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All In WA Child Care Initiative

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An initiative to ensure affordable and accessible child care for Washington’s working families.

In response to the pandemic, the Child Care Initiative will provide vital resources to expand access to affordable child care for working parents with the greatest need while also sustaining the industry of child care providers across Washington.

Organizations providing critical services to children and families: click here to find out about  future grant funding opportunities.

Your Donation IS Eligible To be Matched 

ABOUT THE CHILD CARE INITIATIVE

Families across Washington rely on child care to support the learning and developmental needs of their children while they work. Even before the pandemic, more than half a million of Washington’s children lacked access to licensed care. Although 61% of young children lived in households where all parents work, Washington only had licensed child care capacity for 41% of young children and 5% of school-age children. In addition to exploring options of licensed care, many families rely on relatives, friends, and neighbors to provide consistent care for their children during work. Finding affordable, quality care has long been a widespread problem, particularly for low-income and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) families, as well as people living in rural and remote communities. The pandemic has exacerbated this persistent challenge.

As families grapple with the challenge of access and affordability, the child care industry is under unprecedented strain. Known for its low profit margins and low paid workforce, many child care providers were already operating month-to-month before COVID. Now, social distancing guidelines have reduced the capacity of child care programs, whether they are child care centers, family child care or school-age care. This is resulting in significant reductions in available slots, with enrollment plunging by 47% across sites in Washington. With fewer children under their care, revenue for child care owners has decreased. At the same time, costs have increased as business owners must take on new expenses to comply with new health and safety standards due to COVID. Since the pandemic started, 16% of providers have closed their operations and 48% report that they are at risk of closure.

The Child Care Initiative aims to raise $10 million to expand affordable child care access. It has currently raised $5.1 million from supporters, including: Ballmer Group (co-founded by Connie and Steve Ballmer), Pivotal Ventures (founded by Melinda Gates), Perigee Fund (founded by Lisa Mennet), The Why Not You Foundation (founded by Ciara and Russell Wilson), and Puget Sound Energy.

Donate to the Childcare Initiative using the form below – your individual donation is eligible to be matched.

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