Alert: Beginning July 1, 2018, the Department of Early Learning will become the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). After June 30, 2018, this website will no longer be updated. For the latest information on early learning, visit the DCYF website at

DEL Rules (WAC)


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The Department of Early Learning (DEL) uses regulations (also known as rules, Washington Administrative Code, or WAC) to oversee:

  • Child care licensing
  • Performance standards for the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)
  • Subsidy programs that help families pay for child care
  • Early Support for Infants & Toddlers (ESIT)
  • Background checks for licensed and certified child care providers
  • Hearing rights and procedures to appeal DEL actions
WACs for all state agencies are on the Washington State Legislature website. The following are links from DEL's website to the legislative website.

DEL child care licensing rules

DEL regulations set the standards for child care that is licensed or certified by DEL.
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DEL child care subsidy rules

DEL adopts rules that set requirements for families to be eligible for help with paying for child care.
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Early Support for Infants & Toddlers (ESIT)

Rules clarifying how DEL administers the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Part C.


These are the DEL regulations that set the standards for ECEAP.
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Background check rules

DEL does background checks for people applying to work or be involved in DEL-licensed and certified child care.
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Hearing rules

These are the DEL regulations that guide the hearing rights and procedures for individuals appealing certain DEL actions and decisions.
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Public records request rules

Here, you will find the rules for requesting public records at DEL in accordance with the state Public Records Act, RCW 42.56.
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Related Information

Interested in learning more about DEL rules? You can join a list to receive current rules information. Email the DEL Rules Coordinator or write to:


Rules Coordinator

Washington State Department of Early Learning

PO Box 40970

Olympia, WA 98504-0970