Washington State Family Child Care Association Public Policy Report
by Mary Curry, WSFCCA Public Policy Rep
July 2017

Dear Family Child Care Provider,

It's important that providers like us have a say in the proposed WACs. Our Negotiated Rule-Making (NRM) team has created a survey to help us understand how regulations about our environment will impact us. Please click HERE to take the survey.

NRM is the consensus-based process by which DEL is required to develop rules for early learning and care programs. Our family child care team members are: Mary Curry, Marie Keller, Guadalupe Magallan, Sandra Sanchez, Sabah Saed, Faisa Hassan, Aan Abukar, Chris Price, Kat Mcgunagle, Holly Lindsey, and Kathy Yasi. Child care centers, Head Start/ ECEAP, parents and DEL also have teams representing their interests. This process gives stakeholders a chance to reach agreement about a rule before the Department settles on the final form. Each member agrees to negotiate in good faith.  If consensus is not possible on some issues, the department may use our areas of agreement and draft the rule.

The task of the weekend was to analyze, review and give opinions/understanding on four sections, (the first "bucket") of the proposed WAC: Intent and Authority, Child Outcomes, Family Engagement and Partnership and Professional Development Training and Requirements.  All teams worked hard. We almost got through the first "bucket".  Our multi-cultural team was able to suggest WAC language that is easily understood and accessible to our providers.  We were genuinely surprised and pleased with the level of support we felt from the center providers and the Head Start/ ECEAP members.  They seemed to understand that even though our programs are different, our issues and concerns are similar.   We, as FCC, do not stand alone. Feeling their sincere support was truly astounding.

The DEL team seemed to listen deeply when we spoke, and treated us respectfully.  We were able to find some agreement in several areas.  However, even with these gains, there are some Federal requirements that are unchangeable.

The area of Professional Development is particularly challenging.  We are moving along, albeit slowly.

This process is designed to be cooperative in hopes of finding the best solutions. Our team constantly had your interests at the forefront of our conversations.  Our goal is to voice concerns and needs of all family child care providers. These rules will impact our business and the families we serve.  We urge you to contact any members of our team with your ideas, make comments on the DEL page, and inform families of this process.

We were encouraged after the weekend for many reasons, including the powerful sense of unity amongst center representatives and family child care providers.  We are so much stronger when we support one another.  At the end of a long weekend, we left feeling that everyone was truly involved with the clarification of these proposals, that the process was not contentious but respectful, that we all want to develop rules that are fair for providers and that help keep kids safe.

As Family Child Care Providers we understand that any new WAC's, or changes to existing ones, can have a profound impact on our ability to provide quality child care to the children we care for. Click here to read the proposed WAC's to be informed about what the state is currently proposing, you will also have the ability to provide public comment.

If you would like to contact our negotiation team directly, email us at: FHCWACComments@pcgus.com

In Solidarity,
Mary Curry, WSFCCA Public Policy Rep

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