Frequently Asked Questions

 EMERGENCY CHILD CARE PROGRAM 

Whose children are eligible for emergency child care?  

  • First responders and essential workers in the healthcare, grocery, and pharmacy sectors 

  • Essential City personnel and employees of organizations doing priority level one work as defined by the Mayor's office or Essential Operations Management

  • Families experiencing homelessness

  • Other essential workers identified in Governor Inslee's Stay Home, Stay Healthy Orderof March 24.   

    If you are in need of childcare but are not in one of these eligible groups, please contact Child Care Resources for alternative care options.   

What ages are eligible for emergency child care?  

Children must be between the ages of 3 and 12 and must be toilet trained in order to participate in the Emergency Child Care program.  

If you have a younger child or have different needs from what DEEL can accommodate, please contact Child Care Resources for alternative care options. 

How do I access emergency child care? 

If you are in one of the eligible groups listed above and did not receive an invitation to Emergency Child Care from your employer, you can request registration for the program here, where you will be prompted to provide information about your employer as well as about your child care needs.  

I am an essential worker and did not get a link. How can I get one?    

If you work in one of the eligibility groups defined above but did not receive an invitation into the Emergency Child Care program from your employer, you can request registration into the program here, where you will be prompted to provide information about your employer as well as about your child care needs.  

I received the link and filled out the survey. What do I do now? 

A representative from the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) will be contacting you using the phone number you offered. We anticipate spaces will fill quickly and we will match families to vacancies as quickly as we can. Please wait for a phone call or an email with updated timelines.  

I am low income. Why didn't I get an invitation?

Due to the high demand for child care from essential emergency and healthcare personnel and the limited number of available slots, we are unable to open emergency child care to the public at this time.   

We are still accepting and processing applications into our Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) as usual. Many CCAP providers remain open, and families with a CCAP voucher should check with their provider to inquire about availability and current guidelines. For more information on CCAP, please visit our website

Families looking for additional resources and information during the COVID-19 pandemic may contact Child Care Aware of Washington Family Center, operated by Child Care Resources,  at 1-800-446-1114 or visit childcare.org.  

Child Care Aware is supporting families seeking child care and employers needing child care options for their workforce.   

Who should not use emergency care? 

At this time, we are asking families with other available child care options not to reserve one of the limited emergency child care slots.  

Additionally, if your child or any member of your household has had a fever, cough, or shortness of breath in the past 24 hours, please keep your child home (see additional information below). 

What if my child or a family member is sick?

If your child or any member of your household has had a fever, cough, or shortness of breath in the past 24 hours, please do not bring them to the childcare location. If your child starts to feel unwell or shows signs of being unwell while at childcare, they will be evaluated by trained staff and you or your emergency contact will be contacted as necessary.   

Parents should check their child's temperature before bringing them to child care each day. Staff are also being instructed to monitor their own temperature regularly. Anyone with a temperature equal to or greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or who has a cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, or sore throat should stay at home and away from others.   

Anyone who has been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days must also stay home and away from others.  

Will there be a health assessment for children entering care? 

Yes. Participants will be assessed by staff at the beginning of each day according to Public Health - Seattle & King County guidelines.

What about hand washing and cleaning? 

Each site will follow all Public Health - Seattle & King County recommendations regarding cleaning, disinfecting, handwashing, and personal space.