The child care sector in Washington was heavily impacted by the pandemic. A NAEYC survey found that 24% of licensed child care programs have temporarily closed, 44% of the child care workforce has been laid off or furloughed, and 64% of child care programs have experienced at least a 50% decrease in income. Since K-12 schools were closed, there was a significant increase in calls seeking child care, specifically family child care.
With the support of Home Grown, Child Care Aware of Washington will provide $200 grocery store gift cards to 450 caregivers who need some extra financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic. These grocery awards will relieve one major source of stress for awarded caregivers and allow them to focus on delivering care and accessing the community resources and developmentally appropriate materials they need.