HOUSE 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 Passed House - Amended:
April 12, 2019
Title: An act relating to increasing early learning access for children ages three and older.
Brief Description: Increasing early learning access for children ages three and older.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Wellman, Darneille, Palumbo, Wilson, C., Kuderer and Saldaña).
Human Services & Early Learning: 3/15/19, 3/22/19 [DPA];
Appropriations: 4/5/19, 4/6/19 [DPA(HSEL)].
Passed House - Amended: 4/12/19, 92-4.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES & EARLY LEARNING
Majority Report: Do pass as amended. Signed by 13 members: Representatives Senn, Chair; Callan, Vice Chair; Frame, Vice Chair; Dent, Ranking Minority Member; Eslick, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; McCaslin, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Corry, Goodman, Griffey, Kilduff, Klippert, Lovick and Ortiz-Self.
Staff: Dawn Eychaner (786-7135).
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
Majority Report: Do pass as amended by Committee on Human Services & Early Learning. Signed by 28 members: Representatives Ormsby, Chair; Bergquist, 2nd Vice Chair; Robinson, 1st Vice Chair; Stokesbary, Ranking Minority Member; MacEwen, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Rude, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Caldier, Cody, Dolan, Fitzgibbon, Hansen, Hoff, Hudgins, Jinkins, Macri, Mosbrucker, Pollet, Ryu, Schmick, Senn, Springer, Stanford, Steele, Sullivan, Tarleton, Tharinger, Volz and Ybarra.
Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 4 members: Representatives Chandler, Dye, Kraft and Sutherland.
Staff: Kelci Karl-Robinson (786-7116).
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is the state's voluntary preschool program for 3 and 4 year olds. The ECEAP provides comprehensive services that include education, health and nutrition, and family support for participating children and their families. Children are eligible for the state-supported ECEAP who are eligible for special education due to a disability, are from a family with an income at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), or who qualify under rules adopted by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). In the 2022-23 school year, any eligible child will be entitled to be enrolled in the ECEAP.
The DCYF rules require an eligible child to be 3 years old but not yet 5 years old by August 31 of the school year in order to enroll in the ECEAP.
Early Support for Infants and Toddlers.
Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires individual and family intervention services for children from birth to age 3 who have a disability or developmental delay.
The DCYF is the lead agency for IDEA Part C and the delivery of early intervention services through the state's Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program. Early intervention services include family resource coordination, developmental services, occupational or physical therapy, and speech or language therapy.
Early Head Start.
The Early Head Start (EHS) program is a federally funded early learning program that serves pregnant women and infants and toddlers under the age of 3. The EHS program provides comprehensive support, including child development and family support services, designed to nurture healthy attachments between a child and his or her caregiver.
Birth to Three ECEAP.
In December 2018 the DCYF received a federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five award of $5.3 million for planning and training activities related to integrating Washington's early learning system. Activities related to planning for an early ECEAP for children ages birth to 3 are allowed under the grant.
Summary of Amended Bill:
The DCYF must adopt rules to allow the inclusion in the ECEAP, as space is available, of a nonentitled child who turns 3 years old at any time during the school year when the child has a family income at or below 200 percent of the FPL or meets at least one risk factor criterion adopted by the DCYF in rule. The child must have received services from or participated in:
the ESIT program;
the EHS or successor federal program providing comprehensive services for children from birth through age 2; or
the Birth to Three ECEAP, if such a program is established.
Children enrolled in the ECEAP under these criteria are not considered part of the state-funded entitlement.
Conforming amendments are made in the event that Second Substitute Senate Bill 5437, related to expanding eligibility to the ECEAP, is enacted.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date of Amended Bill: This bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed, except for section 2, which makes conforming amendments, which takes effect only if Second Substitute Senate Bill 5437, relating to expanding eligibility to the ECEAP, is enacted; and section 1, which takes effect only if section 2 does not take effect by the effective date of the section, which is 90 days.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Human Services & Early Learning):
(In support) The obstacle of mid-year enrollment is an issue that is overdue for a fix. This policy will close the gap for high-need children who have received ESIT or EHS services so they do not have to wait for ECEAP services. This bill allows the DCYF to start articulating a suite of services for children from birth to age 5 with special needs.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Appropriations):
(In support) None.
Persons Testifying (Human Services & Early Learning): Katy Warren, Washington State Association of Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program; and Frank Ordway, Department of Children, Youth, and Families.
Persons Testifying (Appropriations): None.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Human Services & Early Learning): None.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Appropriations): None.