Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Early Learning & Human Services Committee

HB 1491

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: Regarding membership of the early learning advisory council.

Sponsors: Representatives Goodman, Walsh, Roberts and Kagi; by request of Department of Early Learning.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Aligns membership of the Early Learning Advisory Council with federal requirements for State Advisory Councils by specifying categories for four of the Governor's seven appointed leaders in early childhood education.

Hearing Date: 2/4/11

Staff: Megan Palchak (786-7120).


What are some federal requirements for State Advisory Councils?

State Advisory Councils established under the federal Head Start Act of 2007 are required to work to strengthen state-level coordination and collaboration among the various sectors and settings of early childhood programs in the state. State Advisory Council collaboration grants were made available to states through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) generally to assist Head Start and early learning program planning.

These grant funds depend, in part, on the inclusion of specific representatives to the State Advisory Council. According to section 642B of the federal Head Start Act, members of the State Advisory Council receiving collaboration grants shall include to the maximum extent possible:

What is the Early Learning Advisory Council?

The Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC or Council) serves as Washington's State Advisory Council, and is housed within the Department of Early Learning (DEL). The Council was established by the Legislature in 2007 to advise the DEL on variety of statewide early learning issues.

The Council meets quarterly, and its work generally focuses on building a comprehensive system of quality early learning programs and services by:

Currently, how is the Early Learning Advisory Council designed?

The Council is designed to consist of no more than 23 members, who serve a two-year term. The Council is co-chaired by a representative of a state agency and one non-governmental member. Co-chairs are elected by the Council for a 2-year term.

Of the 23 members, the Governor appoints:

Other members include:

Summary of Bill:

The membership of the Early Learning Advisory Council is adjusted to meet federal requirements to receive dedicated ARRA funds by specifying categories for four of the Governor's seven appointed leaders in early childhood education as follows:

The table below illustrates categorical changes to the Council membership.

Current membership categories:

Changes under HB 1491:


Children with disabilities

Representative of the state agency responsible for programs under section 619 or part C of the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)


The K-12 system

(No change.)


Family day care providers

(No change.)


Child care centers

(No change.)


(Not specified.)

Head Start State Collaboration Office Director or designee.


(Not specified.)

Representative of a Head Start, early Head Start, Migrant/Seasonal Head Start, or tribal Head Start program.


(Not specified.)

Representative of a local education agency.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

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