McCaslin bill to help daycare providers passes House committee

Finding affordable, quality child care has become increasingly difficult in Washington state, especially in the Spokane region, says 4th Legislative District state representative Bob McCaslin.

“The child care industry in our state has suffered from mandated wages, excessive regulations, and less opportunity as day care centers and facilities have closed down,” said McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley. “It's imperative that we address the rising costs of childcare before more providers have to close their doors for good.”

McCaslin's bill, House Bill 1378, directs the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to adopt activities, skills, and experience levels that may be considered equivalent to education requirements in child care licensing rules.

“We allow for experience and skills equivalencies in others areas,” said McCaslin. “Giving childcare providers some flexibility in the rules makes sense and will save them money. Anything we can do to help keep costs down for the providers, and, in turn, those needing childcare, is a good investment in our communities.”

When speaking with childcare facilities and providers around his legislative district over the past few years, McCaslin said one of the issues that came up most often was the new education standards required by DCYF.

“When you have someone who has been in the business of caring for children for 20 or 30 years, has raised six or seven of their own children, does having a piece of paper showing they've taken a few classes make them a more caring, more capable worker?” asked McCaslin. “There has to be a mechanism in place to substitute experience and skills for formal education. We have people who have dedicated their lives to caring for the children in our communities. And they continually get hit with new regulations and rules that drive up costs. My bill will help alleviate some of that burden.”

HB 1378 requires DCYF to take the following into account when developing education equivalencies for licensed childcare providers:

  • years of childcare or related experience; and
  • time spent engaged in professional development activities such as training opportunities, researching peer-reviewed best practices, and engaging in peer-to-peer mentoring.

McCaslin's bill unanimously passed the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee and is now in the House Appropriations Committee.

The 105-day 2019 legislative session is scheduled to end April 28.


Washington State House Republican Communications