Thursday, December 15, 2016

Statement from DEL, Proposed Expansion of Early Learning

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, Gov. Inslee unveiled his proposed 2017–19 operating, transportation and capital budgets. The budget roll-out follows the governor’s announcement Tuesday of his plan to fully fund basic education — and more to support kids, families, and teachers.
“This year’s proposed budget supports a vision for Washington’s future,” said Ross Hunter, DEL Director. “The investment our Governor has made will ensure children have the supports they need to succeed in the classroom, while parents and caregivers have the resources necessary to support their families outside of school.”
The governor’s operating budget:
  • Fully funds basic education
  • Invests in high-quality teachers and closing the opportunity gap
  • Begins transformative restructuring of services for children and families
  • Provides a modest pay increase to support a stronger state workforce
In regard to investment in early childhood education, the governor’s proposed budget:
  • Enhances rates for child care and preschool programs and providers 
  • Increases slots for children to enroll in Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP - State-funded preschool)
  • Includes funding for ECEAP additional facilities
  • Provides more slots for home visiting services
  • Expands summer learning opportunities in our state-funded preschool program
“We are excited to expand the capacity of our completely integrated state-funded preschool program, ECEAP and to increase capacity for our state’s smallest learners after the minimum wage increases for providers,” said Hunter. “Washington’s most at-risk children and families need access to preventative services and high quality early learning in order for this investment to yield a better future for our state.”
The Department of Early Learning was allotted approximately $75.5 million over the next two years (2017-2019). More details about the proposed budget and what that means for early learning in Washington State will be released. For more information about DEL’s budget requests, go to

For more details about Gov. Inslee's proposed 2017-19 budget, please go here: Gov's Budget.