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As Part of Her 2020 Budget, Mayor Durkan Announces Plan to Nearly Double City of Seattle’s Child Care Assistance Program to Serve 600 Additional Children

By 2020, Families of Approximately 1,400 Children Under 13 Years Old Will Now Have Subsidies to Reduce Cost Burden of Child Care 

Mayor’s Budget Also Implements Her Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Plan Approved by Voters in 2018, Which Expands Successful Seattle Preschool Program 

SEATTLE (September 23) – At Franklin High School, Mayor Durkan announced in her 2020 budget address that she would nearly double the City of Seattle’s successful Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) to serve an additional 600 families. Mayor Durkan expanded CCAP to serve families making up to $90,100 for a family of four, and provide additional support for child care providers.  

Mayor Durkan’s budget also supports the implementation of her Families, Education, Preschool and Promise plan, which was overwhelmingly approved in November 2018. Under her plan, the City has expanded the Seattle Preschool Program by increasing eligibility to all of Seattle’s three- and four-year-olds.  

“Having raised two kids as a working mom, I know affordable child care makes all the difference for families,” said Mayor Durkan. “Early learning has a lasting impact, and we have a responsibility to ease the burden of one of the most significant costs any family has: the cost of child care. We have to start early if we want our children to have the best Seattle jobs. Programs like this one help working families and parents in school stay in Seattle, and we help our kids can succeed.” 

The City projects the program will serve 830 children this year and, with the additional $3 million investment, approximately 1,400 children in 2020. In a 2017 study by Child Care Aware America, Washington State ranked third in the country for the least affordable infant care in a child care setting. 

“The proposed expansion of the CCAP program in the Mayor’s budget strengthens the city’s commitment to aiding families from leaving Seattle,” said Dwane Chappelle, Director of the Department of Education and Early Learning. “For too many families, the cost of child care is as much as paying rent or a mortgage. Expanding eligibility for CCAP reduces that burden, while providing  access to quality child care programs.” 

Of the more than 800 children from families that will receive subsidies from CCAP this year, the vast majority live in areas that the City has identified as “high-risk of displacement” neighborhoods in the city. Meanwhile, 80% of participants served in the program are families of color. 

Under current CCAP support levels, a family of four with two school-aged children earning between 200% and 300% of FPL ($51,500 – $77,250) could save over a $1,000 a month for before- and after-school child care.  

With the expansion to 350% of FPL ($90,100), a family four can save $386 from a typical child care bill of $1,500 a month.  

The City of Seattle’s Child Care Assistance Program was launched in the 1970s to support working parents and student parents who do not qualify for the State’s child care subsidy program. Subsidy amounts vary depending on family income, child age, and hours of care needed. 

To qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program, recipients must living within the Seattle city limits; be employed and/or enrolled in qualified education or job training program; have a child under 13 years old; identify a child care provider contracted with the City of Seattle; and meet the income guideline. 

For families interested in the Child Care Assistance Program, please click here.