COVID-19: Provider Specific Updates

DCYF: COVID-19 Updates

DCYF: Emergency Child Care Waiver (Exception) Request 

Handwashing video in English and Somali


Sunday March 29, 2020

Dear Provider,

In response to the needs of child care providers, families, and children during this pandemic and challenging time, Child Care Resources will be offering a variety of live online conversations on topics related to COVID-19. These online training conversations are free of charge, and provide 1.5 STARS hours for each session.

For us to discuss the topic in a meaningful way, spaces for these trainings are limited. Participants are asked to attend only one time slot per topic. The live online conversations will take place through Zoom video calling. You do not have to have a Zoom license or Zoom account to participate. These live online conversations can be accessed online or by phone. Online viewing is recommended.

Get more information

Register now!

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Child Care Resources
Professional Development Team


Friday, March 27, 2020

Below is a video update from DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter. Two important messages he delivered are:

  • Child care providers will be paid through April based on enrollment even if children are unable to attend or in the case of closure due to COVID related issues.
  • All part day authorizations for school age children will be shifted to full day administratively.  Providers and families do not need to call to report change. This will happen automatically.


Message from DCYF Secretary Hunter: Child Care COVID-19 Update


Dear Child Care Providers:

In this recent video, DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter extends his gratitude for your continued dedication to the children and families in our state as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic. He also addresses Governor Inslee's recent "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order and what it means for essential workers like you. 

Please continue to follow our COVID-19 Updates webpage for guidance, resources and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Submit any concerns or questions to us by emailing This inbox is monitored daily and responses will be added to this website. 

If you have specific questions that cannot be answered by these resources, visit the DOH website or call the public call center at 1-800-525-0127


Friday, March 27, 2020

We are getting questions from many child care providers about who you can and should serve in your programs during the COVID pandemic. We understand that the email from DCYF was not entirely clear in addressing this question for child care providers. Based on the italicized section of the DCYF email below, any child whose family uses subsidy is considered vulnerable and can be served, as well as children of essential personnel, which includes first responders, health care workers, grocery store employees, some government employees, and several others on a very long list of essential personnel.  

Please reach out to your Early Achievers coach for additional support. If you don't have an Early Achievers coach, you can call the provider line at 206-222-3861 or 1-877-512-3949.

Email from DCYF:

What does this mean for you as a child care or early learning provider? Children receiving child care subsidy, participating in Early Head Start, Head Start, ECLIPSE, ECEAP and foster children may qualify as uniquely vulnerable children. DCYF recommends providers serve children and families on the essential list and the most vulnerable children based on community need. Governor Inslee’s list of essential workers is also quite comprehensive


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Guidance for Child Care Providers and the Early Learning Community

Public Health Seattle & King County: Checklist for Child Care Administrators Steps to Prevent COVID-19


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

DCYF Update on Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order

Dear Child Care Providers and Early Learning Community:

Thank you for all that you are doing during this unprecedented time. Your passion and commitment to serving Washington’s children and families are unparalleled. We value all that you do each day.

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is committed to ensuring you have the best information to make informed decisions about providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order issued on March 23 requires that people stay home to minimize the spread of COVID-19 unless they are pursuing essential activities, like grocery shopping, going to a doctor’s appointment or the pharmacy, or if they work at a business deemed essential to continue functioning during an emergency. It also outlines the essential critical infrastructure workers that will ensure the continuity of critical functions for our state. Governor Inslee has designated child care and licensed pre-K as an essential function for essential workers and uniquely vulnerable children.

"The more of us who stay home, the fewer of us who will be infected by COVID-19, and more lives will be saved," said Governor Inslee.

While parents are encouraged to stay home with their children if they're able to do so, we understand that child care services for our frontline healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers is necessary during this pandemic.

What does this mean for you as a child care or early learning provider? Children receiving child care subsidy, participating in Early Head Start, Head Start, ECLIPSE, ECEAP and foster children may qualify as uniquely vulnerable children. DCYF recommends providers serve children and families on the essential list and the most vulnerable children based on community need. Governor Inslee’s list of essential workers is also quite comprehensive. You can find the full list of essential workers here.

DCYF encourages child care and early learning programs serving priority populations to remain open and follow DOH child care guidance on group size and social distancing. Child care centers and family homes should not operate groups larger than 10 people total, including children and adults (for example, one adult and nine children, two adults and eight children, etc.). Limiting the group size is an emergency measure that will help reduce potential COVID-19 exposures and may prevent an entire program from shutting down if exposure does occur. We also understand that as independent business owners and community-based organizations, it is your choice to whether to stay open and provide on-site classroom services.

