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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

WA could increase incentive for after-hours child care

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Friday, February 16, 2024   

Parents often struggle to secure after-hours child care. Advocates want the Washington state Legislature to increase incentives for businesses to provide this service.

The Department of Children, Youth and Families is requesting funds to increase the bonus to $500 a month for facilities that provide care before 6 a.m., after 6 p.m. and on the weekends.

Alejandra Alarcon owns three Spanish immersion daycare facilities east of Seattle. She said it's hard to find people to work non-traditional hours.

"Handling the expenses and the payroll," said Alarcon, "and all the things that we need to have for running the daycare and can give the service that the families need."

Lawmakers are expected to release their budgets next week. The legislative session ends March 7.

Genevieve Stokes, director of government relations for Child Care Aware of Washington, said parents who work in the service industry -- hospitals or agriculture, for instance -- often struggle to find care for their kids.

"So, that's left a lot of parents scrambling to figure out alternative options," said Stokes, "that might not be what their preferred option would be if they had available, high-quality care."

Stokes said the state has made a lot of investments in child care, but adds the industry is struggling, and full-time care, on average, costs more than tuition to the University of Washington -- which is over $11,000 a year.

"We're in sort of a bind here," said Stokes. "The non-standard hours exacerbates that, but this is true across the board -- that providers can't afford to provide the care, and parents can't afford to pay more for it."



Disclosure: Child Care Aware of Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Children's Issues, Early Childhood Education, Mental Health. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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