Senate unanimously passes bill to ease certification process for current child care workers

State leaders look at making childcare more affordable, accessible

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Senate unanimously voted to pass a bill on Wednesday that would allow child care workers with years of experience to substitute their knowledge for certain educational requirements to meet state qualifications.

The Senate voted 45 to 0 to pass Senate Bill 6297, which is sponsored by Senator Mike Padden.

Under the bill, child care workers who are employed by a licensed child care facility would be eligible to complete a competency demonstration based on experience.

In order to be eligible, child care workers would have to have completed all necessary training.

The demonstration would serve as a substitute for certain qualifications required ever since the Department of Children, Youth, and Families adopted new rules in August.

“I’m pleased to see my colleagues support this common-sense bill,” said Sen. Padden. “There is a serious childcare shortage in our state, and too many of our current workers are leaving the field altogether. This shortage impacts children, families and even the flow of business.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.