While limited, some options exist to help pay for child care. Some child care providers offer a sliding fee scale based on income, and the Working Connections subsidy program may be an option for families with low incomes.
Emergency Child Care Voucher Program
Short-term assistance with paying for child care may be available for you or someone you know who lives in Whatcom County:
- If you are experiencing a medical emergency, loss of wages, or other unexpected hardship
- If you have no other financial resources or child care alternatives and continuity of care is threatened
- If you live in Whatcom County
To apply, call or visit to talk with program staff and fill out an application. Upon approval, you will need to obtain billing information and signature from a licensed child care provider. Approved payments will be made directly to the child care provider.
Call (360) 734-8396 ext 227 and ask to speak to someone about emergency child care vouchers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working Connections Child Care Program (Statewide)
The Department of Social and Human Services helps families pay for child care through the Working Connections Child Care program. Depending on your income, you may qualify for assistance to access quality, licensed child care at a greatly reduced rate. You may apply directly by calling 1-877-501-2233 or online at the DSHS Online Application for Services.
See also the DSHS Child Care Subsidy website for income requirements and subsidy guidelines.
If you are not eligible for the Working Connections Child Care Program based on your income, some child care programs offer a sliding scale.
Call the Child Care Aware of Washington Family Call Center, 1-800-446-1114, and speak with a child care referral specialist for information and advice about locating child care, applying for the Working Connections subsidy, or locating a program that offers a sliding scale.
Homeless Grace Period (Statewide)
If you or somebody you know is experiencing homelessness, the DSHS Homeless Grace Period may be an option. As a first step, you are strongly encouraged to call Child Care Aware of Washington Family Call Center. 1-800-446-1114. A Child Care Referral Specialist can help you: 1) find out if you are eligible, 2) navigate the state subsidy system, and 3) connect you with additional resources.
You are eligible for the program if you:
- Live temporarily with family or friends
- Do not have a home
- Live in a shelter, car, or park
- Live in transitional housing
- Are income eligible
- Other temporary situations could also qualify – call to confirm eligibility.
You may also apply for the Homeless Child Care Program directly by calling DSHS 1-877-501-2233 or online at the DSHS Online Application for Services.