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 409 L 19
Synopsis as Enacted
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).
Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education
Senate Committee on Ways & Means
House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning
House Committee on Appropriations
Background: Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) develops performance standards for this voluntary preschool program. It provides ECEAP through contracts with public and private organizations including school districts, educational service districts, community and technical colleges, local governments, and nonprofit organizations.
Current law provides that this state-funded preschool program will become an entitlement in the 2022-23 school year for eligible children. "Eligible child" means a child not eligible for kindergarten and:
whose family income is at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level;
a child eligible for special education preschool due to disability; and
may include children who are eligible under rules adopted by DCYF if the number of such children equals not more than 10 percent of the total enrollment.
DCYF rules provide that children must be at least three years old, but not yet five years old, by August 31st of the school year to enroll in ECEAP.
Early Support for Infants and Toddlers. Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers, birth to age three, who have disabilities or developmental delays. Early intervention services include family resources coordination, developmental services, occupational or physical therapy, and speech/language therapy. Washington's program is called Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT).
Early Head Start Programs. These federally funded programs serve low-income pregnant women and infants and toddlers under the age of three. Early Head Start programs are designed to promote the development of the children and enable their parents to fulfill their roles as parents and to move toward self-sufficiency.
Summary: DCYF must adopt rules that allow a child to enroll in ECEAP, as space is available, when the child does not meet the definition of "eligible child" and the child turns three at any time during the school year and:
has a family income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level or meets at least one risk factor criterion adopted by DCYF in rule; and
has received services from or participated in ESIT, Early Head Start, or the birth-to-three ECEAP program, if such program is established.
Votes on Final Passage: