Monday, November 7, 2016

Feedback Needed: Early Support for Infants and Toddlers

Prior to the 2016 Legislative session, oversight for the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program was distributed across multiple agencies. This situation caused confusion and uncertainty for families and providers.

As a result, the Legislature passed a law (SB 5879) that required the following:

  • The Legislature established DEL as the agency of record and gave it full program oversight responsibility. DEL now has the authority to adopt rules related to Part C programs.
  • The Legislature voiced their frustrations with the accounting practices of the program and asked for a full accounting of ESIT expenditures at DEL and OSPI.
  • The Legislature asked DEL to propose a plan for program design and oversight that is due in December. 
Please find the most current version of the Department of Early Learning’s response to SB 5879 below. This document has been revised for clarity based on feedback provide at the October 19, 2016 State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) meeting and the October 21, 2016 webinar during which the same information was presented.
We have also included a link to the map of the proposed local lead agency (LLA) regions.

Additional elements of the plan that are yet to be incorporated into the document include:

  • proposed timelines,
  • updated cost study information and other fiscal components of the plan
  • logic model and
  • clarification of feedback from stakeholders (included in tables in the plan).

The next steps and timelines for our response to the legislation are listed below:

  • ESIT’s proposed rules were published in the State Register on Nov. 2 and are posted on DEL’s rulemaking web page. These rules are draft and indicate a direction but would benefit greatly from your input.
    • Creating an easily audited and transparent financial model for the ESIT program is essential to securing future investment and maximizing the amount of services we can deliver with the resources available. 
  • We will submit our draft plan to the Legislature in December. The Legislature will then respond to our plan. If they want changes, more information, etc., they will ask in the 2017 session which begins January 9, 2017.
  • There will be hearings on the proposed plan where testimony is welcome.
Legislative response on our plan and the budget decisions made in the 2017 session will have a profound impact on the direction of the program.

If you have any questions, please contact

The most current version of the Department of Early Learning’s response to SB 5879 is now available on the DEL website.

You can also find the recording of the stakeholder feedback webinar from 10/21/16 posted with the draft plan on the DEL website. This webinar was an opportunity for feedback, questions and answers.

We will be accepting feedback on the plan until November 10, 2016.  Please send any written feedback to Laurie Thomas at

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