DCYF is working directly with first responder organizations such as hospitals and others that want to provide care on site to stand up child care sites quickly through an emergency licensing process. This also includes some of our 24/7 state facilities. If you are interested in this resource, please contact

Thank you again for all that you are doing to provide care for our most vulnerable children and essential workers during this pandemic.

For updates on the statewide plan to address the spread of COVID-19 and any new developments, please visit the DCYF COVID-19 Updates webpage. If you have questions, please email


Monday, March 23, 2020

Dear DCYF Community Partners and Stakeholders,

We are repurposing the previously scheduled BRS Planning Meeting to discuss any questions you may have regarding COVID-19. We look forward to providing a space and opportunity for our BRS community partners and stakeholders to ask questions and receive guidance. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. Please see the webinar information below.

DCYF's COVID-19 Guidance and Q&A for BRS Community
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Join the Meeting by clicking the link
Access Code: 807 922 934
Password: dcyf
Call in Number: 1.360.810.3022

Please note, the webinar system can only hold 950 participants. Once that number is reached the webinar will be locked.

The webinar will be recorded and posted to our website following its completion.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at

The Department of Children, Youth & Families.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Great story on KING 5 on our efforts to get urgently needed supplies to child care providers across WA who are running out of essentials like toilet paper & paper towels. Please share!


Friday, March 20, 2020

Hands-On CPR/First Aid Training Waived

Dear DCYF Licensed Programs and Partners,

In the midst of COVID-19 and in an effort to minimize the spread of the virus, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) Licensing Division Leadership made the decision to waive the hands-on component for providers or caregivers who are needing to complete or become re-certified in First Aid/CPR training.

Both child care and foster care licensing regulations are based on federal requirements and we communicated a divisional decision to them during this pandemic event. Licensing Division staff should follow their Emergency Waiver protocol in each of their programs.

All providers and caregivers needing this training will be allowed to complete an online course. Any online course that providers take during this interim must be nationally certified, such as the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or American Safety and Health Institute: 

There will be follow up with providers and caregivers to complete the hands-on component when it is safe to do so.

Foster Care Regulations to be Waived

  • WAC 110-148-1320
  • WAC 110-148-1375
  • WAC 110-148-1455

Child Care and School Age Regulations to be Waived

  • WAC 110-300-0106(12)
  • WAC 110-305-1825

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time and your diligence in ensuring the health and safety of those around you.

If you have questions, please contact your local licensing office.


Friday, March 20, 2020

How to Talk to Children About Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Translation in different languages coming soon...


Thursday, March 19, 2020

A message from CCA of WA to Washington Providers: 

Washington providers - we know many of you are running out of much-needed supplies. We are working to get what you need most sent to you soon. Please check your email for a personal link to our needs-assessment survey and respond as soon as possible. Family child care and school-age providers should have received their surveys late yesterday. Center providers are receiving their surveys today. Thank you!


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

DCYF COVID-19 Child Care Q&A

Washington State Department of Health - New Child Care Guidance


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear Child Care and Early Learning providers. Below is a letter that does a nice job of summarizing the new orders that are in effect in King County. In addition, there are other resources linked within the letter. Here is a fun and helpful link to a blog for childcare and early learning.

The Childcare Health Program
Public Health Seattle & King County

Dear Partner,

Thank you for the steps that you have taken within your organizations and with those you serve to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our region these past few weeks. These have been challenging times, but your partnership has been essential in protecting our collective well-being. Today, King County, along with the State of Washington, is taking further steps to protect lives and our community which will need everybody’s collaboration.

What orders have been made?

• On March 16, 2020, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin ordered the prohibition of all events with 50 people or more, with strict guidance for smaller events. These have been amended from last week’s orders prohibiting events with 250 people.

• The March 16th Health Order also states that the following retail establishments must close until March 31, 2020: 

  • Restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues.
  • Restaurants and food service establishments may remain open only for drive-through, delivery, and pick up only.
  • All other retail such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, shopping centers, etc. may remain open provided they meet Public Health directives in the previous Local Health Order and align with the guidance for retail businesses and service operators to protect from the spread of COVID-19.

• On March 12, Governor Inslee announced that all schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties will close from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 24. At this time, the order does not include childcare and early learning programs. With this in mind, we have created resources for childcares and families for how to care for children while school is out.

We understand that these announcements call on our whole community to think creatively about how to meet everyone’s basic needs and maintain social connections, while also minimizing the spread of disease.

