SEATTLE (April 24,
2020) – This
week, the City announced it has expanded
eligibility for its Emergency Child Care program, administered
through the Department of Education and Early Learning.
First launched to serve first responders and workers in healthcare, grocery,
and pharmacy following school closures, the
program is now open to essential City personnel and employees of organizations
doing priority level one work as defined by the Mayor’s office of Essential
Operations Management, families experiencing homelessness, and workers
identified as essential under Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.
To launch Emergency Child Care, the City has
partnered with community-based Seattle Preschool Program and
Seattle Pathway providers. Currently, there
are 273 seats at 21 sites (with 33 individual classrooms)
available for children of essential workers and
families experiencing housing instability, with three
more sites expected to open soon. A total of 151
children are currently enrolled in the program.
All child care providers in the Emergency Child Care program are
operating under new
guidelines from Public Health—Seattle & King County for child care administrators operating during COVID-19. These
health and safety guidelines emphasize smaller group sizes for social
distancing, daily health screenings, and greater frequency of cleaning and
sanitizing, among other health and safety measures.
“I want to thank all our Seattle Preschool
Program and Pathway providers who have adapted their classrooms, their
programs, and even their own lives in the middle of this crisis to help provide
quality care for the families who need it to continue their critical work,”
said Dwane Chappelle, Director of the City’s Department of Education and Early
Learning. “We’re proud to have each of you as partners as we respond to this
Essential workers are invited to apply for the program on the Department of Education and Early Learning
lists additional program details and more information about eligibility groups.
DEEL has partnered with various employers and partner networks representing
essential sectors to identify families in need of care. Today, the
City also distributed invitations to
City departments for employees doing essential work under the
City’s Continuity of Operations Plan.
As part of the program’s expansion, the City is partnering with
King County and Child Care Resources (CCR) to expand emergency child care services
countywide. The City is referring families to CCR who need
care for infants and toddlers, as the Seattle Preschool Program classrooms are
only equipped for preschool and school-age children. CCR
is also receiving the City’s referrals for families needing care outside of
“Child Care Resources and the City of Seattle have a long history of partnering in support of the children, families and child care providers of Seattle,” said Phoebe Anderson, CCR’s Interim Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operations Officer. “We are so excited to continue this collaboration in service of our essential personnel during this pandemic. A focus on infants and toddlers is a real response to the demand we are seeing in our call center.”
If you work in an essential position identified on the Emergency Child Care website and did not receive an email into the program from your employer, you can apply for participation online. DEEL staff will respond to your request within 24-48 hours and match you with the licensed childcare provider closest to your area with open slots.
For infant and toddler care or care outside city limits, please contact Child Care Resources at 206-329-5544.
DEEL’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle’s children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education.