More than 12,000 King County child care providers are expected to receive one-time payments for retention bonuses totaling $7 million.
The one-time payment will range from $400 to $500 per child care worker. Providers will begin to receive payments this month through September.
Nearly 90% of eligible licensed child care providers in King County applied for the retention payments.
In Washington, child care is one of the lowest-wage jobs in the workforce, hovering around minimum wage, according to a news release from the office of King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Meanwhile, child care workers faced additional responsibilities during the pandemic, lost income when facilities closed and continue to have a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19 because of the nature of their work.
“Child care workers have served on the frontlines of our pandemic to ensure our city’s kiddos are cared for and safe, and that working families can continue to balance work and child care. Despite being in one of our state’s most underpaid professions, child care workers continue to show up for our community when we need it most,” said Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda.
All child care staff working at child care programs in King County licensed under Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families were eligible to receive payments.
Grants will be distributed by the child care program to all eligible staff via the program’s payroll system.
Providers in Seattle were also eligible for a one-time “stabilization grant” from the city to help them recover from COVID-19 and provide business needs such as mental health support, health and nutrition needs, cleaning and sanitizing supplies and payroll costs.
A total of 631 Seattle child care businesses received just under $1.1 million in stabilization grants.
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