DCYF Launches Workforce Retention Grant to Fund Child Care Provider Retention Efforts


DCYF Launches Workforce Retention Grant to Fund Child Care Provider Retention Efforts

Funding for the grant was made possible by the Federal American Rescue Plan Act.



A non-competitive $10 million workforce retention grant was recently launched by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). The grant will provide a one-time payment to on-site workers in eligible positions at DCYF-licensed or certified centers, as well as home child care providers across the state.

“We know that employee retention has been a challenge faced by almost every industry, including child care,” said Nicole Rose, DCYF Assistant Secretary for Early Learning. “We also know that improving access to affordable, high-quality child care helps promote employee retention overall.

Each eligible employee will receive the same amount of funding, and the total amount awarded per licensed child care assistant will depend on the total number of eligible employees identified by applicants and verified by the state workforce registry, MERIT .

Eligible applications include licensed or certified child care providers that are open and serving at least one child enrolled at the time of application; have up-to-date personnel records in MERIT; or applied for the Child Care Stabilization Grant.

Suppliers must include the number of eligible personnel working for them, and eligible personnel include:

  • Those in classroom roles such as head teachers, assistant teachers, and aides
  • Those in administrative positions such as licensees, directors, assistant directors and program supervisors
  • Those in support positions such as cooks and transport workers
  • Approved Family Home Providers, Center Directors and any other DCYF Approved Individuals or Providers who work on-site

Volunteers, household members and substitute teachers are not eligible for the grant. For the subsidy, providers must distribute the funds equally in one lump sum payment to each eligible worker. Funds must be distributed through a payroll system or as a check.

Vendors can use up to 15% of the total grant amount to pay for payroll software; pay an accountant or financial adviser; or to pay the administrative employees who work to disburse the funds. Suppliers must retain documentation of payments to eligible workers, as well as receipts and documentation for any purchases made with the 15% amount.

“We want to recognize the important work of the child care industry and support child care providers in their retention efforts as we all work together to increase capacity and build a workforce. stronger work,” Rose said. “Thank you, providers for the vital service you provide to children and families across the state.”

Funding for the grant was made possible by the Federal American Rescue Plan Act. Applications are available online through the WA Compass Supplier Portal. Click here for more information on the DCYF Workforce Retention Grant.

Michael A. Bynum