House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Early Learning & Human Services Committee
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.
Brief Description: Concerning payment options for parents who receive working connections child care benefits.
Sponsors: Representatives Walsh, Scott, Appleton, Roberts, Santos and Tharinger.
Hearing Date: 2/19/13
Staff: Lindsay Lanham (786-7120).
The Department of Early Learning (DEL) has the authority to establish and implement policies in the Working Connections Child Care Program (WCCC), while the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has the responsibility for verifying a families' eligibility to receive the WCCC benefits. The WCCC is often associated with Washington State's WorkFirst program and is intended to support parents who are working, attending training, or enrolling in educational programs outside the home. Not all families receiving the WCCC benefits, however, participate in approved Workfirst activities. For example, a parent under 22 years of age may be eligible for the WCCC benefits for high school development.
Children of families receiving the WCCC benefits are required to be less than 13 years of age or less than 19 years of age and have a verified special need or be under court supervision. Currently, the WCCC provides subsidies to child care providers serving families at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
The DEL has outlined a provider's responsibilities to parents receiving the WCCC benefits. In rules, licensed and certified child care providers cannot charge families who receive the WCCC benefits the difference between the provider's private rate and the maximum allowed state rate for services. In the event that a provider has a written policy in place pertaining to field trips, however, a parent may voluntarily pay the difference between the amount the state allows and the actual costs of field trips.
Summary of Bill:
The DEL is required to adopt rules to allow parents receiving the WCCC benefits the option of making supplemental payments to child care providers to fund any difference between the state's maximum rate and the child care provider's private rate for child care, registration fees, or field trips.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.