Dear Governor Inslee,
As a Washington resident and a member of MomsRising, I am very thankful for your ongoing leadership that can expand access to affordable, high quality early education and care for children and families like mine. Early learning is a critical investment in our families, our communities, and our economy. Parents and caregivers can’t work if childcare isn’t working for them!
We applaud your leadership on early learning and urge you to continue this commitment to fulfill the promise of the Fair Start for Kids Act. Specifically, we are asking that you prioritize investments in your budget that support the full implementation of the Fair Start for Kids Act and modernize our childcare system by:
- Invest in Childcare Educators: Ensure stability and predictability for childcare educators by enrollment-based payment, eliminating licensing and background check fees, expanding bonuses and enhancements for non-traditional hours care and complex needs, increasing the infant care enhancement rate, and more.
- Increase Working Connection Child Care Rates: Increase subsidy rates to reach the 85 percentile and increase family eligibility to 75% of SMI by 2025.
- Modernize Working Connections Child Care: Simplify and standardize WCC to improve family’s experiences and increase access by authorizing full-time care for all children, expanding the definition of approved activity to be more inclusive, removing the 12-month restriction on the homeless grace period, and more.
- Support Culturally Relevant Care through Language Access: Expand the agency infrastructure and staffing to better support language access needs of Washington’s linguistically diverse child care educators.
I hope that you will continue to do everything in your power to grow early learning opportunities for families in Washington by going big for our young learners and their families in your proposed budget for the 2023-25 biennium.
Thank you for all that you do for Washington families.