To stabilize, support and grow a diverse early learning workforce in a way that expands access to high-quality care, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) has offered multiple grant opportunities to child care providers since October 2021.
Child Care Stabilization Grant
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided DCYF with funding to help child care providers remain open and care for children. DCYF has extended the application deadline for the Child Care Stabilization Grant to Sept. 30, 2022 and licensed or certified child care or FFN providers are eligible to apply.
DCYF has contracted with Voices of Tomorrow and The Imagine Institute to provide extensive outreach and technical assistance (TA), including assistance in the provider’s language, guidance on preparing for and accessing the application, and on spending and saving receipts. Technical assistance is available one-on-one or in small groups, as well as in person, virtually, or over the phone.
As of July 13, 5,186 licensed and certified providers, and 1,319 FFN providers have applied for the Child Care Stabilization Grant. A total of $336,115,250 has been distributed.For more information about this grant, including frequently asked questions and contact information for technical assistance, please visit the DCYF Child Care Stabilization Grant Webpage.
Complex Needs Fund
The Fair Start for Kids Act (FSKA) directs DCYF to distribute funds to promote inclusive, least restrictive environments and to support providers serving children with developmental delays, disabilities, behavioral needs, or other unique needs. The funds are distributed through the Complex Needs Fund.
DCYF will provide $9.674 million in two Complex Needs Funds to help stabilize and strengthen access to child care for children with complex needs: the Early Childhood Education Assistance Programs (ECEAP) Complex Needs Fund and the Child Care Complex Needs Fund. The first ECEAP Complex Needs Fund was made available to DCYF ECEAP and Early ECEAP contractors in 2021. These funds support early childhood education and provide assistance to program contractors, child care providers, and birth to 3 early childhood education programs.
The Child Care Complex Needs Fund, which closed June 21, 2022, supports licensed or certified child care providers serving children accessing state subsidies. A second round of the Complex Needs Fund for Child Care will be available later this fall, and expands eligibility to include private pay providers and license-exempt FFN providers.
Providers may use these funds to support staffing, therapeutic services, facility improvements to comply with ADA Accessibility requirements or behavioral needs, supportive and adaptive materials, and equipment, or provide teacher training.
DCYF expects to announce the awardees of the Child Care Complex Needs Fund later this summer.
For more information about this opportunity, including frequently asked questions, informational webinars, and contact information for technical assistance, please visit the DCYF Child Care Complex Needs Fund webpage.
Early Childhood Equity Grant
DCYF opened the application for the Early Childhood Equity Grant on June 28, 2022. This grant is competitive and will award $5.1 million over three rounds to providers across the state over the next two fiscal years. The application closes Aug. 16, 2022. Award decisions will be made by the fall.
The grant will support access to culturally responsive programming and environments in early learning, and early childhood and parent support programs. The funds are intended to inspire practices that promote inclusive and culturally responsive learning and enhanced language access.
Eligible applicants for the Early Childhood Equity Grant include:
- Licensed or certified child care providers with an open license in good standing.
- License-exempt Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers serving children receiving state subsidies.
- Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) contractors.
- Recognized Play and Learn Groups. Learn about these groups on the DCYF Early Childhood Equity Grant webpage.
For more information about this grant, please visit the DCYF Early Childhood Equity Grant webpage.
The Early Childhood Equity Grant was created as a result of the FSKA, a $1.1 billion investment to make child care and early learning more affordable to Washington families by expanding access, capping co-pays, and providing new resources to support child care and early learning providers.