A new law signed today by Gov. Inslee allows childcare providers the additional time some need to make remedial improvements that improve quality of care.

Senate Bill 6483, sponsored by Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), updates 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.

“The goal of the ratings requirements is to make sure our kids’ needs are met, not to shut down childcare providers,” said Wilson, vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. “If a provider is improving the level of care but needs a little more time to fully meet the Early Achiever 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 subsidy program. The new law also allows providers to continue to receive subsidies while completing remedial improvements.

“Making sure children can get off to a good start in life is one of the most crucial things we can do for them,” Wilson said. “Healthier, more successful children invariably evolve into healthier, more successful adults. They achieve a better quality of life, and they make our communities stronger.”

SB 6483 is one of several bills Wilson sponsored and shepherded to passage this year that improve childcare access, quality or safety.

Two other Senate bills — SB 5434 and SB 6540 — prohibit guns at childcare facilities and ensure that Working Connections Childcare recipients receive the full childcare payments for which they are eligible. A third bill — SB 6255, which passed in the form of House companion legislation — improves access to child care for parents who are attending high school or working toward completion of a high school equivalency certificate.