SB5341 intends to improve access and completion rates of student parents enrolled in community and technical colleges by reducing existing restrictions to subsidized child care.
The department shall establish and implement policies in the Working Connections Child Care Program to promote stability and quality of care for children from low-income households. These policies shall focus on supporting school readiness for younglearners. Policies for the expenditure of funds constituting the working connections child care program must be consistent with the outcome measures intended to promote stability, quality, and continuity of early care and education programming.
Beginning January 1, 2020:
- The department may not require an applicant or consumer who is a full-time student of a community, technical, or tribal college to meet work requirements as a condition of receiving working connections child care benefits. An applicant or consumer is a full- time student if he or she meets the college’s definition of a full- time student; and
- The department shall offer Working Connections Child Care benefits to otherwise qualified students of community, technical, and tribal colleges who are pursuing all associate degree programs.
- Nothing in this subsection is intended to change how applicants or consumers are prioritized when applicants or consumers are placed on a wait list for working connections child care benefits.
The bill also states that no community or technical college is required to expand its child care facilities; all must be provided using existing resources and facilities.