43.330.520  <<  43.330.525 >>   43.330.527

Child care collaborative task force. (Expires July 1, 2021.)

(1) The department of commerce and the department of children, youth, and families shall jointly convene and facilitate a child care collaborative task force to:
(a) Examine the effects of child care affordability and accessibility on the workforce and on businesses; and
(b) Develop policy recommendations pursuant to RCW 43.330.527.
(2) The task force shall develop policies and recommendations to incentivize employer-supported child care and improve child care access and affordability for employees. To accomplish its duties, the task force shall evaluate current available data including, but not limited to:
(a) Child care market rate survey reports, including data related to the geographic distribution of licensed child care providers and the demand for, cost, and availability of such providers;
(b) Best practices for employer-supported child care;
(c) Research related to the economic and workforce impacts of employee access to high quality, affordable child care; and
(d) The industry assessment conducted pursuant to RCW 43.330.529.
(3) The governor shall appoint voting task force members as follows:
(a) One representative from a union representing child care providers;
(b) One representative from the statewide child care resource and referral network;
(c) One representative of an organization representing the interests of licensed child day care centers;
(d) One representative of a statewide nonprofit organization comprised of senior executives of major private sector employers;
(e) One representative of a nongovernmental private-public partnership supporting home visiting service delivery;
(f) One representative of a federally recognized tribe; and
(g) One representative from an association representing business interests.
(4) One representative from each of the following agencies shall serve as a nonvoting member of the task force and provide data and information to the task force upon request:
(a) The department of commerce;
(b) The department of children, youth, and families. The representative from the department of children, youth, and families must have expertise in child care subsidy policy; and
(c) The office of the governor.
(5) The president of the senate shall appoint one member to the task force from each of the two largest caucuses of the senate to serve as voting members of the task force.
(6) The speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint one member to the task force from each of the two largest caucuses in the house of representatives to serve as voting members of the task force.
(7) The governor shall appoint the following nonvoting members:
(a) Three representatives from the child care industry. At least one of the child care industry representatives must be a provider from a rural community. The three representatives must include: One licensed child day care center provider; one licensed family day care provider; and one representative of family, friend, and neighbor child care providers;
(b) One representative from each of the following: An advocacy organization representing parents, an early learning advocacy organization, a foster care youth advocacy organization, and an organization representing expanded learning opportunity interests;
(c) One representative from the child care workforce development technical work group established in chapter 1, Laws of 2017 3rd sp. sess.;
(d) An early learning policy expert; and
(e) One representative of an organization of early learning providers focused on preserving languages and culture by serving immigrant and refugee communities.
(8) The director of commerce or the secretary of the department of children, youth, and families or their designee, may invite additional representatives to participate as nonvoting members of the task force.
(9) The task force chair and vice chair must be elected by a majority vote of voting task force members.
(10) Staff support for the task force must be provided by the department of commerce.
(11) Legislative members of the task force shall be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 44.04.120. Nonlegislative members shall be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with chapter 43.03 RCW.
(12) Licensed family home child care providers and child care center providers serving as members of the task force must be reimbursed for the cost of hiring a substitute for times the provider is away from the child care businesses for official task force travel and meetings.
(13) In accordance with RCW 43.01.036 the task force shall report its initial findings and recommendations pursuant to this section to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature by November 1, 2019. The report must include findings related to:
(a) Options for the state to incentivize the provision of:
(i) Employer-supported child care by public and private employers; and
(ii) Back-up child care by public and private employers;
(b) Opportunities for streamlining permitting and licensing requirements to facilitate the development and construction of child care facilities;
(c) Potential tax incentives for private businesses providing employer-supported child care;
(d) A model policy for the establishment of a "bring your infant to work" program for public and private sector employees; and
(e) Policy recommendations that address racial, ethnic, and geographic disparity and disproportionality in service delivery and accessibility to services for families.
(14) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Back-up child care" means a temporary child care arrangement that is provided when normal child care arrangements are unavailable.
(b) "Employer-supported child care" includes:
(i) A licensed child care center operated at or near the workplace by an employer for the benefit of employees; or
(ii) Financial assistance provided by an employer for licensed child care expenses incurred by an employee.
(15) This section expires July 1, 2021.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2019 c 368: "(1) The legislature finds that child care is a sector that is critical to the vitality and economic security of our state and communities and families, and that families in Washington face significant barriers to accessing and affording high quality child care. The legislature finds that Washington's committed caregivers and state investments and advancements in our quality rating and improvement system ensure that quality, culturally relevant child care supports children's healthy development and prepares them for success in school and in life. The legislature recognizes that provider diversity and cultural relevance are fundamental components of quality, and that parent choice is a priority throughout the state's early learning system.
(2) The legislature finds that the cost of quality child care is unaffordable for many families and state support is needed to ensure that all children and families in Washington can access safe, enriching child care.
(3) The legislature recognizes that expanding access to quality child care requires preparing the market of child care providers to meet existing and expanded demand. The legislature finds that the market of child care providers is shrinking, that child care deserts are expanding, and that fewer providers are offering services to working connections child care subsidy recipients. The legislature additionally finds that child care providers are unable to recruit and retain a qualified workforce; that wages in the industry remain among the lowest of all professions, at or near minimum wage; and that the relationship between a child and a qualified caregiver is of paramount importance to parents and, according to a rapidly accumulating body of brain science, is foundational to supporting healthy development.
(4) Further, while the system awaits systemic change, the legislature finds that steps must be taken to begin to preserve and expand access to child care for child care subsidy recipients, stabilize the child care industry, and reduce turnover in the workforce.
(5) Therefore, the legislature intends to promote high quality child care from diverse providers that is accessible and affordable to all families of Washington's children ages birth to twelve." [ 2019 c 368 § 1.]
Short title2019 c 368: "This act may be known and cited as the Washington child care access now act." [ 2019 c 368 § 9.]
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