Today, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell joined child care partners to announce the opening of applications for the 2022 Child Care Retention Payments, a one-time retention bonus payment to child care workers across the county, as well as a new round of stabilization grants for Seattle providers provided by the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL). A total of $7.4 million in joint funding will be available for eligible providers through both opportunities, including $5 million from the King County Best Starts for Kids levy and $2.4 million from the Seattle JumpStart Payroll Expense Tax. Payments are expected to reach more than 9,000 child care workers across the county.
This represents the third round of funding DEEL has provided in support of child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2021, DEEL provided more than 500 grants totaling $2.3 million to help stabilize child care businesses in Seattle, many of which had remained open from the earliest days of the pandemic. In September 2021, a second round of supports was opened, providing $2.9 million in recognition payments to more than 3,500 child care workers.[Read more…]