The Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) hosted a ‘Joint Meeting’ for the Licensed Center Advisory and Early Achievers Review committees on November 12th at the Seattle Sheraton. Dee Hirsch, Director of Discovery Montessori and Chelle Downy-Magee, Director of Issaquah Montessori are both members of the Early Learning Advisory Council who attended this dynamic meeting to support the important work of the agency and share the perspective of private schools.
The proposed DCYF policy outlining parameters for DCYF child care licensing staff using child care photos and videos resulted in an hour long discussion of managed challenges. Childcare providers expressed their grave misgivings about the policy. Many providers mentioned that the positive direction DCYF staff has promoted for relationships with licensors would be reversed by this policy.
One provider in the room revealed that he was the origin of this policy because a licensor took 100 photos at his childcare site without asking, and was then told he could not see what photos she took.
WFIS has conveyed our concern about the history of overstepping by licensors during center visits. We are equally concerned about any policy that would promote use of digital phones during a program review.
In the end the policy is delayed for reconsideration.