SB 6371

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 Passed House:

March 3, 2016

Title: An act relating to the definition of agency for purposes of early learning programs.

Brief Description: Concerning the definition of "agency" for purposes of early learning programs.

Sponsors: Senators Litzow, Mullet, Dammeier, Hargrove, Fain, Hobbs, Hill and McAuliffe; by request of Department of Early Learning.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Early Learning & Human Services: 2/19/16, 2/23/16 [DP].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 3/3/16, 92-5.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Modifies the definition of "agency" to exempt school-age programs that operate in schools and meet specified requirements from licensing by the Department of Early Learning.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 10 members: Representatives Kagi, Chair; Senn, Vice Chair; Walsh, Ranking Minority Member; Dent, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Kilduff, McCaslin, Ortiz-Self, Sawyer, Scott and Walkinshaw.

Staff: Ashley Paintner (786-7120).


School-age Child Care Programs.

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) oversees child care licensing for school-age children, which includes programs that operate before and after school, during the summer, and over holiday breaks. School-age child care currently serves children beginning at age 5 until they reach their twelfth birthday. The DEL serves approximately 11,800 full-time students and 24,500 part-time students through school-age child care programs.

Working Connections Child Care.

The Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) program offers subsidies to child care providers serving families at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Children of families receiving 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. In order for a school-age child care program to accept WCCC subsidies, they need to be either a licensed, certified, or DEL-contracted provider.

Summary of Bill:

The definition of "agency" is modified to exempt school-age programs from licensing by the DEL if they: (1) are operated by schools, including boarding schools; (2) are engaged primarily in education; (3) operate on a definite school year schedule; (4) follow a stated academic curriculum; and (5) accept only school-age children. The requirement that these programs cannot accept custody of children in order to be license exempt is removed.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) The bill provides needed clarity to a section of statute that has caused a lot of confusion with school-age child care providers.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Suzie Hanson, Washington Federation of Independent Schools; Donna Christensen, Washington State Catholic Schools; and Frank Ordway, Department of Early Learning.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.