Governor vetoes Dent legislation that would have delayed childcare requirements, signs directive

Gov. Jay Inslee recently vetoed 13th District Rep. Tom Dent’s legislation that would give childcare centers more time to comply with required professional development standards.

Dent’s House Bill 1866, which passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, would have given childcare centers until August 1, 2024, to comply with the new requirements.

In his veto message Inslee stated:

“I agree with and support this intended purpose. However, the legislation before me would prevent the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) from adopting and implementing any changes to professional development requirements until August 1, 2024.

He also said the bill could put the state at risk of receiving federal funds, if DCYF were in conflict with future federal standards.

Dent is concerned with the veto as childcare providers are struggling.

“I have heard from a lot of childcare providers. They are having a tough time making ends meet, yet the rules, regulations and professional development requirements continue to increase,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “Childcare is very expensive and lack of affordable childcare is a problem in all parts of the state. The increased regulations and requirements on providers are impacting parents seeking childcare. We cannot be driving childcare providers out of business.”

Following the veto, the governor issued a directive that gives childcare center directors and assistant directors five years to comply with new professional development rules.

Dent said the governor’s directive is helpful, but more needs to be done.

“The lawmakers and many of the stakeholders who had planned to be at the bill signing were there when the governor signed the directive,” said Dent. “That tells me there is a lot of interest in helping childcare providers be successful, not drive them out of business. I intend to work on this issue during the interim and come back with some solutions next session.”

The Legislature adjourned on Sunday, April 28.


Washington State House Republican Communications