Latest Senate Budget Restores ECEAP Expansion and 3-Year-Olds

Our hundreds of calls paid off!! After lots of testimony (linked below if you want to watch) and a mountain of calls and emails from ECEAP and Head Start parents, staff, directors, and friends, the Senate reversed its position on ECEAP. This is truly a victory for the power of grassroots advocacy.

 

This new Senate budget is the first step, and we’re now starting in a good place as it moves up to the full Senate and the House works out their version of the 2017-19 budget to be released next week. We’re very hopeful moving forward that we’ll add lots more kids to ECEAP. We’re shooting for 2700 new kids, a higher rate increase and a facilities fund, so we have a lot of work left to go this session. 

Testifying
Shauniece Quins and Matthew Solomon
preparing to testify

 

Here are the basics of what was agreed to March 22 by the Senate Ways and Means Committee:

 

  • 1200 new children in ECEAP (600 in 2017, 600 in 2018). These slots would be 60% part day, 40% school-day, 0% extended day. Slot rate increase is 6% for all models.(Original budget: zero slots)
  • 3 year olds will still be eligible – no change from current practice. (Original budget – phase out 3’s by 2021 and reinstate them in 2023)
  • Entitlement – this is the bad news for ECEAP – the budget delays the year we much reach ‘entitlement’ (serving all children who qualify and want ECEAP) until 2022-23.

There are other things in the Senate budget that are of serious concern and that we’ll still be working on, so stay tuned. This includes:

  • A bill passed that weakens the 12 month authorization for Working Connections and requires compliance with Child Support Enforcement, a strategy that didn’t work last time it was tried. (SB5898)
  • It freezes the cap on Working Connections, which will lead to a waitlist.
  • A cut of $17 million to Early Achievers
  • Working Connections Child Care base rate not increased for centers hit by higher minimum wage costs.
  • No increase for Home Visiting programs.

The next step is that the budget will be voted on by the Senate, and then next week we’ll see the House version of the budget and eventually they’ll work it out between them and send it to the Governor. We might be calling on you all again as this process moves forward, and now we know how powerful you are!

 

We can’t thank everyone enough for your advocacy – if you ever wonder whether your call or email to your legislator makes a difference, now you know!

 

 

ECEAP Testimony at Senate Ways & Means Committee 3/21/17

Budget:

  • Shauniece Quins, ECEAP Parent from the Multicultural Child & Family Hope Center in Tacoma – 00:27.16 Link to clip
  • Katy Warren, WSA Deputy Director – 00:25:33 Link to clip

 

SB5901: link to bill summary

  • Katy Warren, WSA Deputy Director: 04:07:42 link to clip
  • Matthew Solomon, Assistant Superintendent for Early Learning, ESD 113: 04:09.06 link to clip

 

 

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