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If you are seeking child care, call the Child Care Aware of Washington Family Center: 1-800-446-1114
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2023 Seattle Staff Retention Payments – application opening soon!

DEEL Grants Seattle Updates

(From the Seattle DEEL’s website) The Seattle Department of Education & Early Learning (DEEL) and BrightSpark Early Learning Services are partnering for the third consecutive year to distribute up to $5.3 million in Seattle Child Care Staff Retention Payments with funding allocated from the City’s Payroll Expense Tax. The purpose is to offer financial support to retain early learning educators and child care staff working at child care programs in the city of Seattle. 

Please note: Changes to the funding process and timeline may occur. DEEL will not provide individual notice of changes, and applicants are responsible for regularly checking this webpage for technical assistance information, updates, clarifications, or amendments.

Who can apply and for how much money:

Eligibility for the 2023 Seattle Child Care Staff Retention Payments is as follows:  

  • The staff person has been an employee at the program since at least March 1, 2023 and at the time the application is submitted continues to be employed by the eligible child care program. 
  • Family Child Care programs (FCCs) and center-based programs located within the City of Seattle boundaries and licensed by the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) are eligible to apply. 
  • The employer must submit the application. In the case of FCC providers, the licensee must apply.
  • Payments will be awarded through a non-competitive process–all applications received during the application period will be considered for eligibility and equal funding. 
  • Businesses receiving funds will be responsible for distributing payments to eligible staff via the program’s payroll system. 

License exempt and Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers and programs located in unincorporated King County or cities other than Seattle are not eligible for this initiative.  

Each child care worker will receive the same payment amount. The total amount awarded for each eligible child care worker will depend on the total number of eligible employees identified in applications.  

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at midnight. Awardees will be notified in early August.

Information sessions regarding the applications will be hosted virtually between 6:30-7:45 pm on the following days:

For questions, contact To request interpretation services, call BrightSpark’s provider line at 1-800-446-1114, and select option 2.