Starting Sept. 1, the base child care subsidy reimbursement rates increased by 2 percent, with another 2 percent boost for child care providers who choose to join Early Achievers, Washington’s quality rating and improvement system.
The Working Connections Child Care maximum subsidy rate for licensed and license-exempt child care providers increased by 2 percent. This includes both licensed and license-exempt providers:
- License-exempt care is provided by family, friends and neighbors (FFN). They are required to pass a background check, but are otherwise exempt from licensing regulations. They receive $2.24 per hour for the first child and $2.21 per hour per child for additional children from the same family.
- Licensed child care providers are licensed by the Department of Early Learning to provide child care in their homes or in child care centers. The subsidy rate varies by region, the child’s age, and the whether the child is authorized for half-day care or full-day care. Rates vary from $9.58 per half-day to $45.27 per full day.
Licensed child care providers who choose to participate in Early Achievers, and are rated at Level 2 or higher, are eligible for an additional 2 percent quality bonus. The bonus is 2 percent of the full-day and half-day subsidy amount billed by the provider. Level 2 providers must advance to Level 3 rating or higher within 30 months to maintain the quality bonus. Child care providers who participate in Early Achievers are also eligible for other financial incentives, free training and technical assistance to help them improve the quality of their care.
Families qualify for child care subsidy based on family size, income, and participation in approved activities. Families pay child care providers a monthly copayment based on the family’s size and income. The copayment amount starts at $15 per month. View the copayment schedule.
The rate increases also apply to Seasonal Child Care, which pays child care subsidies for eligible families who are seasonally employed in agricultural settings.
DEL is revising WCCC rules to align with the increased payment rate. We are accepting public comment on the rules changes through October 8.