Scholarships, Incentives & Awards

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) provides funding opportunities, incentives, and awards for the early learning community.

  • Early Achievers Grant
  • Child Care Aware of Washington Scholarship

Learn more below.

  • Training Reimbursment
  • Trainer Support
  • Quality Improvment Award
  • Need-Based Grant

Learn more below.

  • Education Award

Learn more below.

DCYF provides early learning scholarships for those employed at a program that participates in Early Achievers.

The Early Achievers Grant supports early learning professionals pursuing an Early Childhood (ECE) Stackable Certificate or an ECE Associate Degree.

Have questions? Visit the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges website.

Child Care Aware of Washington scholarships support early learning professionals pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in ECE (or similarly approved field) or a Montessori Credential at a MACTE approved academy.

Have questions? Visit the Child Care Aware of Washington website.

DCYF offers various incentives designed to help early learning professionals reach their goals.

To receive an incentive payment, you must have a Statewide Vendor (SWV) Number listed in your MERIT record. If you do not have an SWV number, go to Apply for a Statewide Vendor Number where you will find the necessary forms and instructions.

DCYF offers reimbursement for training provided by a state-approved trainer to people employed in a licensed facility. You may apply for a training reimbursement only once per DCYF fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) for up to $250 while funding is available.

The following roles are eligible for training reimbursements:

Child Care Center
  • Center Director
  • Center Assistant Director
  • Center Program Supervisor
  • Center Lead Teacher
  • Center Assistant Teacher
  • Center Aide
Family Home Child Care
  • Family Home Owner
  • Family Home Lead Teacher
  • Family Home Assistant Teacher
  • Family Home Aide
School-Age Program
  • School-Age Program Director
  • School-Age Assistant Director
  • School-Age Site Coordinator
  • School-Age Lead Staff or Group Leader
  • School-Age Child Care Assistant

Do you need help applying for a training reimbursement? Visit the MERIT Workforce Registry page for instructions.

DCYF offers reimbursement for training costs for State-Approved trainers currently delivering state-approved training. You may apply for a trainer support reimbursement only once per DCYF fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) for up to $200 while funding is available.

Do you need help applying for a training reimbursement? Visit the MERIT Workforce Registry page for instructions.

Needs-Based Grants are available to eligible providers participating in Early Achievers. To apply for a Needs-Based Grant, login to WA Compass.

For more information, visit the Early Achievers webpage.  

Have questions? Contact needs.basedgrants@dcyf.wa.gov.

As a rated Early Achievers participant, you are eligible for additional supports and incentives designed to help you meet your goals. For more information, see the Early Achievers webpage.

DCYF uses education awards to recognize the educational achievements of early learning professionals. Once your education is verified in MERIT, you may be eligible to earn education awards for the following accomplishments:

  • Highest level of education
  • Up to four ECE (early childhood education or early care and education) majors
  • Up to three ECE certificates and credentials

Learn More About the Education Awards

To receive your education award, you must have a Statewide Vendor (SWV) Number listed in your MERIT record. If you do not have an SWV number, go to Apply for a Statewide Vendor Number where you will find the necessary forms and instructions.