Legislative Updates

These updates are brought to you by the United Ways of Washington and Thrive by Five Washington. We provide you with easy to understand, up-to-date information on key early learning discussions and actions taking place in Olympia by policymakers so that you can be empowered to take action and speak up for the early learning issues you care most about. We encourage you to forward these updates to your networks with citation. Click here to see previous legislative updates. During regular legislative session, updates are sent every week on Friday.

Leg Update #6 Week 6 of Session Friday, 2/22/2013

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SINGLE BEST INVESTMENT OF THE WEEK:

Contact your legislators and tell them high-quality child care matters for all children. The Working Connections Child Care program (WCCC) serves families who work in low-wage jobs. Yet the reimbursement rate providers receive from the state to care for children receiving WCCC subsidies is incredibly low compared to what a private pay family would pay in today’s market. Urge your elected officials to support increasing the WCCC subsidy rate so that providers caring for your youngest learners are treated as professionals and with dignity. Increasing the rate will help: (1) parents who work in low paying jobs can have better access to child care in their community; and (2) providers who serve children from low-income families can offer increased quality of care.

Why… Continue reading

Leg Update #5 Week 5 of Session Friday, 2/15/2013

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SINGLE BEST INVESTMENT OF THE WEEK:

Remind legislators our state has a 10-year Early Learning Plan (ELP) that serves as a road map to guide the continued development of our state’s early learning system. Each year, targeted priorities are identified to implement this plan. Receipt of federal funding has accelerated our ability to implement these key strategies. Remind legislators these federal funds are time-limited and ongoing state investment is needed to continue progress on the ELP implementation.

What is the Early Learning Plan (ELP)?

“The Washington Early Learning Plan is a collaborative and comprehensive strategic 10-year roadmap for building the early childhood system in Washington State necessary to improve outcomes in school and in life for children” (Executive Summary of the ELP, p.1). The ELP… Continue reading

Leg Update #4 Week 4 of Session Friday, 2/08/2013

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SINGLE BEST INVESTMENT OF THE WEEK:

Voice your support of HB 1369 which supports the Family Connection component of WaKIDS, the state’s kindergarten transition process.

What is HB 1369?

It makes improvements to the implementation of WaKIDS (the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills). Per HB 1369, schools participating in WaKIDS will have up to five days at the start of the school year for kindergarten teachers to meet with their students’ parents and families. These five days would not include instructional hours but still count towards the state’s requirement for a 180-day school year.

What is WaKIDS?

  • WaKIDS is a kindergarten transition process that helps families, early learning professionals, and kindergarten teachers share information about incoming kindergarteners. The process benefits families by… Continue reading

Leg Update #3 Week 3 of Session Friday, 2/01/2013

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SINGLE BEST INVESTMENT OF THE WEEK:

Speak up for increasing the market-rate reimbursement levels for Working Connections Child Care. Increasing the rate will maximize access to child care for low-income working families and reimburse child care providers for their true cost of care. 

What are child care subsidies?

A subsidy helps parents who work at low-wage jobs or are looking for work afford child care. Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) is a state program that helps low-income working families pay for child care. Currently, families with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty line (FPL) that work or meet WorkFirst participation requirements are eligible for WCCC. Their monthly child care cost (or co-pay) is determined on a sliding scale based on income. WCCC subsidizes… Continue reading

Leg Update #2 Week 2 of Session Friday, 1/25/2013

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SINGLE BEST INVESTMENT OF THE WEEK:

Let your elected officials know you support high-quality early learning so that kids can be successful in school and life.

Why does high-quality early learning matter?

  • The early years are a critical and unique time. Brain development is the most intense the first three years of life. The brain is open to learning from positive experiences and more vulnerable to adverse conditions. What happens early in life has a profound impact on limiting or expanding a child’s academic, social, and physical potential. Further, there is a unique opportunity during the early years in a child’s life to reduce disparities and reduce costs in remediation, special education and social services down the line. (WA State Birth-to-3 Subcommittee Recommendations)
  • Our… Continue reading

Leg Update #1 2013 Regular Session Friday, 1/18/2013

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SINGLE BEST INVESTMENT OF THE WEEK:

Ask your networks to sign-up for the United Ways of WA/Thrive by Five Washington early learning legislative update.

How do your colleagues and friends sign-up? Send an email request to Erica Hallock (erica.hallock@unitedway.org) and include their name, organization, and email address.

Why are the updates helpful? Updates include timely, relevant, easy-to-understand information about budget and policy actions in Olympia that will help keep you knowledgeable about the issues that matter to you personally and professionally. Subscribers tell us they use the updates as a tool to keep their staff and boards current on early learning happenings in Olympia. Updates also help you learn how and when to speak up for the early learning issues that matter to… Continue reading

Leg Update #1 2012-13 (Pre-session) Friday, 12/20/2012

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NOTES ABOUT THE UPDATE

  • Starting this year the United Ways of Washington (UWWA) early learning legislative updates will be co-produced with Thrive by Five Washington. Thrive is excited to support another year of UWWA Legislative Updates. Thrive believes this resource is essential to connecting communities and providing information to help build a strong early learning system to serve all of our children and families in Washington State.
  • Beginning January 18, 2013, UUWA-Thrive legislative updates will be released every Friday afternoon throughout the regular legislative session.  Please encourage your network to sign up for updates by emailing Erica Hallock at erica.hallock@unitedway.org (please include name, organization, and email address)


CHANGES IN SENATE

Proposed New Configuration for State Senate Creates Confusion 
When all of the… Continue reading