House Passes Legislation Boosting Childcare

The availability of childcare in Washington could expand under terms of a bill approved in the state House Monday night. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has that story.

The legislation, which passed out of the House with a lopsided 90 to seven margin, would increase the maximum amounts of potential loans and grants for organizations wanting to build new childcare facilities, or improve existing facilities. Lawmakers hope those funds can make high-quality childcare and early learning services available for countless Washington children, especially in the underserved areas the sponsor, Representative Lisa Callan, called childcare deserts.

CALLAN: “It is what we needed to do to make sure that we’re eliminating the childcare deserts across our state. It is the companion of all we’re doing in our operating budget to make sure that every child has what they need to thrive.”

Callan, a Democrat from Issaquah in southeastern King County, is vice chair of the House Human Services & Early Learning Committee. She’s hopeful the bill will be taken up soon in the Senate, which has till April 11 to act on policy bills from the House. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.