The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Agency" means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, or facility that provides child care and early learning services outside a child's own home and includes the following irrespective of whether there is compensation to the agency:
(a) "Child day care center" means an agency that regularly provides early childhood education and early learning services for a group of children for periods of less than twenty-four hours;
(b) "Early learning" includes but is not limited to programs and services for child care; state, federal, private, and nonprofit preschool; child care subsidies; child care resource and referral; parental education and support; and training and professional development for early learning professionals;
(c) "Family day care provider" means a child care provider who regularly provides early childhood education and early learning services for not more than twelve children in the provider's home in the family living quarters;
(d) "Nongovernmental private-public partnership" means an entity registered as a nonprofit corporation in Washington state with a primary focus on early learning, school readiness, and parental support, and an ability to raise a minimum of five million dollars in contributions;
(e) "Service provider" means the entity that operates a community facility.
(2) "Agency" does not include the following:
(a) Persons related to the child in the following ways:
(i) Any blood relative, including those of half-blood, and including first cousins, nephews or nieces, and persons of preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great;
(ii) Stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister;
(iii) A person who legally adopts a child or the child's parent as well as the natural and other legally adopted children of such persons, and other relatives of the adoptive parents in accordance with state law; or
(iv) Spouses of any persons named in (a)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this subsection, even after the marriage is terminated;
(b) Persons who are legal guardians of the child;
(c) Persons who care for a neighbor's or friend's child or children, with or without compensation, where the person providing care for periods of less than twenty-four hours does not conduct such activity on an ongoing, regularly scheduled basis for the purpose of engaging in business, which includes, but is not limited to, advertising such care;
(d) Parents on a mutually cooperative basis exchange care of one another's children;
(e) Nursery schools that are engaged primarily in early childhood education with preschool children and in which no child is enrolled on a regular basis for more than four hours per day;
(f) Schools, including boarding schools, that are engaged primarily in education, operate on a definite school year schedule, follow a stated academic curriculum, accept only school-age children, and do not accept custody of children;
(g) Seasonal camps of three months' or less duration engaged primarily in recreational or educational activities;
(h) Facilities providing child care for periods of less than twenty-four hours when a parent or legal guardian of the child remains on the premises of the facility for the purpose of participating in:
(i) Activities other than employment; or
(ii) Employment of up to two hours per day when the facility is operated by a nonprofit entity that also operates a licensed child care program at the same facility in another location or at another facility;
(i) Any entity that provides recreational or educational programming for school-aged children only and the entity meets all of the following requirements:
(i) The entity utilizes a drop-in model for programming, where children are able to attend during any or all program hours without a formal reservation;
(ii) The entity does not assume responsibility in lieu of the parent, unless for coordinated transportation;
(iii) The entity is a local affiliate of a national nonprofit; and
(iv) The entity is in compliance with all safety and quality standards set by the associated national agency;
(j) A program operated by any unit of local, state, or federal government or an agency, located within the boundaries of a federally recognized Indian reservation, licensed by the Indian tribe;
(k) A program located on a federal military reservation, except where the military authorities request that such agency be subject to the licensing requirements of this chapter;
(l) A program that offers early learning and support services, such as parent education, and does not provide child care services on a regular basis.
(3) "Applicant" means a person who requests or seeks employment in an agency.
(4) "Conviction information" means criminal history record information relating to an incident which has led to a conviction or other disposition adverse to the applicant.
(5) "Department" means the department of early learning.
(6) "Director" means the director of the department.
(7) "Early achievers" means a program that improves the quality of early learning programs and supports and rewards providers for their participation.
(8) "Early start" means an integrated high quality continuum of early learning programs for children birth-to-five years of age. Components of early start include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Home visiting and parent education and support programs;
(b) The early achievers program described in RCW 43.215.100;
(c) Integrated full-day and part-day high quality early learning programs; and
(d) High quality preschool for children whose family income is at or below one hundred ten percent of the federal poverty level.
(9) "Employer" means a person or business that engages the services of one or more people, especially for wages or salary to work in an agency.
(10) "Enforcement action" means denial, suspension, revocation, modification, or nonrenewal of a license pursuant to RCW 43.215.300(1) or assessment of civil monetary penalties pursuant to RCW 43.215.300(3).
(11) "Negative action" means a court order, court judgment, or an adverse action taken by an agency, in any state, federal, tribal, or foreign jurisdiction, which results in a finding against the applicant reasonably related to the individual's character, suitability, and competence to care for or have unsupervised access to children in child care. This may include, but is not limited to:
(a) A decision issued by an administrative law judge;
(b) A final determination, decision, or finding made by an agency following an investigation;
(c) An adverse agency action, including termination, revocation, or denial of a license or certification, or if pending adverse agency action, the voluntary surrender of a license, certification, or contract in lieu of the adverse action;
(d) A revocation, denial, or restriction placed on any professional license; or
(e) A final decision of a disciplinary board.
(12) "Nonconviction information" means arrest, founded allegations of child abuse, or neglect pursuant to chapter 26.44 RCW, or other negative action adverse to the applicant.
(13) "Probationary license" means a license issued as a disciplinary measure to an agency that has previously been issued a full license but is out of compliance with licensing standards.
(14) "Requirement" means any rule, regulation, or standard of care to be maintained by an agency.
(15) "Washington state preschool program" means an education program for children three-to-five years of age who have not yet entered kindergarten, such as the early childhood education and assistance program.
[2013 c 323 § 3; 2013 c 130 § 1. Prior: 2011 c 295 § 3; 2011 c 78 § 1; prior: 2007 c 415 § 2; 2007 c 394 § 2; 2006 c 265 § 102.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2013 c 130 § 1 and by 2013 c 323 § 3, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|
Captions not law -- 2007 c 415: See note following RCW 43.215.005.
Finding -- Declaration -- 2007 c 394: "The legislature finds that education is the single most effective investment that can be made in children, the state, the economy, and the future. A well-educated citizenry is essential both for the preservation of democracy and for enhancing the state's ability to compete in the knowledge-based global economy.
As recommended by Washington learns, the legislature declares that the overarching goal for education in the state is to have a world-class, learner-focused, seamless education system that educates more Washingtonians to the highest levels of educational attainment." [2007 c 394 § 1.]
Captions not law -- 2007 c 394: "Captions used in this act are not any part of the law." [2007 c 394 § 8.]