At least 70 Yakima in-home child care providers are expected to close for the day Thursday to draw attention to new state rules for their businesses.
Child care providers in Eastern Washington are planning demonstrations in front of local Department of Children, Youth and Family offices to ask that enforcement of new rules bringing them in line with child care centers be postponed.
The new regulations take effect Thursday. State officials said the first year will serve as a transition period.
In-home providers have asked parents for a day off so they can demonstrate to ask for written word that providers won’t be penalized for any misalignment with the new regulations.
The new rules established by DCYF, child care union representatives and community members cover everything from early learning requirements to employee handbooks and hygiene practices. DCYF says high-risk rules such as safety practices remain largely the same.
Trainings have been provided online and in person each month since January, although providers said in-person classes filled up quickly and were far away. The closest location was roughly 85 miles from Yakima in Pasco.
In-home care center closures could impact businesses throughout Eastern Washington on Thursday, as parents have been asked by providers to find alternative care for the day.
Of 352 child care sites throughout Yakima County as of July, 249 are in-home providers, according to ChildCare Aware, a nonprofit child care referral and advocacy group.