COVID-19 Child Care Support

Do you need help with child care costs?

You may qualify for financial assistance to pay for child care if you live or work in King Countyfall within income guidelines and your income, work schedule, or access to child care has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 or you are an essential worker

Program eligibility

  • Must be under 400% FPL 
  • Must live or work in King County
  • Must be an essential worker or have been impacted by COVID-19
  • For children aged 0-12 at licensed child care sites

To apply

  • Call or text 1-800-446-1114 to request an application

Learn more about the CARES emergency funding for COVID-19 child care supports program.

Program information is available in 22 languages on our website.

What does this program do?

The CARES emergency funding for COVID-19 child care supports will provide vouchers to eligible families to pay for child care costs at licensed child care providers between September and December 2020. The amount of vouchers depends on a child’s age and will be paid directly to the provider. Funding is also available to assist eligible families with the cost of child care co-pays under the Working Connections Child Care program or other subsidies.

Why is it necessary?

The County and other key stakeholders have received feedback that essential workers and other families continue to have difficulty accessing and affording child care, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For some families and child care providers, this has been exacerbated by the move to virtual learning.

In Spring of 2020, King County partnered with 55 child care providers across the County to reserve slots for children of essential workers and offer financial support to child care providers. This Fall program recognizes that many families are struggling to access care and will provide them with support to pay for child care at a licensed site that best meets their needs through December 2020.

How will it be implemented?

King County is partnering with Child Care Resources to conduct intake of families, partner with child care providers and match families with vacant slots, and oversee payments to child care providers. Eligible providers will be reimbursed monthly at an enhanced rate for each enrolled child. King County’s Department of Community and Human Services will provide oversight of the dollars and program.

Who is eligible?

Families may seek child care assistance for their children aged 0-12. Families must live or work in King County, have an income below 400% FPL, and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, or be essential workers. Essential workers are defined by the Governor Inslee’s March 23rd Proclamation which includes front-line essential medical professionals and support staff, first responders, child care providers, grocery and pharmacy employees, and transit workers. We will not ask for social security numbers or residency status.

Licensed child care providers who are in good standing and participating in Early Achievers or a similar accreditation program (those serving children aged 0-5 only), are eligible to participate. This program is open to child care centers, family child care sites, and school-aged child care providers.

Will children be displaced from existing slots due to this plan?

No. Child Care Resources will work with identified providers to match essential personnel with vacant slots that meet their needs, or provide financial support at their current site of care if they have one. No currently enrolled children or families will be displaced.

What other supports are available for child care providers?

PHSKC continues to offer updated guidance for child care providers that includes recommendations to help them keep themselves, their kids, and families safe. 

King County has expanded child care health consultation (CCHC) services at no cost to licensed providers across King County. This includes supports like regular community calls and virtual trainings to help providers implementing the PHSKC recommendations. 

CARES funding at King County will also support grants to child care providers this fall. Grants will be open to licensed child care centers and family child cares, school-aged providers, and family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) or informal caregivers.

Additionally, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families, City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning, and School’s Out Washington offer important supports to families and child care providers.

We are committed to finding long-term solutions for all child care providers and families, and will continue working on those through PSTAA implementation and through the guidance of the Children and Families Strategy Task Force. 

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