Dent legislation to provide further regulatory relief to early learning and child care providers scheduled for hearing

Building off of work done in the 2020 session, Rep. Tom Dent has introduced legislation to provide further regulatory relief to child care providers.

House Bill 1278 would suspend all professional development and higher education licensing requirements for child care providers until Sept. 30, 2025 that aren't directly related to health and safety standards.

The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Children, Youth and Families Committee on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m.

In the 2020 session, Dent passed legislation that created a community-based training pathway for licensed child care providers to meet professional education requirements associated with child care licensure.

“This legislation takes further steps in assisting our early learning and child care providers in Washington state,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “I have been working closely with providers. They have been instrumental in drafting this legislation.”

The bill would delay the training pathway for licensed child care providers to meet professional education requirements associated with child care licensure that was passed last year. The legislation also requires more cooperation with child care providers when creating curriculum for providers.

“Our providers have been struggling for some time with increased costs and compliance with new state regulations. The COVID pandemic has made things even tougher,” said Dent. “Having them involved and working on this legislation is critical to providing needed reforms that will make a difference now. They are the ones being impacted by rules and regulations.”

Under the legislation:

  • Child care providers not participating in government programs would not be required to adopt “core competencies” to get their license; and
  • Licensing fees would be waived through Sept. 30, 2025, and the Department of Children, Youth and Families would need to evaluate the fees and their impact on providers.

“We cannot afford to lose any more providers or their staff. These folks love working with children and our state already has a shortage of providers,” said Dent. “I have been hearing from parents since I started serving on this committee in 2015 that we need affordable and accessible child care in Washington.”

Those who are interested in testifying remotely for the public hearing can visit: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/House

The legislative session began on Jan. 11 and is scheduled for 105-days.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov