HB2814 establishes a Childcare Workforce Commission and designates the types of representatives that the Governor will appoint. The Commission will recommended best practice standards for the child care industry and update the standards at least once every two years. The legislation would not interfere with any rights a provider may receive under collective bargaining agreements.
The child care industry is an ecosystem of child care licensors, early achievers coaches, and child care providers working together to support children. Therefore, the legislature seeks to identify and promote best practice standards for the child care industry to sustain a high-quality, educated, diverse, and experienced workforce that can support the best outcomes for children.
Washington faces a crisis in licensed child care; 60% of families live in a child care desert, meaning families across the state struggle to find safe, quality care while parents are working. Research demonstrates that long-term relationships between children and caregivers are key to supporting healthy brain development, particularly self-regulation skills that are critical for success in school and life. Disruptions in caregiving, such as frequent turnover among staff, can delay a child's social-emotional and cognitive development. Frequent provider turnover happens in licensed child care due to low wages and limited employment benefits, such as health insurance coverage.
Research has also demonstrated that safe, stable environments are essential for young children to develop relationships and trust necessary to comfortably explore and learn from their surroundings. This is of particular significance for vulnerable children and families and children with special needs.