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DCYF Spring 2021 Child Care COVID-19 Grant

To ensure a stable, functional and flexible child care system that supports providers and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is providing direct support to licensed child care providers to offset increased costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure child care services are available to families.

Who is eligible to apply for the grant?

All licensed child care providers in Washington State who are ready and able to serve children.

More information about eligibility criteria and prioritization can be found in the DCYF Spring 2021 COVID-19 Child Care Grant Frequently Asked Questions.


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What is the amount of the grant?

DCYF will use licensed capacity data and Social Service Payment System (SSPS) data to calculate funding amounts. Rates are reflective of the different costs associated with each program size, as follows:

Provider Type Amount of children a site can
serve based on licensed capacity
Grant Amount
Providers who serve families accessing subsidy* 65 or less $6,500
66 or more $100 x licensed capacity
($20,000 maximum grant)
Private pay providers N/A $6,500

*Providers who have an active subsidy authorization or have had an active subsidy authorization in 2021.

Payment processing will be prioritized for providers in Communities of Concern and Child Care Deserts. DCYF recognizes that there will be some overlap between the two. Providers only need to meet one category (Community of Concern or Child Care Desert) to receive priority payment processing.

All licensed providers may apply for the grant regardless of their county or zip code. Providers in Communities of Concern or Child Care Deserts may receive their grant money earlier through expedited payment processing.

DCYF uses Community Outcome and Risk Evaluation (CORE) data to determine areas of Washington State with specific community risk factors such as little or no child care services; use of state-funded drug and alcohol services; arrests for domestic violence; unemployment and state welfare assistance; and rates of referrals for victims of child abuse and neglect.

The following counties are designated Communities of Concern:
  • Asotin
  • Clallam
  • Cowlitz
  • Ferry
  • Grays Harbor
  • Jefferson
  • Kitsap
  • Klickitat
  • Lewis
  • Mason
  • Okanogan
  • Pacific
  • Pend Oreille
  • Pierce
  • Skagit
  • Snohomish
  • Spokane
  • Stevens
  • Thurston
  • Wahkiakum
  • Whatcom
  • Yakima
The following zip codes are designated Child Care Deserts:
  • 98001
  • 98023
  • 98032
  • 98057
  • 98087
  • 98108
  • 98168
  • 98178
  • 98198
  • 98203
  • 98204
  • 98208
  • 98408
  • 98445
  • 98498
  • 98499
  • 98662
  • 98664
  • 98684
  • 98901
  • 98902
  • 98908
  • 98942
  • 98944
  • 99201
  • 99205
  • 99207
  • 99208
  • 99301
  • 99326
  • 99336
  • 99337
  • 99352
  • 99353
  • 99354

How does a provider apply for a grant?

Providers will log into the WA Compass Provider Portal and select the DCYF Spring 2021 COVID-19 Child Care Grant pop-up. The provider will answer a series of questions and then submit the application.

Get information about the application:

DCYFSpring 2021 COVID-19 Child Care Grant Application Step-by-Step Guide

Where to Find Assistance

Application Questions

If you have questions about the application, the timeline of the grant or other questions specific to the grant, email

WA Compass Provider Portal

To access your account or review your profile and licensing information, log in to the WA Compass Provider Portal.

Can’t Log In?

If you need help logging in to your Provider Portal account, email or call 866-627-8929.

Need Assistance Filling Out the Application?

If you need assistance filling out the application, either in the Provider Portal or translated on paper, contact your Child Care Aware of Washington coach for assistance. If you don’t know who your coach is, call your regional Child Care Aware office:

Child Care Aware of Central Washington 877-965-7109
Child Care Aware of Eastern Washington 800-446-2229
Child Care Aware of King County 206-329-1011
Child Care Aware of Pierce County 253-272-8000
Child Care Aware of Northwest Washington 360-734-8396
Child Care Aware of the Olympic Peninsula 360-786-8907
Child Care Aware of Southwest Washington 360-952-3358

Is there a deadline to apply for this grant?

Yes, the deadline to apply is May 20, 2021 by 12:00 pm noon.

What other supports are offered?

Spring Family, Friends, and Neighbor (FFN) Incentive

DCYF will offer a one-time payment to FFN providers who have provided care to children receiving subsidy during the COVID-19 pandemic and claim a subsidy payment for both January and February 2021 by April 30, 2021.

Contact the Child Care Provider Line at 1-800-394-4571 or with any questions.

School-Age Incentive

DCYF will offer a one-time payment to licensed school-age providers serving school-age children accessing subsidy in the months of February, March and April, 2021 and claim a subsidy payment by June 30, 2021.

Get more information about this incentive:

DCYF School-Age Incentive Overview

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Contact with any questions on the School-Age Incentive.