McCaslin bill to help day care providers scheduled for public hearing

Rep. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley, has introduced legislation this session to support cost-effective professional development of early learning providers.

His bill, House Bill 2284, allows day care providers various options to earn clock hours when satisfying education requirements for professional licensure. It is set for a public hearing in the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee on Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 a.m.

McCaslin said he's met with several local day care providers in an effort to help keep child care affordable. With the increase in minimum wage and other regulations, the costs of child care continue to increase.

“If child care centers had more flexibility in how they achieve their education hours, it would really make a difference,” said McCaslin. “We have child care providers who have literally dedicated their lives and thousands upon thousands of hours working with children from dawn till dusk. But now the state says they need more education classes here and there? It doesn't make sense. We all want safe, quality child care – and I believe we've had that. But we can't make it so expensive that either the day care provider goes out of business, they have to lay off staff, or they have to raise rates beyond what working parents can pay.”

McCaslin's bill says qualifying hours must be in an area directly related to providing early learning or child care. Activities that may qualify for clock hours must include community-based training, earned credit from a college or university, time related to providing care for children in a licensed setting, and certification by a national organization with a mission related to providing early learning or child care.

“We are at a crisis point in our state in terms of access to quality, affordable child care,” said McCaslin. “In many ways, the state has created this problem by destroying the business model that made it work. Now we're left to claw back what we can so parents that need child care can find it and pay for it. It's a small step in the right direction in providing relief for day care providers across the state.”

Despite the harsh weather, McCaslin expects several Spokane-area providers and business owners to travel to Olympia on Friday to testify in favor of his legislation.

The 60-day 2020 legislative session began Monday, Jan. 13.


Washington State House Republican Communications