WCCC: Priority Populations and Wait List

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WCCC: Priority Populations and Wait List


Working Connections Child Care has a wait list when enrollment exceeds 33,000 households. Currently, there is no waiting list for WCCC.


The following groups receive priority access to WCCC:


  • Families participating in Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership.
  • Families who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. This includes families “curing a sanction” and child-only TANF cases.
  • Income-eligible families who have a child with special needs.
  • Teen parents who do not live with a parent or guardian and attend high school full-time. The high school must offer on-site child care.
  • Homeless families according to the McKinney-Vento Act.
  • Families that received Working Connection Child Care or Seasonal Child Care within thirty days of application.

In the event of a wait list, eligible families within these groups would be prioritized to receive benefits while other eligible families would be subject to the wait list. The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) would keep a wait list of families who apply. Families would be notified by mail when there are openings in the program


In the event of a wait list, what happens if I am eligible but not in one of the priority groups?

You would get a letter from DSHS that places you on the wait list. The wait list would be organized by date of screening applications. DSHS would contact you when space is available.


In the event of a wait list, how will DSHS contact me when space is available in WCCC?

DSHS would send you a letter when space is available. The only way DSHS would contact you is by mail, so make sure to tell DSHS right away if your mailing address changes. Call them at 1-877-501-2233.


In the event of a wait list, what do I do after I get a letter from DSHS telling me there is space available in WCCC?

Contact DSHS right away! There are three ways to contact them:


When you call DSHS, have the following information available:


  • The name and phone number of the child care provider

What options are there for families while they are on a wait list?

Families can call Child Care Aware Washington to locate any child care providers in the community who offer a sliding fee scale or scholarships. There are also statewide hotlines that can help connect families to local resources, including:


How many families would be on the wait list?

That will depend on how many families apply for WCCC. In 2010, an average of 35,000 families received WCCC benefits per month. In January 2011, more than 36,000 families received benefits. WCCC can serve up to 33,000 families per month.


How long would families stay on the wait list?

That depends on how many families enter or exit the WCCC program while the wait list is in effect. DEL and DSHS monitor WCCC enrollment every month and would open enrollment as space becomes available.


Has Washington had a wait list for this program before?

Yes, during the period March to October 2011.


Do other states use wait lists?

Yes, Oregon and California have wait lists for their child care subsidy programs.