How can schools support childcare and early education?
High-quality childcare and early learning experiences are essential for children and their families. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, finding care has been very difficult for many and the Legislature intends to address this issue through the Fair Start Act (HB 1213
which are companion bills).
The Fair Start Act, sponsored by both Rep. Tana Senn and Sen. Claire Wilson, establishes a new fund that would expand access to affordable childcare by increasing eligibility and decreasing copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. In addition, it would provide for increased compensation and benefits for childcare and early learning providers. The passage of this bill would be a tremendous step forward in supporting this industry on behalf of our children, families, and economy.
In the meantime, how can K-12 schools support our partners in childcare?
In a recent Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee work session, several suggestions were made including:
- Sharing information about school schedule changes with local childcare providers
- Communicating about student needs related to academics, behavior, or IEPs with childcare providers
- Sharing space, transportation, and other resources with childcare providers
We know that a lot of hard work and creative ideas have been implemented across Washington to support our childcare centers and their employees. If you need resources related to childcare, contact us at AWSP.