Status Summary

First reading, referred to Children, Youth & Families on 1.15.21.

Public hearing in the House Committee on Children, Youth & Families on 1.21.21. 

Executive action taken in the House Committee on Children, Youth & Families on 2.3.21; 1st substitute bill passed.

Referred to Appropriations on 2.8.21.

Public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations on 2.16.21.

Executive action taken in the House Committee on Appropriations on 2.17.21; 2nd substitute bill passed.  

Referred to Rules 2 Review on 2.22.21.

Rules Committee relieved of further consideration.   Placed on second reading on 2.23.21.

2nd substitute bill substituted. Amendment ruled beyond the scope and object of the bill.

Amendment ruled beyond the scope and object of the bill.

Floor amendment(s) adopted.

Rules suspended. Placed and passed on Third Reading on 3.9.21.

In the Senate

First reading, referred to Early Learning & K-12 Education on 3.12.21.

Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education on 3.22.21 at 1:30 p.m.

Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education on 3.24.21; majority pass with amendment(s) and refer to Ways & Means.

Referred to Ways & Means on 3.25.21.

Apr 25

By resolution, returned to House Rules Committee for third reading.

(updated 4.29.21)

Legislative Session

2021

Status

In Progress

Sponsor

Senn

HB1213 creates the Fair Start for Kids Act to provide an affordable and accessible system of high quality child care and early childhood development programs for the overall well-being of children and families and to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. HB1213 first stabilizes the child care industry and then expands access to a comprehensive continuum of high quality early childhood development programs, including infant and school-age child care, preschool, parent and family supports, and perinatal to three services. The legislature recognizes this continuum as critical to meeting different families' needs and offering every child in Washington access to a fair start.

The Fair Start for Kids is created in the state treasury. No revenue source is identified. Moneys in the account may be spent only after appropriation, for purposes that include, but are not limited to:
(a) Increase child care subsidy rates;
(b) Expand access to affordable health care for staff;
(c) Support and expand access and enhanced rates for WCCC, ECEAP, and early ECEAP.

Amends existing statute about the Early Learning Advisory Council to included new roles related to implementing the Fair Start Act including assist in policy development, promote racial equity and inclusion, and fiscal accountability. 

The bill reconstitutes ELAC and names the composition of the 43 members.
 
Beginning July 1, 2023, and subject to the availability of funds, inflationary rate adjustments will be made every two years to adjust for ECEAP, Early ECEAP, Dual Language and Infant Care Incentives. 

This bill changes family eligibility by July 1, 2025 for the Working Connections Child Care Program when the household's annual income is at or below 85 percent of the state median income adjusted for family size, the household meets all other eligibility requirements, and the child receiving care is:

(a) Aged 13 years or younger; or

(b) Aged 19 years or younger and has a verified special need or is under court supervision

The department shall adopt a copayment model based on annual income and will calculate copayments based on annual income and state median income range.

Beginning July 1, 2023, the law waives the work requirements for the Working Connections program as a condition of receiving child care benefits if the applicant is enrolled as a full-time student.

Amends ECEAP and expanded ECEAP statute:

  • Removes the 100% of FPL eligibility language, replacing with a family with “financial need.” 
  • Makes homeless children automatically eligible (McKinney Vinto definition) 
  • Children who were in Early Head Start, ESIT or Early ECEAP, or ECLIPSE are categorically eligible as are Indian children beginning in the 2030-31 school year after consultation and agreement with the state’s federally recognized tribes and at or below 100% of SMI adjusted for family size.
  • Adds connecting with culturally competent, disability positive therapists and supports where possible to the family support services opportunities. 
  • Changes allowable above income to up to 100% of SMI (was 130% of FPL) along with one risk factor (existing statute). 
  • Homelessness removed as a risk factor because would be automatically eligible
  • Note: still limited to 25% of statewide slots
  • Establishes that by July 2022, the department will provide supports to aid eligible providers in providing trauma-informed care and then defines those supports.
  • Creates a dual language designation and provide a subsidy rate enhancement for licensed or certified child care providers who are accepting state subsidy; early childhood education and assistance program contractors; or birth to three early childhood education and assistance program contractors.

Other components of the bill include:

  • Establishes that DCYF will develop a rate model for nonstandard child care hours
  • Creates equity grants for Play and Learn groups, ECEAP, Early ECEAP Centers and Homes 
  • Provides or contracted employer supported child care
  • Directs DCYF to administer or contract for infant and early childhood mental health consultation services to child care providers participating in early achievers
  • Amends Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
  • Creates a new perinatal to three family engagement strategy
  • Provide an infant rate enhancement for licensed or certified child care providers and Early ECEAP providers 
  • Expands Early Therapeutic and Preventive Services

Finally, the bill distinguishes which aspects are subject to availability of funding.

Substitute Bill:

  • Establishes a new account for child care and early learning purposes and includes a non-exhaustive list of allowable uses. 
  • Increases eligibility and decreases copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and expands eligibility in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. 
  • Provides for increased rates, training, grants, and services for child care and early learning providers.
  • Increases support for families of children from birth to age 3, as well as for their providers.

2nd Substitute:

  • Establishes a new account for child care and early learning purposes and includes a nonexhaustive list of allowable uses. 
  • Increases eligibility and decreases copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and expands eligibility in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
  • Provides for increased rates, training, grants, and services for child care and early learning providers.
  • Increases supports for families of children from birth to age 3, as well as for their providers.