City of Seattle Announces Additional Child Care Assistance for Families Through March
New Enrollments for Child Care Assistance Program and Seattle Parks and Recreation Child Care Are Open Now
SEATTLE (December 22, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today that the City of Seattle is extending child care copay relief for income-eligible families through March 2021. The City will cover 50 percent of the remaining copay costs for all families participating in the Department of Education and Early Learning’s (DEEL) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and scholarship-eligible families participating in Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) child care. Both DEEL and SPR currently have space available in their high-quality, affordable child care programs and families are encouraged to sign up today.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has put an immense strain on so many Seattle families, and the transition to virtual learning has made the need for high-quality, affordable child care even more acute,” said Mayor Durkan. “The necessary extension of the statewide COVID-19 restrictions could exacerbate the financial hardship already experienced by so many Seattle families. The City of Seattle is covering the majority of costs for our high-quality child care through March, and we’re urging Seattle families to sign up now for this affordable, accessible child care option.”
“Childcare is an essential service, especially for working families juggling their work responsibilities and their children’s at-home school schedules. As our city experiences another wave of COVID infections during a tough winter, providing affordable, accessible and safe childcare is more important than ever. The City of Seattle will continue to prioritize working families and childcare in its COVID relief programs, knowing these services are key to rebuilding our economy,” said Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide).
The City covered 100 percent of child care copay costs for the final two months of 2020. Under the updated relief package, the City will cover 50 percent of family copays for three months. Copays are the portion families owe after their normal subsidies or scholarships have been applied. New families who sign up for either the CCAP or SPR programs will be eligible for 50 percent copay relief through March.
DEEL’s Child Care Assistance Program helps low- and moderate-income working families or families with a parent attending school or a qualified job-training program to pay for child care for children ages one month through 12 years. CCAP subsidies can be used at any one of the City's 205 participating CCAP providers.
“We’re taking concrete action to support both families and our child care providers as we move into 2021,” said DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle. “It’s important that we work together as we continue to respond to and recover from COVID-19. This additional support the City is providing to families will help ensure working families continue to have access to sustainable, quality child care, an essential part of our city’s economic recovery.”
Seattle Parks and Recreation has traditionally offered before- and after-school care during the school year for school-age children; they expanded the program for the 2020-2021 school year in response to school closures and the need for school-age kids to receive support in accessing remote learning. SPR currently has space available at 16 of its 17 School Age Care sites; click here to see details on locations and space availability
“High-quality child care is crucial to supporting healthy families and strong communities, and the pandemic has underscored how access to affordable child care is an equity issue that disproportionally impacts women and BIPOC communities,” said Jesús Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “This additional child care assistance is an important step in supporting families during this time, and I encourage families to sign up for available programs in your neighborhood today.”
Around 520 children currently receive child care subsidies through CCAP vouchers and SPR scholarships. Families supported by the City are those who are ineligible for the State’s Working Connection Childcare program and under 350%-400% of the federal poverty level (about $90K-$100K for a family for four). CCAP provides vouchers for approximately 375 children each month, and SPR currently provides either part-time or full-time child care for between 290-320 children each week.
Families can visit seattle.gov/ccap or call 206-386-1050 for more information or to confirm their eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program. More information on SPR child care programs is available here.