Friday, June 29, 2012

Stay tuned for big news on July 2!

July 1 is a big day for early learning in Washington! Several changes go into effect that we will launch on Monday, July 2. 
  • Portable background checks. Beginning July 1, our state moves to portable background checks for those working in child care. View more information on portable background checks, including information on an upcoming webinar for providers, and a frequently asked questions document.
  • Child care subsidy eligibility. Beginning July 1, eligible families can be authorized for Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidies for 12 months at a time. Also, WCCC eligibility limits change from 175 percent federal poverty level to 200 percent federal poverty level. These changes may help more families access WCCC. There is no wait list for WCCC at this time. Information about these changes to subsidies will be posted on DEL’s WCCC page on Monday, July 2. Please share this information in your community.
  • Statewide expansion of Early Achievers begins. Early Achievers, our state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system:
    • Connects families to child care and early learning programs with the help of an easy-to-understand rating system.
    • Offers coaching, financial incentives and resources for child care providers.
    • Find out more about how child care providers and families can benefit from Early Achievers.
We will post press releases with more information on Monday in DEL's Newsroom.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More families may be eligible for child care subsidies with changes this summer

Upcoming changes to the Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) and Seasonal Child Care subsidy programs may help more families in Washington access these benefits. The changes are based on decisions made by the Legislature during the 2012 session. Here is a list of those changes and when they start:  
  • June 7, 2012: Families will no longer be required to seek child support enforcement services. Before, families receiving subsidies had to seek child support enforcement services from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) unless there was good cause not to cooperate.
  • July 1, 2012: Eligibility moves from 175 percent of federal poverty level to 200 percent federal poverty level. For a family of three, this would be $3,182 per month.
  • July 1, 2012: Families may be authorized to get 12 months of WCCC subsidies before reapplying. The current limit (until July 1) is six months of WCCC subsidies at a time. This change is meant to help promote stability of care for children from low-income households. If a family is authorized for a 12-month subsidy authorization,  the family must notify DSHS within five days if they change child care providers, and must notify DSHS within 10 days if their need for child care changes or they have other changes that might impact eligibility.
WCCC is a subsidy program that helps families with low incomes pay for child care while they work or meet WorkFirst participation requirements. Find out more about the program—and how to apply—by visiting The program is capped at 33,000 households, and a wait list is used when the program exceeds enrollment. There is no wait list for WCCC at this time.

SCC is a subsidy program that helps families pay for safe, licensed child care while parents work in agricultural settings. Find out more about the program at