Childcare providers are a backbone of our community. Right now, they are making it possible for parents with essential jobs—healthcare workers, grocery clerks, transit drivers, and cleaning staff—to work on the frontlines by teaching and caring for our region’s youngest learners while complying with increased social and health regulations. Thirty-six percent of frontline workers in Washington are parents who depend on some type of childcare to maintain their own employment.
During the pandemic, childcare providers are navigating a complex challenge. School closures have created an increase in demand for their services, yet some facilities have seen attendance decrease due to social distancing. New health and safety requirements are created additional expenses, leaving childcare providers in a difficult position as they try to retain their workers on thin profit margins. While public funding recognizes the importance of this sector, resources remain limited and challenges persist in ensuring our most vulnerable communities have support at this time. Given the significant cost of childcare before the crisis, now it’s even harder for economically vulnerable families to find reliable, culturally responsive care for their children.
Many childcare facilities are also in danger of permanent closure. Without adequate federal funding, Washington could lose 29% of its childcare supply, straining an already overburdened system. Before the crisis, there were 3.78 children per childcare slot; after, there could be 5.32 children per slot. Our community and economy need both childcare centers and home-based care to survive so they will be there when our economy reopens and non-essential workers return to work. As we recover, we need to ensure that those who are most vulnerable have the care they need.
COVID-19 Response Fund investments in this area focus on the access and affordability of childcare for our Phase 2 priority populations. Grants provide direct support to nonprofit providers as well as support to systems coordination by intermediaries and community partners that are working to accelerate aid for home-based care, the reopening of care centers, and compliance with health and safety standards. Grants were curated by a table of childcare experts who are deeply knowledgeable about the childcare system. (Learn more about the criteria we used for these grants.)
- People who will be missed by public funding opportunities, including undocumented immigrants and refugees
- Low- and moderate-income essential workers
- People of color, recognizing the disparate health impacts of COVID-19
Associated Recreation Council (ARC), $75,000: The Associated Recreation Council (ARC) is the largest licensed childcare provider in the region, offering free childcare programs at five community centers for families of first responders, healthcare providers, and other essential workers.
Blazing Trails Childcare at Pathfinder, $25,000: Blazing Trails Childcare supports children ages 5–12 who attend Pathfinder K – 8 School with onsite childcare throughout the year. It is currently providing nine weeks of care through its summer program.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, $50,000: Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue (BGCB) is extending hours at its largest, most-well equipped sites, providing childcare and up to three meals per day for vulnerable children and children of essential workers.
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, $75,000: Boys & Girls Clubs of King County is offering a range of learning support, active play, and food for children. Affordability barriers have been removed to ensure kids can be in a safe space, supported by highly trained, culturally diverse youth development staff.
Child Care Resources, $350,000: Child Care Resources is supporting families and childcare providers through an expanded call center, provision of various resources and supplies, and increased coaching and training around behavioral/mental health and trauma. This grant will ensure COVID-19 Response Fund resources reach family care providers.
Childhaven, $25,000: Childhaven partners with parents and community to strengthen families, prevent childhood trauma and its damaging effects, and prepare children for a lifetime of well-being.
Children's Home Society, $25,000: Children’s Home Society develops healthy children, creates strong families, builds engaged communities, and advocates for children.
Chinese Information Service Center, $50,000: Chinese Information Service Center provides culturally and linguistically relevant support to family, friend, and neighbor caregivers who serve children in immigrant families.
Community Day Center for Children, $25,000: Community Day Center for Children was founded in the Central Area of Seattle in 1963 to provide a safe, nurturing environment that supports children in obtaining positive early education outcomes.
Denise Louie Education Center, $50,000: Denise Louie Education Center is currently operating its north Seattle childcare center, where it provides immigrant and refugee families with weekly virtual check-ins, daily online classrooms, health sessions in different languages. It is also delivering food and essential items to highest-need families.
East African Community Services, $50,000: East African Community Services is providing prenatal, preschool, K-12 afterschool and mentorship programming for families that can't afford traditional childcare costs. It is also partnering with other childcare providers (including Family Friend and Neighbor providers), making referrals to culturally competent childcare providers that it compensates.
Easterseals Washington, $50,000: Easterseals Washington serves people with disabilities and families in need. It has kept its childcare programs open and flexible, partnering with community organizations to serve refugee families, prioritizing slots for low- to moderate-income essential workers.
Experimental Education Unit (EEU), $25,000: The EEU at the Haring Center is providing birth to Kindergarten emergency childcare for frontline medical staff, altering its classrooms to be compliant with childcare laws.
El Centro De La Raza, $50,000: El Centro de la Raza is providing on-site bilingual childcare services for first responders and low-income Latino families who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. It is also providing families with direct financial assistance, food vouchers, and laptops for children.
Empowering Youth and Families Outreach, $50,000: Empowering Youth and Families Outreach is providing childcare services to children of first responders and essential workers.
Hilltop Children's Center and Educator Institute, $25,000: Hilltop Children’s Center and Educator Institute provides families with high-quality early-learning opportunities, regardless of circumstance. It has adjusted and adapted its practices and developed new systems to continue providing those opportunities and protect vulnerable populations.
