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.

As Passed House:

March 2, 2011

Title: An act relating to the membership of the early learning advisory council.

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 History:

Committee Activity:

Early Learning & Human Services: 2/4/11, 2/8/11 [DP].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 3/2/11, 90-7.

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.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 8 members: Representatives Kagi, Chair; Roberts, Vice Chair; Walsh, Ranking Minority Member; Hope, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Dickerson, Goodman, Johnson and Orwall.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 1 member: Representative Overstreet.

Staff: Megan Palchak (786-7120).


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:

Early Learning Advisory Council.

The Early Learning Advisory Council (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 a 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:

Design of the Early Learning Advisory Council.

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:

a. children with disabilities;

b. the K-12 system;

c. family day care providers;

d. child care centers;

e. three unspecified representatives; and

Other members include:

Summary of Bill:

The membership of the 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 House Bill 1491:


Children with disabilities

Representative of the state agency responsible for programs under section 619 or part C of the 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: Available.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) This bill will allow the DEL to access a good deal of the ARRA funds that have already been granted to the state by putting the required members on the Council. 

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Goodman, prime sponsor; and Amy Blondin, Department of Early Learning.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.