Child care providers invited to find collective voice

Source: The Wenatchee World 

Child care providers are invited to learn how to get involved and provide feedback on proposed state rule changes at a meeting Monday hosted by Child Care Aware of Central Washington.

The program, with dinner, will provide a brief overview of the state legislative process, an introduction to the state’s new early learning requirements and how best to voice concerns or provide support.

Child care providers and child care centers statewide are dealing with some bottomline issues that range from how to cope with new minimum wage increases to proposed new state codes while at the same time trying to raise standards and keep their businesses open.

Child Care Aware of Washington, a nonprofit agency whose mission is to support families and caregivers and create a network of resource and referral programs, is lobbying for state legislators to fund the costs of quality child care and help child care providers across the state handle new state minimum wage requirements. The meeting is designed to help provide information on how individuals and child care centers can get involved in that push and others.

This is really an ‘advocacy 101’ meeting,” said Jan Dosh, an Early Achievers coach with the Wenatchee office of Child Care Aware. “We want to show how the legislative process works and how to advocate for things.”

The topics will range from the proposed administrative codes that will be up for public comment this summer to the minimum wage increases that child care centers are dealing with as well as new education requirements designed to help professionalize the field. Some of those stem from the new Early Learning Act that was approved in 2015.

All of this is open for comment and advocacy. Our goal is to help child care providers learn how to get their voices heard,” Dosh said. “We want to encourage people to get involved.”