A common question for Department of Early Learning staff is, “What’s the difference between state licensing rules for preschools and child care facilities?” A lot!
There are many state rules for family home and child care centers. They cover everything from safety and nutrition to attendance records and staff background checks. Click here to see a list of DEL licensing rules or (WACs). Private preschools and kindergartens that operate less than four hours a day are exempt from these rules. DEL does not license or oversee private preschools.
This difference is the subject of a recent radio story from KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio. Click here to read or listen.
The story includes comments from DEL Director Bette Hyde. She explains while Governor Chris Gregoire’s proposal to increase preschool access and set certification requirements for preschools didn't pass the Legislature this year, there are still areas DEL is exploring to help support preschool programs throughout the state.
Ideas include working with our Washington State Early Learning and Development Benchmarks to help guide discussions about child development, in addition to improving partnerships between DEL, parents, preschools, child care providers and school districts. We all want kids to be healthy and ready to learn!