Legislation passed unanimously today by the Senate would ensure that a child who qualifies for 12 months of Working Connections childcare receives the full 12-month benefit.

“Right now, the 12-month window for childcare begins as soon as a parent’s application is processed and the parent is working — even if the parent has not been able to locate a childcare provider,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the sponsor of Senate Bill 6540. “If it takes several weeks or months to line up childcare, the subsidy will expire before the child receives 12 months of childcare.”

Delaying the start of the clock until the child is in care will ensure that the parent and child receive the full 12-month benefit to which they are entitled.

“Just because a household qualifies for childcare, that doesn’t mean they can immediately access it,” said Wilson, vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. “With demand for childcare exceeding availability, it may take some time for a parent to find an appropriate facility that is locally accessible.”

Having passed the Senate, SB 6540 now goes to the House for consideration.