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Cut the Cost of Childcare

Families from a wide range of income levels can benefit from local programs.

Photo: Shutterstock


Childcare is expensive. According to figures supplied by Child Care Resources, infant care (0 to 11 months) in Seattle averages $239 per week for home-based care and $381 per week for center-based care. Costs diminish somewhat as children get older or you get farther from Seattle, but not by much. Fortunately, there are some subsidies and programs in Seattle and surrounding regions to help defray the costs for families.

City of Seattle Child Care Assistance Program: For low- and moderate-income working families, the city of Seattle can help pay for childcare for your children ages 1 month to 13 years. There are currently more than 100 licensed childcare homes and centers contracted with the city. Income guidelines are on the city’s website. For example: a family of four with a gross monthly income of $4,043 to $6,063 could qualify for assistance. seattle.gov/education/child-care-and-preschool/child-care-assistance-program

DSHS Working Connections: Low-income families with working adults or adults looking for work may qualify for the Working Connections program. Washington’s DSHS website has a calculator that will help determine if you qualify for the program. washingtonconnection.org/home/ and www.dshs.wa.gov/node/49

Seattle Milk Fund Childcare Grants: For adult students attending school in King County with children under the age of 12 in licensed care, Seattle Milk Fund may be able to offer grants to help with childcare costs. A full list of eligible schools and other requirements are available on their website. For example: a family of four with a gross annual income under $60,750 may qualify for assistance. seattlemilkfund.org/requirements/

Child Care Resources: In partnership with the cities of Bellevue, Kent and Redmond, Child Care Resources offers financial scholarships to income-eligible residents of these cities. Requirements and financial guidelines are available on their website. For example: a family of four with a gross monthly income under $5,779 could be eligible for assistance. childcare.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Guidelines2016.pdf

For families experiencing homelessness, Child Care Resources offers short-term assistance with childcare costs. Eligibility requirements are are available on their website. childcare.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Homeless_Program.pdf

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