Moms, parents, and families from across Washington State are smiling ear to ear as we celebrate the passage of SB 5225 in the State Senate. Thank you, Senators, for your passionate support! As the bill moves to the House, we are cheering you on, Representatives, and urging your support as you consider this critical legislation! It will be heard in the House Human Services, Youth, & Early Learning Committee on March 14.
SB 5225 makes strategic investments in Washington’s child care subsidy program that could help fully realize the potential of the Fair Start for Kids Act by closing equity gaps within Working Connections and providing a powerful recruitment and retention tool for early childhood educators.
SB 5225 would expand access to affordable child care in three ways:
- Provides free or $15/month child care for child care providers (with a household income up to 85% of the state median income) to ensure teachers can afford to stay in the classrooms families depend on for care
- Ensures all eligible children can access Working Connections Child Care regardless of immigration status
- Grants access to subsidized child care for parents who have recently participated in specialty or therapeutic courts
In 2021, thanks to the leadership of the Washington State Legislature, Washington passed and funded the Fair Start for Kids Act - a historic investment in the state’s child care infrastructure that massively expanded access to affordable care. But unfortunately, in our work with parents, MomsRising resoundingly hears the same story: a family receives a life-changing subsidy thanks to the Fair Start for Kids Act but they cannot find a provider in their area with openings. Staffing is often cited as the reason that providers are closing or unable to serve as many children as they are licensed for.
Washington’s working people depend on child care providers - they make it possible for employees to be at work in workplaces like hospitals, schools, and small businesses where employers are struggling to staff. SB 5225 will bring much-needed, immediate relief to all working parents and help fully realize the economic returns of the Fair Start for Kids Act.
We are so grateful for your work to support working families. Thank you for all that you do!