Forward Together

Proposed Program Doubles Daycare Providers in Seattle Southside

A large number of South King County businesses are unable to resume operations after Covid lockdown due to low employee supply. These staffing issues are caused in part by a lack of / cost prohibitive childcare options due to pandemic facility closures. Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce proposes a daycare start up program, which includes grant funding, technical assistance, mentoring and ongoing support. Their goal is to double the number of home daycare providers over 3 years in order to support South King County’s almost 50,000 children under 10 years old (census data), and support resident parents in returning to work.

  1. Start: Childcare provider entrepreneurs who want to create new businesses need assistance and support to start their business strong. Focus will primarily be home-based daycares. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families aims to open 150 new childcare facilities in each of the next two years. The Southside Chamber can work in partnership and collaboration with regional partners, to connect and engage hyperlocal interested parties to regional resources. Start-up grants will also ensure barriers to access are removed.
  2. Sustain: Childcare providers that need support to keep their businesses operating at current scale. Included in this group would be providers who shut down or contracted during Covid. This is likely the largest and most important group of the three, as a recent NAEYC survey of Washington childcare providers suggest that more than one in three existing providers are considering closing their center in the next year. Part of the hyperlocal regional cohort model also includes peer to peer mentoring that is crucial for the long-term support. Business support services and technical assistance will be provided by the Chamber and other partners.
  3. Grow: Currently operating childcare providers that want to expand capacity either in their current facility or a new one. Although the hyperlocal cohort will focus primarily on home-based businesses, we expect some to grow and expand into centers with the support and resources provided.

Funding and sponsorship is being requested to help support the program as well as provide the funding for the start-up grants to be delivered directly to the businesses to help remove barriers to starting their business.

  • Number business served (targeted): 20
  • Dollars invested (targeted): $150,000
  • People reached: 160