Sponsored by Senator Carrell, SB 5157 states that child care may only be provided by persons exempt from licensing for one year from the date child care is first provided. Thereafter, to continue to provide child care the person must become licensed. In addition, when the department receives an application for public assistance on the behalf of a child, for subsidized child care services, or for Working Connections child care services, the Department of Early Learning will take appropriate action to establish or enforce support obligations against the parent or other persons owing a duty to pay child support. If an individual receives payment for subsidized child care services or Working Connections child care, this will constitute an authorization for the Department of Social and Health Services’ division of Child Support to collect child support payments on the recipient’s behalf. The recipient must seek such child support enforcement services unless the department finds that he or she has good cause not to cooperate.
Substitute bill: As amended, SB 5157 removes the provisions requiring a person who is exempt from child care licensing provisions to obtain a license one year after starting to provide child care. Instead, the first time a child care provider receives a subsidy to which they should have known they were not entitled to, DEL must work with the child care provider to ensure they understand the rules regarding subsidy payments. The second time an unauthorized subsidy payment is received, the provider is prohibited from receiving subsidy payments.
Senate floor amendment: Requires DSHS to define good cause for not pursuing child support to include circumstances that may put the applicant or child's safety at risk or would not be in the best interests of the child.
As amended by the ELHS Committee: Requires the Department of Early Learning to review violations of rules pertaining to subsidy payments and develop recommendations to increase compliance with existing rules pertaining to subsidy payments.