Legislation proposed by 32nd Legislative District Representative Ruth Kagi that would require reviews of child fatalities that occur in licensed child care facilities passed the Washington State House last week. HB 2165 passed the House by a 93-5 vote and is now being considered by the Senate’s Human Services & Corrections Committee.
The proposed legislation calls for the state’s Department of Early Learning to conduct an investigation if a child fatality occurs in a child care center, home or early learning program. Current law calls for review processes to take place for deaths that happen in foster care, but not in childcare facilities.
“We need to do everything we can to protect children and learn, when a tragedy happens, how they can be prevented in the future,” Kagi said on the floor of the House. “The rigorous review process in this bill will ensure that all incidents receive a careful, critical and thorough examination. From this process will come improved safety standards that protect the health and safety of our children and give parents peace of mind.”
The legislation, if passed, would require a Childcare Fatality Review Committee to report on if the state would need to modify or strengthen childcare facility health and safety standards or practices in lieu of a specific child fatality. The proposal doesn’t address any criminal proceedings that may result from any accident or incident.
The 32nd Legislative District includes portions of Mountlake Terrace west of I-5, in addition to parts of Lynnwood, Edmonds, Shoreline, north Seattle and all of Woodway.