May 1, 2023

2023 Legislative Session Recap

First Up: TAKE ACTION to keep our momentum going forward

(English / Spanish)

The 2023 Legislative Session has officially come to a close! Thanks to the dedicated advocacy of child care providers, parents and supporters like you, Washington continued to make important investments into children, families and child care providers. 

Washington’s budget writers faced a tough economic landscape in 2023 – thank you for all of your work in helping them learn why early learning is still a worthwhile investment. This year, Washington invested more than $400 million into early learning.

2023 Breakdown:

Here’s our breakdown of the newly-passed budget, and a few additional bills that impact our early learning system:

  • Increasing Working Connections Child Care reimbursement rates to the 85th percentile: fully funded (over $400M for centers and FCCs)
  • Early Educator Design Team Living Wages Proviso: $533k
  • Family, Friend & Neighbor Caregiver Play & Learn group expansion: $440k
  • Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) expansion: $500k
  • Working Connections Child Care eligibility for providers, undocumented children, and families involved in therapeutic courts (SB 5225): $13.27M
  • Elimination of background check fees for child care providers (SB 5316): $3.14M
  • Non-standard hour rate enhancement: $4.724M
  • Extension of supports to access Working Connections Child Care for families experiencing homelessness: $908k
  • Equity grants for child care providers: $5.248M
  • Complex needs fund: $15.4M
  • Working Connections Child Care eligibility for apprenticeships (HB 1525): $2.7M
  • Early learning workforce programs (peer mentoring): $500k

Questions about any of 2023’s investments or child care bills? Shoot us an email : BUTTON

Your impact:

Together, our actions made a difference for the early learning community’s 2023 priorities. Throughout legislative session:

  • 1200 advocates took the time to add their name to an advocacy sign on letter in support of bills and budget measures that support families and providers
  • More than 4,500 emails were sent to legislators in defense of our budget and bill priorities.
  • 162 new advocates joined our growing movement

Final Thoughts:

We know how important continuing political change is towards a better tomorrow. But none of these victories matter without the hard working child care providers who continue to give safe and high quality education to our children day after day. Provider Appreciation Day is May 12th, 2023. Don’t forget to visit to see how YOU can thank child care providers for the important work that they do.


Take 60 seconds to add your name to our letter urging city and county governments to recognize the important role of child care providers in our community! (English / Spanish)