43.330.525  <<  43.330.527 >>   43.330.529

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

(1) The child care collaborative task force shall:
(a)(i) Develop a child care cost estimate model to determine the full costs providers would incur when providing high quality child care, including recommended teacher-child ratios based on research and best practices. The model must include:
(A) Regional differences;
(B) Employee salaries and benefits;
(C) Enrollment levels;
(D) Facility costs; and
(E) Costs associated with compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements, including quality rating system participation and identify specific costs associated with each level of the rating system and any quality indicators utilized.
(ii) The model must utilize existing data and research available from existing studies and reports.
(iii) The model must consider differentiating subsidy rates by child age and region, evaluate the effectiveness of current child care subsidy region boundaries, and examine alternatives such as zip code level regions or regionalization based on urban, suburban, and rural designations;
(b) Consider how the measure of state median income could be used in place of federal poverty level when determining eligibility for child care subsidy;
(c) Evaluate recommendations from the department of children, youth, and families' technical work group on compensation, including consideration of pay scale changes, to achieve pay parity with K-12 teachers by January 1, 2025. When considering implementation of the technical work group recommendations, the task force shall further develop policy recommendations for the department of children, youth, and families that:
(i) Endeavor to preserve and increase racial and ethnic equity and diversity in the child care workforce and recognize the value of cultural competency and multilingualism;
(ii) Include a salary floor that supports recruitment and retention of a qualified workforce in every early learning setting, determined by an analysis of fields that compete to recruit workers with comparable skills, competencies, and experience of early childhood educators;
(iii) Index salaries for providers against the salary for a typical preschool lead teacher, differentiating base compensation for varying levels of responsibility within the early childhood workplace including consideration of center directors, assistant directors, lead teachers, assistant teachers, paraprofessionals, family child care owners, and family home assistants;
(iv) Incentivize advancements in relevant higher education credentials and credential equivalencies, training, and years of experience, by increasing compensation for each of these, including early learning certificates, associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees;
(v) Consider credential equivalencies, including certified demonstration of competencies developed through apprenticeships, peer learning models, community-based training, and other strategies;
(vi) Consider a provider's years of experience in the field and years of experience at his or her current site;
(vii) Differentiate subsidy rates by region; and
(viii) Provide additional targeted investments for providers serving a high proportion of working connections child care families, providers demonstrating additional linguistic or cultural competency, and providers serving populations furthest from opportunity, including:
(A) Families enrolled in the early childhood education and assistance program;
(B) Underserved geographic communities;
(C) Underserved ethnic or linguistic communities;
(D) Underserved age groups such as infants and toddlers; and
(E) Populations with specialized health or educational needs;
(d) Develop a phased implementation plan for policy changes to the working connections child care program. The implementation plan must focus on children and families furthest from opportunity as defined by income and must include recommended targeted supports for providers serving children who are underserved and emphasize greater racial equity. Implementation plan components must include:
(i) Increasing program income eligibility to three hundred percent of the federal poverty level or eighty-five percent of the state median income;
(ii) Establishing a graduated system of copayments that eliminates the cliff effect for families and limits the amount a family pays for child care to a maximum of seven percent of the family's income by January 1, 2025;
(iii) Developing a model to enable the state to provide contracted slots to programs serving working connections child care families in order to expand access for low-income families;
(iv) Eliminating work requirements for student families participating in the working connections child care program; and
(v) Eliminating the fiscal cap on working connections child care enrollment; and
(e) Develop a strategy, timeline, and implementation plan to reach the goal of accessible and affordable child care for all families by the year 2025.
(2) By December 1, 2020, the task force must submit its findings and required implementation plan pursuant to subsection (1)(a) through (d) of this section to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature. By June 1, 2021, the task force must submit the strategy, timeline, and implementation plan required by subsection (1)(e) of this section to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature.
(3) This section expires July 1, 2021.


FindingsIntentShort title2019 c 368: See notes following RCW 43.330.525.
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