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What happened in Washington’s 2019 State Legislative Session?

Child Care Rates

The legislature funded $24.562 million (child care centers); $53 million (family child care collective bargaining) in order to increase child care subsidy reimbursement rates.

What it funds: For providers at Level 3 and above of Early Achievers, this funding brings Working Connections Child Care center rates to 55th percentile of the market based on the 2018 market survey. It also funds a tiered reimbursement rate increase for providers at Level 3 and above.

Early Achievers

The legislature funded $6.1 million; $1.8 million (E2SHB 1391); $1.97 million (2SHB 1344) to implement some of the recommendations made by an Early Achievers improvement committee.

What it funds: Coaching and needs-based grants for professional development; re-launch coaching communities ($6.1 million). E2SHB 1391, implementing a number of improvements to the early achievers program ($1.8 million). 2SHB 1344, the Washington Childcare Access Now (“CAN”) evaluating the child care industry and making recommendations for improving access and affordability (1.97 million) and funding for substitute teachers ($18,000).


The legislature funded $18 million for early learning facilities; plus earmarks for specific projects.

What it funds: Child care capital facilities (design, construction, and redevelopment. Earmarks in CCAC service area: $10.3 million Capitol Campus Child Care for state employees; $324,000 North Thurston School District; $360,000 Lake Quinault School District; $90,000 Bainbridge Island Early Learning Center.

Home Visiting

The legislature funded $7.6 million of state and federal funds for evidence-based and promising practices home visiting programs.

What it funds: 420 home visiting “slots” in FY 2020 and 840 slots in FY 2021.

ECEAP (Early Childhood Education Assistance Program – state preschool)

The legislature funded $15.2 million (rates); $19.6 million (slots) for the ECEAP program.

What it Funds: 6% rate increase starting July 1, 2019. 509 new slots in FY 2020 and 662 slots in FY 2021. Of these, 88% full-day, 12% extended day.

Other budget and policy actions:

  • Child care subsidies for student parents: Working Connections Child Care subsidy work requirements are removed for single parents pursuing a professional or technical certificate in a full-time college program.
  • Facilitated Play Groups: $500,000 (e.g., Kaleidoscope Play & Learn type groups)
  • ECEAP for children with development delays or disabilities