PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 170-295 WAC, Minimum requirements for child care centers; other related chapters and sections of TITLE 170 WAC.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 43.215 RCW, and RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070 (2)(c), 43.215.200, 43.215.255, and 43.43.832(6).
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The department of early learning (DEL) plans to review the entire child care center licensing WAC chapter and make appropriate changes consistent with current law, child care research, department practice and with other DEL rules. The last major revision of child care center licensing requirements was in 2003 by the department of social and health services, prior to the establishment of DEL in 2006 as the state agency responsible for child care licensing. DEL's review of chapter 170-295 WAC is part of a comprehensive update of the various child care and early learning program rules that were transferred to DEL in 2006.
The department plans to file more than one proposed rule (CR-102 notice) under RCW 34.05.320 to revise this chapter. The first proposal will amend WAC 170-295-3030 regarding exclusion of children and staff members of a center who are ill. Other proposed rules will follow. The department may revise other rules in TITLE 170 WAC for consistency with changes to chapter 170-295 WAC. DEL may also move certain requirements from chapter 170-295 WAC to a new WAC chapter containing requirements that would apply to more than one category of child care or early learning facilities or programs regulated by DEL (see the CR-101 notice filed as WSR 09-01-185).
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: As appropriate, DEL will coordinate development of these rules with state department of health and department of social and health services, and with the Children's Bureau in the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Process for Developing New Rule: DEL welcomes public input on the current child care center rules and suggestions for possible changes. In-depth review of the current rules is expected to begin in 2011. At a later date, DEL will announce a process and timetable for stakeholder participation and input, including how draft materials will be made available for public review. When formal proposals are filed, DEL will hold public hearings and offer several ways for the public to submit written comments on those proposals.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. You may join an e-mail or postal mail list to receive notices, draft materials and other information about this rule by contacting DEL by e-mail Rules@del.wa.gov, postal mail DEL Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 40970, Olympia, WA 98504-0970, fax (360) 725-4939, phone Andy Fernando, rules coordinator, at (360) 725-4397.
August 18, 2010