Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DEL accepting public comment on several rules

It’s a new year, which means it is time for new rules related to many areas that affect DEL, parents, child care providers and even unlicensed providers. The rules that govern how state agencies do business are called WACs (pronounced “wax”), which stands for Washington Administrative Code.

Part of the rule-making process is accepting public comments on the proposed changes. Right now, DEL is accepting public comment on several rules. People can provide comment online, in person (in some cases), by email or by postal mail. Each topic has a link to the webpage that contains more information, including how to provide input.

This list is organized by the date in which the public comment period closes.

January 31

  • Child Care Center Rules on Lice and Nits: DEL agreed to review the rule following a public petition asking DEL to remove the section of the rule that requires licensed child care centers to exclude children or staff who have lice or nits. This rule only applies to child care centers and school-age programs.
February 13
  • Public disclosure of DEL records, how the public may request records, indexes to certain public information and DEL organization rules required by law. 
  • Child care centers and school-age centers on new nonexpiring licenses: A nonexpiring license is available to current providers with a full license, and to new providers who have successfully completed the initial license period. The proposed rules describe the annual requirements for a provider to maintain a nonexpiring license.
  • Raising annual license fees for child care centers and school-age centers: DEL raised fees for family home child care providers in new WAC chapter 170-296A. The Legislature directed DEL to increase license fees for all licensed providers to deal with projected 2011-2013 state budget deficits. License fees are deposited to the state general fund and are not kept by DEL. The new fee amounts have been in effect by emergency rules filed in June and October 2011.
  • Suspected unlicensed child care and higher civil penalties (fines) that may be levied for violating child care licensing rules: The rule changes are as a result of 2011 Senate Bill 5504, and have been in effect by emergency rules filed in July and December 2011.
  • Working Connections and Seasonal Child Care programs in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 170-290, and related changes to licensing rules for child care centers, school-age programs and family home child care. The rules are being revised to meet state and federal audit recommendations, reduce potential fraud, waste or abuse, comply with portions of 2011 Senate Bill 5921, and clarify other requirements.
March 31

  • Child care center rules: This will be the first substantial update of child care center rules since 2003. DEL is interested in suggestions that are child-centered and evidence- or research-based.
You can find the complete list of rules DEL will tackle the first half of this year on our semi-annual rule-making agenda, which we update every January and July.

Anyone who is interested in receiving information about current rules, draft rules and notices of rule changes, can sign up:

Rules Coordinator
Washington State Department of Early Learning
P.O. Box 40970
Olympia, WA 98504-0970

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My question has nothing to do with these topics. We used to be able to go to the dentist and leave a qualifed assistance for up to two hours,now we do not have any options for coverage for our childcares and have to close, which puts our business at risk of families choosing other daycares. I believe that this needs to be addressed so we have options when we have to go to a medical procedure. Thanks!