Horn Of Africa Services, $100,000: Horn of Africa Services (HOAS) supports over 65 home childcare providers owned by East African immigrant and refugee women. Right now it is providing financial support and sanitation supplies to these providers so they can remain open.
InterCultural Children & Family Services, $25,000: InterCultrual Children & Family Services is supporting African American, Latinx, and immigrant childcare providers, purchasing and providing PPE supplies, diapers/wipes, culturally appropriate educational books, toys that can be sanitized, and COVID-19 information in various languages for childcare staff, parents, and children.
Interlake Child Care & Learning Center, $25,000: Interlake Child Care & Learning Center offers a loving environment and anti-bias, culturally relevant curriculum that inspires children to grow into competent, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.
Kids Co., $100,000: Kids Co. is providing emergency childcare for children of essential workers at three locations: Cascadia, Graham Hill, and McDonald elementary schools.
Kindering, $25,000: Kindering provides specialized services and early intervention therapies to close developmental gaps. During this time, it is providing support for provider self-care, stress management, COVID-19 impacts on child development, health/safety needs, and more.
Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, $25,000: Lake Burien Presbyterian Church runs a childcare program that is helping to stabilize families with emergency support, including groceries and cash assistance for utilities.
Launch, $100,000: Launch is operating five emergency childcare sites, providing free, high-quality care for children of essential workers, and will transition its programs at the end of June to offer summer camps to 189 children per week. Adapted programs also offer additional academic content and enrichment activities to support distance learning from Seattle Public Schools.
Neighborhood House, $50,000: Neighborhood House is supporting in-home learning opportunities for low-income children, partnering with parents to create meaningful, individualized home learning plans for their preschoolers. It is also helping families stabilize economically, connect them with resources for basic needs, housing, health, stress management, employment, and more.
One America, $25,000: One America’s early childhood education and care programs work to close the opportunity gap before it starts and shape a system that reflects the growing diversity of Washington state by bringing the languages and cultures of local communities into early learning settings.
Pike Place Market Childcare and Preschool, $25,000: Pike Market Child Care and Preschool supports a diverse client base with high-quality preschool to ensure parents and guardians have the opportunity to work, job search, or go to school.
Primm ABC Childcare Center, $50,000: Primm ABC Childcare Center continues to provide childcare services to families of essential and frontline workers, along with resources for housing, utility assistance, self-help emotional aids for parents, food and homework activities for children.
Refugee Women's Alliance, $25,000: Though its childcare facilities have been closed, Refugee Women’s Alliance has been supporting children in its childcare program by providing their parents with weekly packets of lesson plans and materials to share with their children, as well as by posting online videos produced by ReWA teachers.
School's Out Washington, $75,000: School's Out Washington is supporting childcare providers with responsive training and coaching, field communications and guidance, advocacy, and coordination between providers, school districts, and government agencies.
Seed of Life Center, $25,000: Seed of Life Center provides an anti-bias curriculum, high-quality inclusive learning environment focused on literacy, family support, staff professional development, parent advocacy and education, academic enrichment, homework support, applying developmentally appropriate practices within a multicultural, multilingual community.
Sound Child Care Solutions, $100,000: Sound Child Care Solutions' works to reduce disparities in Kindergarten readiness and academic achievement by offering virtual programming, critical family services, teacher support, and safe pick-up sites for free food and materials. It recently reopened centers serving hourly-wage essential workers, and families from refugee and immigrant communities.
Stay and Play Child Care and Learning Center, $25,000: Stay and Play Child Care and Learning Center is providing support to the families of essential workers throughout Seattle.
The Ark at Cross of Christ, $25,000: The Ark at Cross of Christ provides affordable, high-quality childcare along with financial assistance for families in need in Bellevue.
Tiny Tots Development Center, $100,000: Tiny Tots Development Center is providing emergency childcare to children of essential workers and online distance learning to families who are unable to attend school in person. It also offers a range of supports and referrals for other family needs.
United Indians of All Tribes, $50,000: United Indians of All Tribes provides educational, cultural and social services that reconnect Indigenous people in the Puget Sound region to their heritage by strengthening their sense of belonging and significance as Native people. Daybreak Star Preschool is currently functioning as a child care center for essential workers who represent many different tribes and countries.
Voices of Tomorrow, $150,000: Voices of Tomorrow has created high-quality online instructional content to help immigrant and refugee families and family childcare providers connect with resources and deal with the current crises. It is hosting bi-monthly online educational trainings and provides food, hygiene and cleaning supplies, and other need-based resources.
Wellspring Family Service, $25,000: Wellspring Family Services is a multi-service agency serving low-income and vulnerable individuals, children, and families in Seattle and King County. Its services focus on mental health, family homelessness, early learning, and basic needs.
West African Community Council, $50,000: West African Community Council continues to provide childcare to the West African community, both in person and virtually.
YMCA, $125,000: The YMCA of Greater Seattle is operating childcare programing for families with first responders and essential workers throughout the region, including neighborhoods in South and North King County.
Lean more about Phase 2’s Emergency Financial Assistance grants and Mental and Behavioral Health grants.