Working Connections Child Care

Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) helps families with low incomes pay for child care while they work or meet WorkFirst participation requirements.

When a family qualifies for child care subsidy benefits and chooses an eligible provider, the state pays a portion of the cost of child care. The parent is also responsible to pay a copayment to the provider each month.

When enrollment in WCCC is full, a waiting list to receive WCCC benefits is maintained. If your family qualifies for priority status, you will not go on the wait list. Learn more about the WCCC wait list.

What are the basic eligibility requirements for WCCC?

  • The child who needs subsidized care must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
  • The family must live in Washington state.
  • Family income must be at or below 200% FPL. View the eligibility chart.
  • The parent must be employed or self-employed in legal, income-generating, taxable activities; or the parent must meet all TANF/WorkFirst requirements if participating in that program. Note: Child care subsidy benefits can only be approved for work or other approved activities outside of the family’s home.
  • The parent must complete the WCCC application and verification process through DSHS.
  • Parents of children with special needs may qualify for a higher rates to help pay for child care.
    Special Needs Child Care Rate Request
    Special Needs Child Care Rate Request, Spanish

This brochure for families in English or Spanish can help you learn more about the WCCC child care subsidy program.You can also learn more about your WCCC rights and responsibilities.

How do families apply for WCCC?
Contact the DSHS Customer Service Call Center at 1.877.501.2233 or apply online through Washington Connection. You will need to give DSHS the following information for yourself and the other parent if she/he lives in the home with you and the child:

  • Name and phone number of your employer
  • Days and hours you work.
  • Your hourly wage
  • Your gross income for the last three months or your tax return for the previous calendar year
  • Amount of any unearned income you receive, such as child support or SSI benefits
  • Current child support order for the child who needs care, if any
  • Proof of your child’s citizenship or legal residency
  • The name and phone number of the child care provider
  • Your phone number

View the instructions for how to create an online account with Washington Connection.

What happens if DSHS decides I am eligible for WCCC?
After DSHS decides if you are eligible for WCCC and there is a spot available on the wait list, then you will be asked to choose your child care provider. Parents can choose:

  • Licensed or certified child care centers.
  • Licensed or certified family child care homes.
  • Relatives who provide care in their own homes.
  • Adults who come to the family's home to provide care.

Licensed child care providers follow minimum licensing requirements set by the state to ensure children are in safe, healthy and nurturing places. Learn more about licensed child care. If you are not sure where to find licensed child care providers,
your local Child Care Aware Washington agency can help. You can call them at 1-800-446-1114.

Some families prefer that a relative care for their child or care provided in the child's home. When you choose a child care provider who is exempt from licensing, you have extra responsibilities. The provider you choose must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Be a citizen or a legal resident of the United States.
  • Pass the DSHS background check. If care is provided in the provider’s home, then anyone older than 16 who lives in the home must also pass a background check.
  • Be physically and mentally healthy enough to meet all the needs of the child in care.
  • Not be the child’s biological parent, step-parent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, in-loco parentis, or the spouse of any of these individuals.
  • Note: In-home or relative providers who are paid child care subsidies to care for children receiving WCCC benefits may not receive those benefits for their own children during the hours in which they provide subsidized child care.

You must tell DSHS within 24 hours any known or pending charges or criminal convictions against the non-licensed provider. Together you are responsible for the quality of child care, billing practices and reporting to DSHS as needed. View a chart in English and Spanish that explains your shared responsibilities.

Reporting suspected fraud
If you suspect that a parent or a child care provider is misusing child care subsidy benefits, please contact the Department of Social & Health Services' Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA).
Read More >

ECEAP and HeadStart
These programs provide free services and support to eligible children and their families.
Read More >