The Cost of Child Care

Child care can be expensive.  You may qualify for help.

Financial Assistance
The Working Connections Child Care Program helps low income families pay for child care expenses while the adults are working, looking for work, or in an approved training program. This program is funded by state and federal funds, and is administered by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Eligibility is determined by income. To be eligible for the Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) Program, your income must be within certain guidelines. Call Working Connections Customer Service Center at 1-877-501-2233 or apply online for Working Connections Child Care Subsidies. Use the DSHS Trial Eligibility Calculator to determine your eligibility for the WCCC or other DSHS programs. If you think you qualify, apply online.

Some child care providers also offer rates on a sliding scale based on income, scholarships, multi-child discounts, vouchers or other tuition breaks.  During your visit with the provider, ask about any available tuition supports.

All Working Connections Child Care families are required to help pay for child care services with a co-payment. The co-payments will vary, with a minimum payment of $15.00 per family, each month. DSHS staff will determine the specific co-payment amount based on the family size and total income. 

Children With Special Needs
If your child has special needs, you may qualify for an increased subsidy. For more information call your local Community Services Office. 

Earned Income Tax Credit: Tax assistance for working parents
The Earned Income Tax Credit or the EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.


The chart below reflects the average cost of childcare. For a full view please click the chart.



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