Why is “social distancing” important?

Social distancing, or putting distance between yourself and others, helps reduce the spread of disease. Prohibiting events and large gatherings reduces the amount of close contact between people and reduces the chances of spreading disease. Many people who do get sick with COVID-19 will experience mild illness, but some people – particularly people over age 60 and those with underlying health conditions – may experience severe illness and require hospitalization. Taking these actions now will prevent overburdening the healthcare system so that people who need medical care can get it.

New resources:

Public Health has worked to develop guidance specific to different sectors and their needs.

Please note that many of these were developed with the original guidance for events smaller than 250 people. As of March 16, 2020, these now apply to events for fewer than 50 people.

• For childcares
• For retail businesses
• For gatherings of children and youth
• For faith-based organizations
• For small events 
• For homeless service providers

Misinformation about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to create fear and hostility that is hurting many of our communities impacted by inequities, particularly our Chinese and other Asian (and Pacific Islander) communities and unsheltered neighbors. This makes it harder to keep all of us healthy. COVID-19 does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, nationality, language, nor economic situation. King County will not tolerate hate and discrimination of any kind, and condemns the unfounded fear and hostility aimed toward our API and unsheltered communities. Let us remember that we are stronger together, particularly in slowing down the spread of COVID-19 and promoting our collective health and well-being. King County is striving to be a welcoming community for all – especially for those that face racism and xenophobia.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Information and Resources for Providers

We have gathered resources for providers to help them navigate this challenging time. These resources include information about unemployment, medical insurance and messaging about why child care programs are remaining open. You can find and share these resources on our website here and in Washington Child Care Business Edge here. You must be logged in to Edge to see the resources there. 


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Providers’ Frequently Asked Questions about Early Achievers data collection during COVID-19

Will Early Achievers data collection occur during this state of emergency?

There will be no Early Achievers data collection visits beginning March 17, 2020. Data collection is paused because many early learning programs are not operating as usual due to COVID-19. Programs that had an on-site evaluation in data collection window two (January 16-March 15) will have their ratings published on April 15, 2020 per the data collection schedule.

Once programming returns to typical operation, the data collection team will work with early learning programs to ensure a smooth rescheduling process. 

DCYF appreciates the important service providers offer to families in Washington during this difficult time.  During this time, rather than conducting data collection we are deploying data collectors to the field to support child care providers who may need additional staff in order to support families who must continue working during the outbreak. 

DCYF has suspended data collection due to the COVID-19 outbreak and I am in the queue for data collection. What does this mean for me?

As long as your program remains in the queue for data collection, your timeline will not be affected. When data collection resumes, sites will receive information from their Community Liaison about updates to the data collection schedule.

I accept child care subsidy. If I am unable to participate in data collection right now due to the outbreak what does that mean for my timeline? 

Providers still have the ability to request their on-site evaluation in order to meet timeline requirements. As long as your program remains in the queue for data collection, your timeline will not be affected. Once programming returns to normal, your community liaison will work with you to ensure the scheduling process is smooth.  

I was planning to request an on-site evaluation in the next few months. What is the long-term plan for data collection? 

Providers can continue to request on-site evaluation and will be placed in the queue.  We will continue to update our plans for Early Achievers as this situation unfolds. Please refer to our website for updates or contact us at with any questions.



Monday, March 16, 2020

Emergency Child Care Waiver/Exception Request for COVID-19

Dear Child Care Providers and Partners:

We recognize that we are in an emergent situation and many folks are requesting to operate child care outside the requirements of Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 110-300.

We know the services you provide to children and families every day is critical to the greater good of our community here in Washington State.

If you need to request a waiver to respond more effectively to the COVID-19 situation, please use this Emergency Child Care Waiver/Exception Request form and send it to your local DCYF Licensing Field Office to go through the approval process. This form and process is only for waivers for response to COVID-19. All other waiver requests should go through the usual channels.

Please be as specific in your request as possible – especially as you identify what rule you need waived, the need you have identified and what your plan is. DCYF is committed to processing these requests as rapidly as possible and specific information will assist us in making decisions quickly.

Thank you for all you do for our children and families.

Stay well,

Your DCYF Licensing Division Team


Saturday, March 14, 2020

In lieu of the webinar that crashed on Friday, DCYF posted an informative YouTube Video and Q & A webpage.

You can also submit COVID-19 questions and concerns to There should be more communication coming out from DCYF sometime this week.

Here is also some New Guidance from Public Health


Friday, March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations - Implications for K-12 Schools and Child Care