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DCYF Child Care Stabilization Grant

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As a result of the Federal American Rescue Plan Act, funds are to be used to stabilize, support, and grow the diverse early learning workforce in a way that rebuilds a stronger child care system and expands access to affordable high-quality care.

Funds will be available to child care providers in the form of:

  • Licensed Child Care Stabilization Grant
  • Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Stabilization Grant

This page details the Child Care Stabilization Grant for licensed providers.

Who is eligible to apply for this grant?

This includes licensed family homes, child care centers, school-age care, outdoor nature-based care, and certified providers. Providers must have an open license in good standing at the time of application and the time of award.

More information about eligibility criteria and prioritization can be found in the DCYF Child Care Stabilization Grant Frequently Asked Questions.


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What is the amount of this grant?

The Child Care Stabilization Grant consists of:

Program Amount + Workforce Amount + Add-Ons

DCYF will use licensed capacity data to calculate a program amount and a workforce amount. Rates are reflective of the different costs associated with each program size.

Program Amount

This amount is reflective of different costs associated with each program size and is based on licensed capacity. The minimum program amount is $15,000 and the maximum is $75,000.

Licensed Capacity Program Amount
30 or less $15,000
31 - 149 $500 x licensed capacity 
150 or more $75,000

Workforce Amount

This amount is awarded in addition to the program amount, and is based on estimated worker units at your facility, assuming a 5:1 child to staff ratio. The minimum workforce amount is $9,000 and the maximum amount is $42,000. This amount must be used for increasing wages (increases in payroll) or other recruitment and retention activities (ex: sign on bonus, retention incentive, marketing positions, etc.). While the program amount portion of this grant can be used towards the cost of salaries, the workforce amount is meant to address the current challenges in recruiting and retaining staff.

When calculating the workforce amount, DCYF had a finite amount of funding that could be distributed, and a requirement that a minimum 10% of the total amount go toward workforce. We recognize that it is not enough to cover all workforce expenses child care businesses may have, or will incur.

For this calculation, DCYF:

  • Front-loads the worker amount, calculated at a 1:5 ratio, which far exceeds the licensing ratio requirements for most staff to child ratio needs.
  • Considers the small programs (centers, homes) and recognizes low enrollment may have an even more detrimental business impact to small programs because it is a larger percentage of their overall capacity.
Licensed Capacity Worker Unit (5:1 ratio) Workforce Amount
15 or less 3 $9,000
16-20 4 $12,000
21-25 5 $15,000
26-30 6 $18,000
31-35 7 $21,000
36-40 8 $24,000
41-45 9 $27,000
46-50 10 $30,000
51-55 11 $33,000
56-60 12 $36,000
61-65 13 $39,000
66 or more 14+ $42,000

Verifiable Add-Ons

Providers who meet certain verifiable criteria may be eligible to receive an additional “add-on” amount on top of their program amount and workforce amount. These verifiable add-on amounts are stackable, and each add $10,000 to the total grant amount.

Extreme child care access deserts, identified by zip code. For the purposes of this funding, DCYF is counting any zip code as an extreme access desert if it is identified as an extreme access desert for any subset of populations – infants/toddlers and preschoolers, from low-income households as well as non-low-income households.

  • Providers serving highest portion of subsidy children identified as non-white 
  • Providers located in zip codes with high concentration of children of color
  • “Providers serving”:
    • Highest portion of subsidy children from non-English households/tribal providers
  • “Providers located in”:
    • High concentrations of childhood poverty (top quintile of zips)
    • 23 locales with highest rates of child maltreatment (plus 4 recently dropped)
  • Rural counties
  • Zip codes with the highest concentration of children in racial/ethnic groups experiencing disproportionality in kindergarten entry using the most recent American Community Survey 2019 5-year zip code-level data.
  • FFN providers in these zip codes meet the definition, and licensed or certified providers in these zip code who are rated a Level 3 or higher in Early Achievers.
  • Providers located in zip codes with at least 40% of providers who have experienced a COVID-19 temporary closure, and
  • Providers located in zip codes with the top quartile of COVID-19 closure days

Providers that have had a Quality Improvement Award calculation between 3/11/2020 and 5/12/2021 and did not qualify for an award.

Providers who were in the queue for data collection as of 5/12/2021.

How does a provider apply for a grant?

Providers will log into the WA Compass Provider Portal, navigate to the Grant Information tab, select Current Grants, and select the DCYF Child Care Stabilization Grant application. The provider will answer a series of questions and then submit the application.

If you are an FFN provider, learn how to apply on the FFN Stabilization Grant webpage.

Get information about the application:

DCYF Child Care Stabilization Grant Application Step-by-Step Guide

English | Spanish | Somali

Where to Find Assistance

Technical and Language Assistance

If you need technical assistance, including assistance in your language, guidance on preparing for and accessing the application, or questions on spending and saving receipts, you can contact either the Imagine Institute or Voices of Tomorrow.

Application Questions

If you have questions about the application, the timeline of the grant or other questions specific to the grant, email

WA Compass Provider Portal

To access your account or review your profile and licensing information, log in to the WA Compass Provider Portal.

Can’t Log In?

If you need help logging in to your Provider Portal account, email or call 866-627-8929.

Is there a deadline to apply for this grant?

Yes, the deadline to apply is September 30, 2022 by 11:59 PM

What other supports are offered?

Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Stabilization Grant