Paying for childcare

Last updated: August 23, 2023

Child care in the Puget Sound region is expensive. As a UW employee, you have access to tuition discounts for child care centers and in-home/ nanny services.

The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) helps you pay for childcare and elder care by allowing you to set aside a portion of your salary for eligible expenses. The money you set aside isn’t taxed, so you save money on eligible expenses for services like preschool, day care, nanny fees, care for a person who is disabled, and other similar services.

Student parents may also be eligible for financial assistance through the student Childcare Assistance Program.

The following community programs also provide financial support for childcare:

Assistance for military families: Families with active military members may be eligible for assistance with childcare fees. Visit Child Care Aware of America for more information.

Best Starts for Kids childcare subsidy: Best Starts for Kids is a King County voter-approved initiative to support every baby born or child raised in King County to reach adulthood happy, healthy, safe and thriving. Starting in 2022, these investments include $20 million per year for a new child care subsidy program.

Goodwin Connections: Undergraduate and master’s students are eligible for financial support from Family Connections. There are two application cycles annually, which open in April and November.

King County Veteran Student Childcare Subsidy: Child Care Resources administers a subsidy program for veteran students in partnership with the King County Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy.

Seattle Childcare Assistance Program: Seattle’s CCAP program helps working families, or a parent going to school, who are eligible and live within the Seattle city limits pay for child care services for children up to 13 years old. Eligibility guidelines and application information are on the Seattle CCAP website.

Snoqualmie Tribe Childcare and Development Fund: This program is open to all Native American families that meet eligibility criteria and provides financial support for childcare and early learning services. Eligibility and application information is available on the Snoqualmie Tribe website.

Washington State Working Connections Childcare Subsidy: Financial assistance is available for eligible families while they work, look for work, or go to school. When a family qualifies for childcare subsidy benefits and chooses an eligible provider, the state pays a portion of the cost of childcare. Parents may be responsible for a copayment to their provider each month. More information and eligibility requirements can be found here. Visit Washington Connection to apply.