Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Early Learning & Children's Services Committee

SB 6593

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.

Brief Description: Transferring the administration of the infant and toddler early intervention program from the department of social and health services to the department of early learning.

Sponsors: Senators Gordon, Kauffman, Prentice, Oemig, Tom, Kline and Parlette.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Transfers responsibility for the administration of the Infant and Toddler Early Intervention Program (ITEIP) from the Department of Social and Health Services to the Department of Early Learning (DEL), effective July 1, 2010.

  • Renames the ITEIP the Birth-to-Three Program.

  • Establishes the DEL as the lead state agency for administering the Birth-to-Three Program under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Hearing Date: 2/19/10

Staff: Sydney Forrester (786-7120).


Federal funding for services to children with disabilities is provided, in part, under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Funding directed to states under the IDEA for serving children birth to 3 years of age is commonly called Part C funding. This Part C funding is administered by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) through the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The Infant and Toddler Early Intervention Program (ITEIP) within the DDD serves children with developmental disabilities from birth to age 3.

Federal law requires that school districts provide necessary special education services for eligible children ages 3 to 21. In 2006 the Legislature enacted Substitute House Bill 1107 (SHB 1107) requiring school districts, beginning in September 2009, to also provide or contract for early intervention services for eligible children from birth to age 3. Most school districts currently are contracting, rather than directly providing, these services. During deliberations on SHB 1107, stakeholders reported that nearly a third of children who received ITEIP services did not require placement in special education programs when they exited the program at age 3.

According to the current federally-approved state plan for receipt of federal funds, services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families are coordinated with funding from school districts, the DDD, the Medicaid program, the Department of Health, and private insurance companies. The DDD provides block grants to counties to pay for services to people of all ages with disabilities, including children ages birth to 3. Individual counties have discretion regarding what portion of their block grant will be used to support local ITEIP programs.

Summary of Bill:

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) is designated as the lead agency for receipt of federal Part C funding to serve eligible children ages birth to 3. All duties, powers, functions, reports, documents, surveys, books, records, files, tangible property, and personnel pertaining to and the administration of the ITEIP are transferred from the DSHS to the DEL, effective July 1, 2010. Classified employees who members of a collective bargaining unit with the DSHS shall become part of the comparable bargaining unit with the DEL.

The ITEIP is renamed the Birth-to-Three Program and the DEL replaces the DSHS for purposes of participating on the statewide council for the statewide coordination of services to children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and their parents.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.