Legislative Upd ate 12/18/13

 

Good News! This week Governor Jay Inslee included in his supplemental budget proposal new funding to support child care and to expand ECEAP by 500 more children. It is especially noteworthy considering that lawmakers in Olympia already provided ECEAP with a significant increase within the recently completed two year budget. The Governor’s budget proposal is the first step in Washington’s state budget process.  In January when the legislature comes back to Olympia they will hold hearings, write their own budget, and make the ultimate decision on what will be funded for next year.  You can scroll down for some details on early learning elements of the Governor’s budget, thanks to our partners at the Children’s Alliance.

This good state news follows the announcement of the compromise federal budget agreement between Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in DC which partially restores the across-the-board cuts known as sequester for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. While there are not enough dollars to restore all the cuts to all programs that have been impacted, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Labor HHS appropriations subcommittee in the Senate, has stated publicly that funding Head Start is one of his biggest priorities. All federal funding bills must be completed by the middle of January.

Changes to Early Learning Programs in 2014 Governor Proposed Supplemental Budget

 

Program

Budget

Governor Proposed Change to 2013-2015 Base Level of Funding

Notes

ECEAP

DEL

$4 million

Preschool slots in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program are increased by 500 from 10,091 to 10,591 in Fiscal Year 2015.

Family home child care rate increase

DSHS – Economic Services

$7.754 million

The collective bargaining agreement with family home child care providers will increase base payment rates by four percent starting July 1, 2014 and another four percent starting January 1, 2015. Funding provided to the

Economic Services Administration covers payment increases for the Working Connections Child Care program.

Family home child care rate increase and quality pilot

DEL

$2.237 million

The collective bargaining agreement with family home child care providers increases base payment rates by four percent starting July 1, 2014, and another four percent starting January 1, 2015. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2015, a pilot program shall determine the appropriate payment increases at each Early Achievers level. Funding covers the pilot program and payment increases for the seasonal and homeless child care programs.

Child care center quality pilot

DEL

$1 million

Funding is provided in Fiscal Year 2015 to support a pilot program to determine the appropriate payment increases at specific Early Achievers child care centers. This pilot shall run concurrently with the similar pilot for the family home child care providers.

Electronic Time System

DEL

$944k

Adjustments are made to the funding provided to develop a new child care time, attendance and billing system. Expenditures that cannot be financed through a certificate of participation are now directly funded with state operating funds.

Local Grant for Early Achievers

?

$50K

Private/local expenditure authority is provided to spend local grant funds to integrate the Early Childhood Education Assistance Program and the federal Head Start program into the Early Achievers Quality Rating and

Improvement System. (General Fund-Private/Local)