The Early Childhood Equity Grant Application is now closed. Applications will be reviewed in April and May. Applicants will be notified of their status via email after the review is complete.

DCYF Early Childhood Equity Grant

The Fair Start for Kids Act, passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2021, directs DCYF to distribute funds to support inclusive and culturally and linguistically specific early learning and early childhood and parent support programs across the state. The funds are distributed through the Early Childhood Equity Grant program.

The Early Childhood Equity Grant helps support culturally responsive programming so that children have access to diverse care that meets their needs.

Who can apply for the Early Childhood Equity Grant?

When the grant opens again, eligibility will be open to:

  • Licensed, certified, or certified for payment only child care providers with an open license in good standing.
  • License-exempt Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers serving children receiving state subsidies.
  • Licensed ECEAP/Early ECEAP sites
  • ECEAP/Early ECEAP contractors
  • Play and Learn Group Host Organizations recognized by Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA) and currently receive funding and/or direct programming support from CCA of WA to actively provide direct and virtual education and materials to parents and FFN caregivers. This is the result of a contractual agreement between CCA of WA and the State of Washington and applies to Play and Learn Groups.

Eligible applicants can receive an Early Childhood Equity Grant once every two years.

For licensed, certified, certified for payment only, and license-exempt FFN providers: grants are awarded to a specific licensed facility/site, not a larger organization. Providers with multiple licensed locations will need to submit a separate application for each licensed site that qualifies to apply for a grant.

Unlicensed ECEAP sites may not apply for this grant. ECEAP/Early ECEAP Contractors may submit a single application with information on all sites included in their project.

Facilities that are both licensed and serving ECEAP slots may apply on their own. Licensed sites cannot receive Early Childhood Equity Grant Funding from both their contractor and directly from DCYF.

Play and Learn Group Host Organizations should submit a single application per host organization, with information on all sites included in their project.

How much funding is available?

The 2024 Early Childhood Equity Grant will utilize the remaining funding available for the biennium, $10.2 million.

Award amounts will vary by provider type. DCYF accepted requests within the following ranges based on provider type:

Provider TypeMinimum AwardMaximum Award
Licensed/certified/certified for payment only providers$5,000$100,000
Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers$100$2,000
Play and Learn Host Organizations$5,000$30,000
ECEAP/Early ECEAP contractors$5,000$100,000

What happened in previous rounds of the Early Childhood Equity Grant?

A summary of each previous round is available in the resources sidebar.

Will there be more opportunities to apply for the grant after 2024?

The Early Childhood Equity Grant will open for applications once per year. This may change in the future.

Where can I get help?

Technical and Language Assistance

If you need technical assistance, including assistance in your language, or have questions on spending and saving receipts, please contact the Imagine Institute.

Resources on this Page

DCYF has resources available on this page, including a grant manual that has information on our expected timeline and next steps. They are available in the “Resources” box, which may be on the right side of the page or at the bottom depending on how you are accessing the page.

Other Questions

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