Washington State House Democrats


Senate Passes Senn Bill to Strengthen Early Support for Children with Disabilities

Photo provided by Kindering

OLYMPIA – In a bipartisan victory for children and families across Washington, the State Senate has unanimously passed House Bill 1916, a bill aimed at enhancing early support for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities. Championed by Rep. Tana Senn, HB 1916 represents a significant step forward in ensuring equitable access to vital services for the youngest members of our community, setting a precedent for inclusive and proactive care. 

At the heart of this bill lies a commitment to better funding services for children under the age of three through the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program. By ensuring greater access to specialized instruction, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, HB 1916 seeks to empower children and their families from the very outset, laying the foundation for a brighter future. 

“With the passage of HB 1916, we are not only expanding vital funding for ESIT providers, but also reaffirming our commitment to every child’s right to thrive,” remarked Senn.  

As HB 1916 advances, buoyed by unanimous support in both chambers of the legislature, optimism abounds for the future of early interventions in Washington. “After two years of advocacy alongside parents, self-advocates, and other early support providers, today’s unanimous vote feels like a huge validation,” said Dr. Lisa Greenwald, CEO of Kindering, a pioneering institution at the forefront of early childhood intervention. “It sends a real message to kids with disabilities and their families that this state cares about them and will invest in their futures.” 

“As the first step in the special education continuum, expanding access to these early services saves money down the line, too,” explained Senn. 40% of children who receive ESIT services, do not need ongoing special education services. 

The passage of HB 1916 marks a significant milestone in our collective quest for more robust, accessible and equitable services for the littlest in our communities. As we await the Governor’s signature, Rep. Senn remains resolute in her commitment to ensuring that every child and their family have the supports they need to thrive. 

Kindering staff celebrating as they watch the final vote count!