Inslee signs Fair Start for Kids Act to expand access to child care

Story Body

Gov. Jay Inslee today signed SB 5237, the Fair Start for Kids Act. The legislation will make child care more accessible and affordable for families across Washington state.

The governor signed the bill at a Child Care Provider Awareness Day celebration with legislators and early learning advocates. Last week, the governor signed a proclamation acknowledging May 7 as the official day of recognition for child care providers.

“I’m proud to recognize the incredible work that our child care providers have done over the last year and before the pandemic,” Inslee said Friday. “But we need to do more than just recognize their efforts, which is why I’m signing the Fair Start for Kids Act. This legislation will help build a better child care system for workers, families and the whole state of Washington.”

The Fair Start for Kids Act takes a multi-pronged approach at solving the child care crisis in Washington state. The legislation will:

  • Reduce copays and expand eligibility for the Working Connections Child Care and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance programs.
  • Make capital investments to expand existing child care facilities and build new facilities.
  • Strengthen child care programs by expanding access to support services, mental health consultations, dual language supports and more.
  • Grow recruitment and retention for child care businesses by increasing subsidy rates, expanding access to health insurance for providers and providing resources for professional development.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

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