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2019 WA H 1574
Author: Callan
Version: Recommended as Substituted from Committee
Version Date: 02/05/2019

SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1574

State of Washington -- 66th Legislature -- 2019 Regular Session

By House Human Services & Early Learning (originally sponsored by Representatives Callan, Eslick, Senn, Caldier, Frame, Dolan, Fey, Wylie, Lovick, Thai, Shewmake, Valdez, Bergquist, Stanford, Doglio, Reeves, Robinson, Cody, Goodman, Lekanoff, Kloba, Slatter, Davis, and Macri)

READ FIRST TIME 02/07/19.

AN ACT Relating to increasing eligibility for child care and early learning programs for homeless and other vulnerable children; amending RCW 43.216.505 and 43.216.135; creating a new section; and providing an expiration date.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

Sec. 1. RCW 43.216.505 and 2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 s 210 are each amended to read as follows:

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout RCW 43.216.500 through 43.216.559, 43.216.900, and 43.216.901.

(1) "Advisory committee" means the advisory committee under RCW 43.216.520.

(2) "Approved programs" means those state-supported education and special assistance programs which are recognized by the department as meeting the minimum program rules adopted by the department to qualify under RCW 43.216.500 through 43.216.550, 43.216.900, and 43.216.901 and are designated as eligible for funding by the department under RCW 43.216.530 and 43.216.540.

(3) "Comprehensive" means an assistance program that focuses on the needs of the child and includes education, health, and family support services.

(4) "Eligible child" means a child not eligible for kindergarten whose family income is at or below one hundred ten percent of the federal poverty level, as published annually by the federal department of health and human services, and includes a child whose family is eligible for public assistance, and who is not a participant in a federal or state program providing comprehensive services; a child eligible for special education due to disability under RCW 28A.155.020; a child who is homeless; an Indian child as defined in rule by the department after consultation and agreement with tribes as described in section 2 of this act; and may include children who are eligible under rules adopted by the department if the number of such children equals not more than ten percent of the total enrollment in the early childhood program. Priority for enrollment shall be given to children from families with the lowest income, children in foster care, or to eligible children from families with multiple needs.

(5) "Family support services" means providing opportunities for parents to:

(a) Actively participate in their child's early childhood program;

(b) Increase their knowledge of child development and parenting skills;

(c) Further their education and training;

(d) Increase their ability to use needed services in the community;

(e) Increase their self-reliance.

(6) For purposes of this section, "homeless" means without a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence as set forth in the federal McKinney-Vento homeless assistance act, P.L. 100-77, July 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 482, and runaway and homeless youth act, P.L. 93-415, Title III, September 7, 1974, 88 Stat. 1129.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. (1) The department of children, youth, and families must consult with tribal representatives to develop an agreed-upon definition of Indian child for the purposes of RCW 43.216.505 and, by July 1, 2020, must adopt the definition in rule.

(2) This section expires December 1, 2020.

Sec. 3. RCW 43.216.135 and 2018 c 52 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) The department shall establish and implement policies in the working connections child care program to promote stability and quality of care for children from low-income households. These policies shall focus on supporting school readiness for young learners. Policies for the expenditure of funds constituting the working connections child care program must be consistent with the outcome measures established by the department and the standards established in this section intended to promote stability, quality, and continuity of early care and education programming.

(2) As recommended by Public Law 113-186, authorizations for the working connections child care subsidy shall be effective for twelve months beginning July 1, 2016, unless an earlier date is provided in the omnibus appropriations act.

(3) Existing child care providers serving nonschool-age children and receiving state subsidy payments must complete the following requirements to be eligible for a state subsidy under this section:

(a) Enroll in the early achievers program by August 1, 2016;

(b) Complete level 2 activities in the early achievers program by August 1, 2017; and

(c) Rate at a level 3 or higher in the early achievers program by December 31, 2019. If a child care provider rates below a level 3 by December 31, 2019, the provider must complete remedial activities with the department, and rate at a level 3 or higher no later than June 30, 2020.

(4) Effective July 1, 2016, a new child care provider serving nonschool-age children and receiving state subsidy payments must complete the following activities to be eligible to receive a state subsidy under this section:

(a) Enroll in the early achievers program within thirty days of receiving the initial state subsidy payment;

(b) Complete level 2 activities in the early achievers program within twelve months of enrollment; and

(c) Rate at a level 3 or higher in the early achievers program within thirty months of enrollment. If a child care provider rates below a level 3 within thirty months from enrollment into the early achievers program, the provider must complete remedial activities with the department, and rate at a level 3 or higher within six months of beginning remedial activities.

(5) If a child care provider does not rate at a level 3 or higher following the remedial period, the provider is no longer eligible to receive state subsidy under this section.

(6) If a child care provider serving nonschool-age children and receiving state subsidy payments has successfully completed all level 2 activities and is waiting to be rated by the deadline provided in this section, the provider may continue to receive a state subsidy pending the successful completion of the level 3 rating activity.

(7) The department shall implement tiered reimbursement for early achievers program participants in the working connections child care program rating at level 3, 4, or 5.

(8) The department shall account for a child care copayment collected by the provider from the family for each contracted slot and establish the copayment fee by rule.

(9)(a) The department shall establish and implement policies in the working connections child care program to allow eligibility for families with children who:

(i) In the last six months have:

(A) Received child protective services as defined and used by chapters 26.44 and 74.13 RCW;

(B) Received child welfare services as defined and used by chapter 74.13 RCW; or

(C) Received services through a family assessment response as defined and used by chapter 26.44 RCW;

(ii) Have been referred for child care as part of the family's case management as defined by RCW 74.13.020; and

(iii) Are residing with a biological parent or guardian.

(b) Children who are eligible for working connections child care pursuant to this subsection do not have to keep receiving services identified in this subsection to maintain twelve-month authorization. The department of social and health services' involvement with the family referred for working connections child care ends when the family's child protective services, child welfare services, or family assessment response case is closed.

(10)(a) The department shall designate homeless children as a vulnerable population pursuant to 45 C.F.R. Sec. 98.20 as it existed on January 1, 2019, to allow eligibility and twelve-month authorizations for working connections child care subsidies for homeless children.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, "homeless" means without a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence as set forth in the federal McKinney-Vento homeless assistance act, P.L. 100-77, July 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 482, and runaway and homeless youth act, P.L. 93-415, Title III, September 7, 1974, 88 Stat. 1129.


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