Gov. Jay Inslee recently released his proposed supplemental budget, which includes additional support for early learning. His proposal now goes to the Legislature for consideration during the 2014 legislative session. A supplemental budget is a “course correction” budget in the middle of a biennium (right now we’re in the 2013-15 state operating budget) to adjust for unexpected costs such as increased caseloads.
Highlights for early learning include:
- A proposed additional 500 Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) slots for school year 2014-15 (in addition to 1,700 slots already added in the 2013-15 biennium)
- Increasing child care subsidy base rates for family homes.
- Adding a staff member at DEL to work with other state agencies to develop and execute strategies to prevent childhood obesity (the Healthiest Next Generation initiative)
- Funding the Medicaid Treatment Child Care program with state dollars while we continue to work with Health Care Authority on making the program—or elements of the program—eligible for Medicaid reimbursement again.