Health Care Coverage for Child Care Workers


  • Benefits


Passed in 2021, Washington state’s Fair Start for Kids Act invested $1.1 billion to enhance the child care system by making care more affordable, expanding access, and increasing resources to support providers. As part of this legislation, eligible employees of licensed child care facilities can receive Cascade Care Silver health coverage with no monthly premiums through Washington Healthplanfinder. This opportunity is available for employees who:

  • Work in a licensed child care facility, including family home, center-based, school-age, and outdoor nature-based child care programs
  • Meet household income and other program requirements (employees whose annual income falls below 300% of the Federal poverty level and who do not qualify for Washington Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid plan)
  • Enroll in a Cascade Care Silver health plan through Washington Healthplanfinder.

This program is slated to end on December 31, 2023.

Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families. (2022). Child Care Workers May Be Eligible for $0 Health Care Premiums.

Start Early. (n.d.). Summary of the Fair Start for Kids Act Law.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning, compensation, and workplace conditions.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Washington

Context matters. Visit the Washington profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Washington Profile Here
  • The state population is 7,785,786
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 62%
  • The rural percentage is 16.6%