90% of child care workers applied to receive $500 bonus from King County

Aug 16, 2022, 2:57 PM
child care...
(Photo by Matt Roth for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Roth for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

After announcing in June that $7,000,000 would be used to give a one-time payment to all childcare employees, King County Executive Dow Constantine has fulfilled that promise by sending $400 to $500 to childcare workers now through September.

All staff working at child care programs in King County licensed under Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families were eligible to receive payments.

Nearly 90% of eligible licensed child care providers in King County applied for the retention payments, which Constantine emphasized shows how much the money was needed.

King County, Seattle announce bonuses for child care workers

Child care is one of the lowest paying industries in the state, with many employees making little over minimum wage, according to the press release sent out by Constantine with the announcement.

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.

“Seattle’s child care providers have been heroes of the community, especially during the last two years. In One Seattle, we know every kid deserves the care and support that will put them on a path to success, and we know child care providers are essential to that mission,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “As we seek to create a sustainable child care ecosystem and a healthy regional economy, we are proud to partner with King County to offer child care worker retention payments and stabilization grants for Seattle providers to help them in their continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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.

“Child care workers are essential to a healthy, thriving region, providing critical services to families and communities every day,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are committed to access to affordable child care and respectful wages for child care workers, and these investments provide the necessary support to ensure both. We’re grateful for our partnership with Mayor Harrell and the City of Seattle and will continue to collaborate on ways we can invest in this workforce.”

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90% of child care workers applied to receive $500 bonus from King County