State Regulations for Washington

Date Revised: 5/12/2023

Governing Body:

Washington State Department of Health

License Required for Day Camps :
License Required for Resident Camps:
License Information:

Day Camps

To receive child care subsidies, day camps must be licensed. ACA accreditation provides automatic licensure. Details

Overnight Camps

State Board of Health Regulations: Chapter 246-376 WAC, Camps

Department of Early Learning Regulations: Title 170 WAC


Individuals who work in foodservice must have a Food Worker Card

Food Worker Card

Chapter 246-217 WAC, Food worker cards

Criminal Background Checks Required:
Criminal Background Checks Information:

Chapter 388-06 WAC, Background checks

Washington State Patrol
Identification and Criminal History Section

PO Box 42633
Olympia WA 98504-2633
(360) 534-2000 and press option 2

  • Name and date of birth (mail) $16
  • Fingerprint card (mail) $38
  • Name and date of birth (WATCH) $12
  • Notarized letter $10 each
  • No fee for nonprofits
State Allows FBI Checks:
State FBI Checks Text:

Only available if applicant has resided in the state of Washington for less than 3 years.

Driving Record Checks:

Available from the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Fee of $13.00

State Sex Offender Registry:

Washington State Sex Offender Registry

Minimum Wage:

State-wide: $15.74 per hour

Seattle: $17.27 per hour - $18.69 per hour for companies of 500 or more employees

Sea Tac $17.54 per hour


Minimum Wage Coverage and Exemptions:

Covers all employees age 16 or older unless specifically exempt.

Exemptions: employees who sleep or reside at the place of employment or spend a substantial part of their work time on call and not actually working; employees of charitable institutions charged with child care responsibilities engaged primarily in development of character or citizenship or promoting health or physical fitness or providing or sponsoring recreational opportunities or facilities for young people or members of the armed forces; 

Subminimum Wage:

Organized seasonal recreational camps: kitchen helpers working more than 27 hours a week, cooks, and all camp employees other than counselors-no less than $2.00/hour if age 18 or older, or $1.75 if under age 18; rates for nonresident counselors range from $36 to $66/week for a 6-day week; for resident counselors rates range from $21 to $51/week for a 6-day week; the minimum daily wage rate for all counselors must be prorated on the 6-day basis. Director of Labor and Industries may set subminimum rates for employees under age 18, learners, apprentices, messengers, and the disabled or handicapped under special certificates for a fixed time; not less than 75% of state minimum wage for student workers; not less than 85% for agricultural workers under age 16. Minors under age 16: at least 85% of minimum wage (can be lower for handicapped minors under special work permits) Details 

Overtime Pay Requirements:

1½ times the regular rate after 40-hour week.

Overtime Pay Exemptions:

Those employees exempt from the state minimum wage; employees who request compensatory time off instead of overtime pay; agricultural employees; employees in any industry in which federal law requires overtime pay based on a straight time standard other than 40 hours per week

Meal/Rest Period Requirements:

Meal period: 30 minutes taken 2-5 hours after shift begins, unless work patterns are intermittent; additional 30-minute meal after every 3 hours of overtime.

Rest period: 10 minutes in the middle of the work period for every 4 hours worked (unless nature of work allows employees to take frequent breaks).

Student Exemption from Unemployment Tax:
Additional Info:

The Washington State Department of Health is considering amending the water recreation rules to adopt the CDC's Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) standards.

Water Recreation Rule Revision Update