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What Child Care Centers Need to Survive COVID-19

This campaign has ended.

Sign this petition to Governor Inslee urging immediate state intervention to protect child care professionals, and the families we serve, from the threat of illness and economic collapse.

Why is this important?

With COVID-19 spreading rapidly across Washington State, the health and livelihoods of center teachers, directors and owners are under threat, and families are scrambling to find safe care for their children.

Issues that may appear to be temporary, e.g. frontline teachers and directors becoming ill and sites shutting down, threaten to cause permanent damage to the early learning system. As capacity decreases, children are withdrawn from care and parents are unable to go to work.Many child care professionals already earn low wages, often with no health insurance. This is true of centers that accept state tuition subsidies or those paid by families. Without immediate state intervention, the COVID-19 pandemic will push child care professionals to economic collapse.

Here are some of the supports that our Early Learning System needs to survive this crisis:

* Teachers and directors who are unable to work should receive
unemployment benefits to cover lost wages without a repayment
requirement for reimbursable employers.

* All child care teachers and directors should receive free COVID-19
testing and free health care if they become ill.

* The State should cover market rate tuition (including private pay) if
parents or caregivers are unable to pay due to job loss or work closure.

* If a facility must close due to COVID-19 related reasons, the state should
cover market rate tuition payments to ensure all providers stay in
business and supply financial support for re-opening.

* Payments and direct assistance to centers should be based on
enrollment, not attendance.

* The State should procure and distribute to child care providers all health
and safety supplies needed to care for children.

* All background checks should be expedited within 24-hours for child
care related employees.

* Paid substitutes should be provided if staff members are unable to

* New hires should be authorized to start work without completing pre-
service requirements during this emergency.

* DCYF must provide updates, in appropriate languages, to centers,
teachers and directors on a regular basis, at least every other day, or
more often as necessitated by fluid events.

* Any emergency changes initiated by DCYF to the WACs that would
change or increase regulations should be made in consultation with
frontline professionals, including SEIU and WCCA.

* All health and safety and licensing enforcement should be paused during
the crisis except for the most serious situations that may result in the
loss of authorization or license to provide care.

* All Early Achievers mandates, ratings, and requirements should be
suspended through the duration of the pandemic.

* First quarter 2020 L & I and ESD employment taxes, due April 30, 2020,
should be waived for all child care providers of 500 employees or less.

It’s Time to Respect, Protect, and Lift Up Child Care Professionals!


2020-03-19 18:48:39 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-03-19 16:30:15 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-03-19 15:10:57 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-03-19 15:03:47 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-03-19 14:57:58 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-03-19 14:55:29 -0400

10 signatures reached

2020-03-19 10:28:58 -0400

Thank you for signing the petition! If you want to learn more about our work, please visit the following web sites:
SEIU Local 925:
Kids First Washington Facebook page:

Washington Child Care Centers Association (WCCA):
WCCA Facebook page:

It’s Time to Respect, Protect, and Lift Up Child Care Professionals!