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Department of Early Learning

RCW 43.215

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) focuses on investments and opportunities to ensure children in Washington enter kindergarten ready to succeed. DEL works to ensure safe, healthy, high-quality programs and services for young children. It oversees Early Achievers—our state’s quality rating and improvement system for early learning programs—as well as Washington’s state-funded preschool program for children from low-income families; child care licensing; Early Support for Infants and Toddlers; home visiting services; licensing subsidy policy; parent support initiatives; and other efforts to coordinate and integrate child care and early learning programs. DEL works closely with public and private partners to support healthy development of children, starting at birth; and partners with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction on the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills for incoming kindergarteners and with many entities to share information and resources for families about positive parenting and child development. The Governor proposes combining the Department of Early Learning and the Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration program into the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Services effective July 1, 2018.

Agency Mission

The Department of Early Learning offers voluntary, comprehensive, high-quality early learning programs and services to families and early learning professionals.
Net change from current biennium
Percent change from current biennium

Operating Budget: Summary

Appropriated Funds

2017-19 Appropriations Appropriated Funds Expenditures
Amount Estimated Balance   2015-17 Actual 2017-19 Estimated 2019-21 Proposed
171,479,000 171,479,000 General Fund - Basic Account - Federal 272,596,772
12,153,000 12,153,000 Home Visiting Services Account - Federal 20,246,593
260,000 260,000 General Fund - Basic Account - Private/Local
116,761,000 116,761,000 General Fund - Basic Account - State 187,094,578
14,091,000 14,091,000 Education Legacy Trust Account - State 28,124,412
Children's Trust Account - State
3,133,000 3,133,000 Home Visiting Services Account - State 3,970,862
40,000,000 40,000,000 WA Opportunity Pathways Account - State 79,704,361
468,000 468,000 Pension Funding Stabilization Acct - State
358,345,000 358,345,000 Total Appropriated Funds 591,737,579

Non-Appropriated Funds

2017-19 Non-Appropriated Funds Expenditures
Amount Balance Non-Apropriated Funds 2015-17 Actual 2017-19 Estimated 2019-21 Proposed
Children's Trust Account - Nonappropriated 201,760
Indivi-Based/Portable Background Ch - Nonappropriated 709,459
Miscellaneous Program Account - Nonappropriated 1,248,780
Total Non-Appropriated Funds 2,159,999

Operating Budget: Program Summary

Program Title Actual Estimated Proposed
Actual Estimated Estimated Proposed Proposed
Annual Total 307,184,848 337,003,637 994

Operating Budget: Change from Preceding Biennium

Actual Estimated Proposed
Amount Percent Amount Percent Amount Percent
124,787,630 26.7% (255,644,166) (43.1%) (337,004,632) (100.0%)

Employment Summary

  Actual Estimated Proposed
  2016-17 Actual 2017-18 Estimated 2018-19 Estimated 2019-20 Proposed 2020-21 Proposed
FTE Staff Years 307.0 353.2 0.04