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

Lead and Environmental Hazards


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DEL is working to comply with Governor Inslee's directive to reduce exposure to lead and other environmental hazards where children live, learn, and play.  DEL engaged in rule making as recommended by the Department of Health to reduce children's exposure to lead and other environmental hazards for all premises on which early learning programs operate.  The rules incorporate practices explained in the Environmental Protection Agency's 3 Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Child Care Facilities.  DEL filed a preposal statement of inquiry on December 7, 2016 stating its expectations to develop rules that will address environmental safety requirements, including testing drinking water for lead and other hazards, evaluating facilities for paint and soil hazards, and specifications for outdoor gardens.  DEL also plans to develop rules to establish remediation requirements early learning providers must comply with when unsafe levels of hazards are confirmed.

This rule making is part of a larger effort to develop rules to implement a single set of licensing standards for child care and the early childhood education and assistance program as directed by Section 3, Chapter 7, Laws of 2015, 3rd sp. sess.  This rule making is proceeding separately because DEL believes that rules related to lead and other environmental hazards are critical to the safety of children and need to be enacted before the rule making to align standards is expected to be completed.

Proposed rules were filed February 13, 2017 for publication in the March 1st edition of the State Register.  Comments were accepted through March 23.  The comments received and DEL's responses are compiled in the concise explanatory statement linked below.  The final rules were adopted on April 26 and took effect May 27, 2017.

Related Documents

Supplemental Rule Making

References to the new rules that took effect May 27 must be inserted in the current licensing rules, chapters 170-295 and 170-296A WAC.  On May 24, 2017, DEL filed emergency rules to incorporate these references and make other necessary revisions.  The emergency rules took effect May 27.  Simultaneously, DEL is engaging in permanent rule making and will take comments through July 12, 2017.

Related Documents for Supplemental Rule Making:

How to comment on the Subject of possible rulemaking:

  1. Online: DEL Rules Comment webpage. Click “Add Comment” to give your input, or “View Comments" to read what others have said.
  2. Email the DEL Rules Coordinator 
  3. Attend the 10:30 AM hearing on July 11, 2017.  Hearing location:  DEL State Office, 1110 SE Jefferson, Olympia, Washington.
  4. By postal mail: 

                                Attn: Rules Coordinator
                                Washington State Department of Early Learning
                                PO Box 40970
                                Olympia, WA 98504-0970

Interested in learning more about DEL rules?  Receive information about current rules, draft rules and notices of rule changes: