Governor signs Dent legislation providing regulatory relief for early learning providers

On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation that will provide regulatory relief for early learning providers.

Rep. Tom Dent sponsored House Bill 2556 after talking with early learning and child care providers across Washington state during the interim.

“Early learning and child care providers shared with me that new state rules and regulations being imposed were increasing costs and driving many of them out of business, in an industry that was already expensive and had limited options for parents across Washington state,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “I am excited we were able to get this across the finish line and get the governor's signature on this important piece of legislation. This is an issue impacting all of Washington state.”

The new law:

  • Creates a community-based training pathway for licensed child care providers to meet professional education requirements associated with child care licensure;
  • Requires the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to allow licensed child care providers until at least Aug. 1, 2026 to have certain certificates or complete community-based trainings; and
  • Tasks DCYF and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to develop a plan to allow community-based training to qualify for college credit.

“This legislation should address the workforce shortage providers are facing and help keep those workers who want to stay in the industry and have a passion for working with and teaching children,” said Dent. “There is still work to do to make sure we have enough affordable and accessible child care across Washington state but this is a significant step in the right direction.”

The bill passed the Legislature unanimously.


Washington State House Republican Communications