Legislation passed today by the Senate would give childcare providers additional time to make remedial improvements that improve their quality of care.

Senate Bill 6483, sponsored by Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), would update the state’s Early Achievers rating requirements to allow certain childcare providers 12 months instead of 6 to complete remedial activities necessary to satisfy requirements. The goal of Early Achievers is to make sure childcare providers are effectively and adequately addressing children’s learning and development needs.

“We rate the providers because we want to make sure kids’ needs are met,” said Wilson, vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. “The goal isn’t to penalize providers, it’s to improve the level of care. If a provider needs a little longer to meet requirements, that’s an investment worth making on behalf of our kids.”

The ratings apply to providers who receive subsidies through the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance program and Working Connections childcare program. Wilson’s bill would also allow providers to continue to receive the subsidies while completing their remedial improvements.

“Children are better served when we help providers correct substandard practices and improve care,” Wilson said. “Healthier, more capable children get off to a better start in life and invariably evolve into healthier, more capable adults — they live better lives, and our communities are stronger for it.”

Having passed on a 45-3 vote, SB 6483 now goes to the House for consideration.