Several changes that affect child care professionals, families and early learning advocates have taken effect as of today:
- Portable background checks. Beginning July 1, our state moves to portable background checks for those working in child care. View more information on portable background checks, including information on an upcoming webinar for providers, and a frequently asked questions document.
- Child care subsidy eligibility. Beginning July 1, eligible families can be authorized for Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidies for 12 months at a time. Also, WCCC eligibility limits change from 175 percent federal poverty level to 200 percent federal poverty level. These changes may help more families access WCCC. There is no wait list for WCCC at this time. Information about these changes to subsidies will be posted on DEL’s WCCC page on Monday, July 2. Please share this information in your community.
- Statewide expansion of Early Achievers begins. Early Achievers, our state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system:
- Connects families to child care and early learning programs with the help of an easy-to-understand rating system.
- Offers coaching, financial incentives and resources for child care providers.
- Find out more about how child care providers and families can benefit from Early Achievers.
- The work of Council for Children and Families becomes part of DEL. The 2011 Legislature passed House Bill 1965, sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest Park, that called for the Council to sunset on June 30, 2012, and its early learning functions and funding transferred to DEL.
The Council for Children & Families, which the Legislature created in 1982, will now be called Strengthening Families Washington. The functions of Strengthening Families Washington include:
- Community-based parent learning, leadership and volunteer opportunities
- Postpartum mood disorder public awareness campaign (Speak Up When You’re Down)
- Shaken Baby Syndrome public awareness campaign (Have a Plan)
- Leadership on behalf of state and national partners to support effective child maltreatment prevention efforts
Information about Strengthening Families Washington is available on DEL's website at http://www.del.wa.gov/development/strengthening/default.aspx
- For more information, read our press releases in DEL's Newsroom.