Seattle (February 23, 2021) – The City of Seattle announced today that 506 grants have been awarded through the Child Care Stabilization Fund to child care providers throughout Seattle, totaling over $2.3 million. Funds will be disbursed to 344 licensed child care providers and school-age only programs and to 162 family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregivers.
“Childcare and community caregivers have been a critical lifeline in keeping essential work happening throughout this pandemic. These resources are supporting these essential businesses and the dedicated teachers and community members who care for our city’s kids and families,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The Child Care Stabilization Fund will help alleviate economic hardship due to COVID-19 in the child care industry. Awards for licensed providers vary in size between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on licensed capacity, availability of after-hours care, and whether the provider serves families who are on state, city, or homeless subsidy. Average award size for licensed providers and school-age programs was $6,528.
“Our center has been substantially impacted by the economic downturn COVID-19 has caused. We are grateful to the City of Seattle for listening to provider voices, understanding the need, and supplying our industry with a financial lifeline. These funds will help us purchase PPE supplies, support payroll, cover operating expenses, and keep our center afloat,” said Lois Martin, M.A., Community Day Center for Children, Inc.
DEEL received a total of 520 eligible applications, which exceeded available funding. Providers who serve a high concentration of families receiving state, city, or homeless subsidy, and who are located in priority geographic areas according to the City’s Office of Planning & Community Development’s Race and Social Equity Index, were funded. Due to exhausted funds, 170 providers who were eligible did not receive an award.
“Operating during the pandemic has been challenging; enrollment dropped by half at our preschool and by 30% at our school-age program. These grants will assist with the detrimental impact caused by low enrollment and ensure that children continue receiving nutritious meals and snacks. It will also assist with covering extra staff wages, particularly for our school-age program as we devote more time to assisting students with online learning,” said Gloria Hodge, Director at Hoa Mai Vietnamese Preschool and Dragon’s Den school age care program.
Grants of $500 were awarded to all 162 eligible FFN applicants. Eligible family, friend, and neighbor caregivers are individuals living in Seattle who are caring for one or more children not their own (ages 0-12) who are below 500% of the Federal Poverty Line. FFN care is the most common type of child care for infants and toddlers and for school-age children before and after school. Grandparents made up the largest percentage of FFN caregivers (52% of awardees).
“We’ve seen how child care providers have been impacted throughout this pandemic and yet have continued to show up for Seattle children and families,” said DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle. “I want to thank our partners at Child Care Resources for their work in supporting our providers and helping disburse these much-needed funds as quickly as possible. We look forward to continuing to support this critical industry as we make our way to recovery as a city.”