Get the word out to any and all providers. We want a big turnout for the Public Comment on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 5:00 PM. It would also be great if many providers attend the Negotiated Rulemaking meeting so please make every effort to be there. 

This is the final NRM session so we need to have a strong presence.
After nine months of negotiating, the Department of Early Learning is planning the last session for negotiating the Standards Alignment licensing rules. 

Negotiators will meet on March 3 and 4 for a final review of all negotiated revisions. The original draft rules with negotiated revisions can be read online.

Please attend Public Comment and in addition make a comment on DEL website at 

DEL is accepting comments through February 22. Comments will be delivered to the negotiators in time to be considered for the final review. 

We have a lot to celebrate as we wrap up negotiations. There are just a handful of sections for which negotiators still have to reach consensus. The high success rate is entirely due to the negotiators’ collaborative spirit and hard work. Each participant was deeply committed and generously gave time and energy – including many weekends – to the project. We are also celebrating transparent negotiations that stakeholders were able to follow by attending a session or watching on DEL’s YouTube channel. During negotiations, more than 1,000 comments were submitted by the public and informed the negotiators’ work.

Statewide, representative stakeholders have contributed during every step of the Standards Alignment project. DEL is committed to continuing to engage with stakeholders once the rules are adopted and implementation begins.

After negotiations are done, DEL expects to file with the Code Reviser proposed rules by May 2 and solicit comments on those rules before adopting final rules at the end of June. After the rules are adopted, there will be a year-long implementation phase before the rules take effect in the summer of 2019.

Negotiated Rulemaking is when a state agency collaborates with stakeholders who are impacted by a rule to develop and agree to the rule language. Teams representing family home child care providers, center child care providers, parents of enrolled children, Head Start/ECEAP providers and DEL licensing staff began negotiating the aligned standards in June 2017. Each month, a small group with representatives from each team would meet to review draft rules and negotiate revisions. Those revisions were taken to a monthly meeting where all negotiators would discuss, refine and measure consensus.

If you have questions about the negotiated rulemaking process please e-mail

Wendy Avery, President
Washington State Family Child Care Association