Thursday, April 12, 2012

Legislature finishes, passes budget that supports early learning

The 2012 Legislature adjourned on April 11 after "double overtime" special sessions to tackle a revenue shortfall. On the last day, the Legislature passed a supplemental operating budget for the 2011-13 state biennium. For early learning, the budget included:
  • $1.1 million to implement an electronic attendance system for child care subsidies and to have an independent consultant evaluate and make recommendations on the optimum system for child care subsidy eligibility.
  • $1 million in additional state funding to implement the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS), our state's kindergarten readiness assessment process.
  • Moving the Working Connections Child Care eligibility level up to 200 percent federal poverty level, and removing a requirement that the Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Early Learning establish or enforce child support obligations.
  • Reducing DEL agency administration by $446,000.
  • Creating a birth-to-3 subcommittee of the Early Learning Advisory Council to make recommendations on how to move forward with our state's Birth to 3 Plan.
Read more about how early learning was impacted during the 2012 legislative session in DEL's 2012 legislative session highlights.

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