OLYMPIA – Applicants to Washington’s childcare workforce will no longer have to pay burdensome background check fees thanks to Sen. Claire Wilson’s (D-Auburn) Senate Bill 5316, signed into law Thursday.  

State law requires critical and necessary background checks when the Department of Children, Youth and Families is approving childcare employee applicants. 

However, the background check fees often create a barrier for applicants. Not only are they costly but processing them creates delays between the time someone accepts a job offer and when they can begin work.  

Under SB 5316, applicants will still be required to complete a background check, but the associated fees will be waived.  

“We are facing a critical childcare workforce shortage and we cannot afford to lose out on qualified applicants because of a barrier that we can easily dismantle,” Wilson said. “This legislation is a great solution to getting qualified people into those roles, and quickly.”  

SB 5316 goes into effect on July 23.