FINAL 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.
C 9 L 17 E 3
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning working connections child care eligibility for vulnerable children.
Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Senn, Dent, Kagi, Lytton, Farrell, Pettigrew, Hudgins, Goodman, Frame and Slatter).
House Committee on Early Learning & Human Services
House Committee on Appropriations
Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health & Housing
Senate Committee on Ways & Means
The Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) program is a subsidized childcare program funded through the federal Child Care and Development Funds (CCDF) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Department of Early Learning (DEL) is the designated lead agency for administration of the CCDF program and sets policy for the WCCC program.
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) determines eligibility for the WCCC program and issues childcare subsidy payments to providers. In general, in order to qualify for the WCCC program, a family must have a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and adults in the family must be working or participating in work activities.
Families participating in the WCCC program may receive up to 12 months of subsidized childcare and may pay a monthly copayment, depending on the family's income level. A child may not be deemed ineligible during the 12-month period due to a change in the family's circumstances.
Up to 33,000 households may receive WCCC program services at any given time. If the WCCC program participation reaches the paid caseload maximum of 33,000 households, the DSHS will implement a wait list. In the event of a wait list, certain groups will receive priority access to the WCCC program. These groups include families receiving TANF benefits, children with special needs, and children experiencing homelessness.
The DSHS provides child welfare services designed to ensure child safety, achieve permanency, and strengthen families. Child welfare services include voluntary and in-home services, out-of-home care, and case management. Child Protective Services (CPS) is responsible for investigating reported allegations of child abuse or neglect. Reports with low or moderately low risk allegations may receive a Family Assessment Response (FAR) as an alternative to a CPS investigation.
Beginning December 1, 2018, the DEL must implement policies to allow 12 months of the WCCC program eligibility for families with children who:
are residing with a biological parent or guardian;
have received child protective services, child welfare services, or a FAR from the DSHS in the previous six months; and
have a childcare referral as part of the family's case management plan.
A child does not need to continue to receive DSHS services in order to maintain the WCCC program eligibility for the full 12 months.
Votes on Final Passage:
(House refused to concur)
Second Special Session
Third Special Session
December 1, 2018