Summary of Bill: Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. If ECEAP providers, including licensed or certified child care centers and homes, rate below level 4, providers must rate or request to be rated at level 4 or 5 within 12 months, instead of six months, of beginning remedial activities.
If ECEAP providers do not rate or request to be rated at level 4 or 5 following the remedial period, providers are not eligible to receive state-funded support.
Child Care Providers Receiving State Subsidy Payments. If existing or new child care providers do not rate at level 3 within the required deadlines, they may receive state subsidy payments while completing remedial activities.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 17, 2020.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill supports child care providers while they are working on improving the quality of care. This bill cleans up changes from last year that were based on the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee on Early Achievers. All providers would have the same amount of time to complete remedial activities.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Claire Wilson, Prime Sponsor; Allison Krutsinger, Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.