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HSD Announces Over $4.5 million in Awards to Expand Child Care Access

Awards will support the creation of 311 new child care slots citywide through the expansion or renovation of facilities.

**Updated 10/18/2022 to add additional quote from The Children’s Center at Burke Gilman Gardens and a map showing locations of awarded proposals

Today, the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) announced awards from its Child Care Facilities Request for Proposals (RFP), providing $4.535 million of Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery (CLFR) funds through the City’s Seattle Rescue Plan to renovate or develop six programs and increase licensed capacity in preschool and child care facilities, supporting the creation of 311 new child care slots.

City map showing locations of awarded proposals

The RFP focused on supporting child care providers and families hit hardest by COVID-19, in particular low-income workers and communities and people of color, by increasing access to child care. At the national level, mothers of children aged 12 years and younger lost jobs at a rate three times greater than fathers of young children between February and August 2020. Throughout the pandemic, women, particularly women of color, have experienced higher levels of unemployment, threatening to undo decades of progress towards gender equity. Early learning programs are vital to an equitable COVID-19 recovery.

“Seattle has long faced a child care crisis that has put massive financial strain on working families, and the pandemic only magnified this. The lack of affordable, reliable child care options has caused many parents – especially women of color – to lose out on wages, jobs, and other opportunities,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “This $4.535 million investment will add 311 child care seats, including much needed infant seats, to our city’s child care sector, giving more families the support they need to recover and thrive.”

“I am excited to see this significant investment in child care funding go to a diverse group of providers that will serve over 300 Seattle kids,” added HSD’s Acting Director Tanya Kim. “As a working mom, I experienced just how important having the right care for your kid is for the entire family’s ability to thrive. This is an important step to ensuring that working moms and families hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis have the ability to fully recover.”

Proposals for the RFP were assessed by a diverse volunteer panel on project readiness, project budget, provider capacity, and support for low-income and/or Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) families disproportionally affected by COVID-19. The awarded proposals are:

(partnership when applicable)
Project NameProject Site AddressAwarded AmountsNew Child Care Slots SupportedEstimated Construction Start Date
Refugee Women’s Alliance – w/ partner WF Northaven/ Barrientos RYANNorthaven11057 8th Ave NE$1.5 million108Q4 2022
Community Roots Housing PDA – w/ partners:
El Centro de la Raza & Bridge Housing
Jose Marti Child Development facility at Northgate3rd Ave NE & NE 103rd St$1.5 million88Q2 2023
The Children’s Center at Burke Gilman GardensTCC Renovation and Facility Expansion5251 Sand Point Way NE$375,00018Q2 2023
Tiny Tots Development Center 1Tiny Tots Development Center 1 Remodel8314 Renton Ave S$422,37415Q4 2022
St. Paul Early Learning CenterRenovation of St Paul ELC’s Toddler & Infant Rooms10001 57th Ave S$308,80823Q4 2022
University Heights Center/University Temple Children’s SchoolUHeights/UTCS Early Learning Expansion5031 University Way NE$428,81859Q4 2022

“I’m delighted to maximize federal COVID relief dollars to invest in long-term educational opportunities for our youngest residents, and additional child care slots for Seattle’s working families,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, Chair of the Housing & Finance Committee. “Paired with child care provider investments, our work now builds towards equity, growth, and economic resilience for kiddos, child care providers, working families, and Seattle’s businesses. I’ll be looking to enhance our investments to preserve existing and new facilities in child care in this year’s budget process and thank the team at HSD, and SEIU 925, for their work in launching this program.”

“The child care shortage facing our city, region and nation is impacting working families the hardest. These awards focus on the people we need to serve to make sure working parents can retain their family’s self-sufficiency and help kids thrive,” said Councilmember Dan Strauss, District 6. “The systemic issues creating our child care backlog cannot be fixed with one solution, and this focused funding is an essential piece to make child care more affordable, accessible, and closer to home. Thank you to all child care providers, because without you working families would come to a standstill.”

Together, these six projects will add much needed child care slots in neighborhoods that are currently underserved. Several projects will add highly sought-after licensed infant care slots.

Architect’s rendering of proposed ReWA facility at Northaven

“There is a tremendous need by the community to have accessibility for birth to 5-year-old child care. This investment was vital for ReWA to expand its programming in meeting the demands and needs of low-income, immigrant, and refugee children to have an opportunity to thrive in a high-quality early learning environment in which their identity and home languages are supported and strengthened as they transition to kindergarten,” said Susan Lee, Director, Early Learning Centers Operations, Refugee Women’s Alliance. “The investment by HSD has offered an opportunity for ReWA to provide an innovative, multi-generational campus partnering with Northaven Senior Living, leveraging shared use of space with forward-thinking concepts of intergenerational programming.”

The Northaven project, operated by Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA), will add child care in the Northgate neighborhood and will be co-located with a senior living center to promote multigenerational activities. Currently, 95% of the children ReWA currently serves in its child care live in low-income families, where the household earnings are less than 80% median family income.

“El Centro de la Raza’s Jose Marti Child Development Center is honored and privileged to partner with Community Roots Housing and BRIDGE Housing,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza. “We are very happy and excited for the opportunity to provide a high-quality bilingual, bicultural curriculum emphasizing cultural diversity, social justice, and family involvement in the Northgate area of Seattle.”

The Jose Marti Child Development Facility, operated by El Centro de la Raza, will be co-located with affordable housing adjacent to the Northgate light rail station.

“We are excited to partner with the City of Seattle’s Child Care Facilities program! These funds will assist us in increasing our center capacity by 40% and adding a new toddler classroom while remaining open to serve currently enrolled families,” shared Jennifer Kelty, Executive Director of The Children’s Center at Burke Gilman Gardens. “High quality child care and early learning programs are critical to Seattle’s workforce and economy, and programs like the Child Care Facilities fund are an investment in both our current and future generations!”

The Children’s Center at Burke Gilman Gardens serves a high percentage of children with disabilities.

“In the current condition that COVID left most programs scrambling to meet our basic needs, there is not enough left over to upgrade, repair or expand without these vital Child Care Facilities funds” said Angelia Hicks-Maxie, CEO of Tiny Tots Development Center. “These funds are a lifeline for programs to continue to provide quality facilities for children and families. Thank You, City of Seattle for your investments!”

“Thanks to the HSD Child Care Facilities grant, this will allow us to renovate two classrooms to create a toddler and infant room. By adding these renovated toddler and infant rooms we will be allowing our current licensed program to become a full Early Learning Center (ELC) in South Seattle,” said Laurie Clark, Center Director at St. Paul Early Learning Center. “The complete ELC model will allow families a quality, full-day, year-round child care program for their children birth to 5 years of age. We are so excited to get this place renovated and fully enrolled! Thanks again for this grant to allow us to move forward.”

“Investing in early learning programs is a proven strategy in investing in our children’s futures. UHeights is grateful for the HSD Child Care Facility Award that is allowing us to partner with University Temple Children’s School (UTCS) to expand early learning opportunities for 59 additional children, with 50% slotted for families who qualify for state subsidies,” said Maureen Ewing, Executive Director of UHeights. “This award is making it possible to ensure the continued success of UTCS, after they were displaced from their U District home of 50 years, after it was demolished for redevelopment.”