Monday, June 6, 2016

Exciting Changes for WA Early Learning Providers

Beginning July 1, Washington’s early learning providers will receive higher pay and benefit from greater stability in the subsidized care system. As we build a statewide system of high-quality early learning, we know that providers are at the core of this work. We’re working hard to provide them with better supports and resources for their early learning small businesses.

Base Rate Increases:
For early learning providers who are being asked to provide high-quality, outcome-driven instruction, higher pay will give them the needed investment to continue their critical work.
  • All providers authorized to accept subsidy payments will see increases to their base rates
  • For licensed centers and Family, Friends, and Neighbors the rate will increase a flat 2%.
  • Base rates for Licensed Family Homes will increase by an average of 8%, based on geographic region and child age group. 
  • Providers with authorization rates less than the state maximum will not be affected by this change.
  • These increases will be effective for care provided in July of this year. 
  • See the subsidy base rates divided by region here: Subsidy Map.
12 Month Eligibility:
This will give providers a better sense of the number of children they’ll be serving over a longer, and more consistent period of time, and means a more predictable source of income.
  • Families who qualify for WCCC or SCC will automatically receive 12-months of eligibility.
  • Families will not be terminated during the 12-month eligibility period for loss of approved activities or for increases in income that don’t exceed federal limits.
  • Families will only be terminated during the 12 month certification period under limited circumstances including the following:
    • Family income exceeds federal limit of 85% State Median Income (around 300% FPL)
    • Parent requests termination of benefits
    • Consumer does not pay copay and provider expects payment
    • Total number of eligible children in the household reaches zero
  • Families will be required to report only changes in provider and changes in circumstances described above.
We are all working together to get every child ready for Kindergarten. The Department of Early Learning is excited to be able to offer to providers these increased supports so that we can continue building on our shared success.

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