SHB 1624

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 Second Reading

Title: An act relating to working connections child care eligibility for vulnerable children.

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).

Brief History: Passed House: 3/03/17, 76-21; 5/25/17, 75-19; 6/29/17, 80-14.

Committee Activity: Human Services, Mental Health & Housing: 3/15/17, 3/20/17 [DP-WM, DNP].

Ways & Means: 3/29/17, 4/04/17 [DPA, DNP, w/oRec].

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Requires the Department of Early Learning to implement policies to allow 12 months of Working Connections Child Care eligibility to families with children who meet certain conditions.

  • Provides the child does not need to continue to receive services from the Department of Social and Health Services in order to maintain the 12-month eligibility.


Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators O'Ban, Chair; Miloscia, Vice Chair; Darneille, Ranking Minority Member; Carlyle, Hunt and Walsh.

Minority Report: Do not pass.

Signed by Senator Padden.

Staff: Alison Mendiola (786-7444)


Majority Report: Do pass as amended.

Signed by Senators Braun, Chair; Brown, Vice Chair; Rossi, Vice Chair; Honeyford, Vice Chair, Capital Budget ; Bailey, Becker, Billig, Fain, Miloscia, Rivers, Schoesler, Warnick and Zeiger.

Minority Report: Do not pass.

Signed by Senators Darneille and Padden.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senators Ranker, Ranking Minority Member; Rolfes, Assistant Ranking Minority Member, Operating Budget; Frockt, Assistant Ranking Minority Member, Capital Budget; Carlyle, Conway, Hasegawa, Keiser and Pedersen.

Staff: Kevin Black (786-7747)

Background: Working Connections Child Care (WCCC). The WCCC program is a subsidized childcare program funded through 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.

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) determines eligibility for the WCCC and issues childcare subsidy payments to providers. In general, in order to qualify for the WCCC, a family must have a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and be working or participating in WorkFirst activities.

Families participating in the WCCC 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.

DSHS - Child Welfare Services. DSHS provides child welfare services designed to ensure child safety, achieve permanency, and strengthen families. Child welfare services can include voluntary and in-home services, out-of-home care, case management, and other services. 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.

Summary of Bill: Beginning December 1, 2018, DEL must implement policies to allow 12 months of the WCCC eligibility for families with children who:

A child does not need to continue to receive DSHS services in order to maintain the WCCC eligibility for the full 12 months.

The bill contains a null and void clause.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: December 1, 2018

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Substitute House Bill (Human Services, Mental Health & Housing): PRO: When children come into the system and child care is part of their plan, there is child care subsidy available through DSHS—however, that ends once the case closes. This bill would allow the child care to continue, providing stability to the child and parents. This assistance helps families get back on their feet while providing children a continuity of care and sense of stability.

Persons Testifying (Human Services, Mental Health & Housing): PRO: Representative Tana Senn, Prime Sponsor; Laurie Lippold, Partners for Our Children; Melissa Johnson, Washington State Association of Headstart & ECEAP; Kimberly Mays, Parent/Contracted Social Services Worker.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Human Services, Mental Health & Housing): No one.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Substitute House Bill (Ways & Means): The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: This bill provides continuity and stability to children in the child welfare system and will impact about 200 kids. Sometimes part of the safety plan is for that child to be in child care. When the child welfare case is closed, that family loses child care. Continuity is important to ensure opportunities for success in reunification.