Changes to Working Connections Child Care subsidy eligibility

Additional reductions are being made to the WorkFirst budget (which includes child care subsidies) to balance it for the current fiscal year (which ends June 30, 2011) and the 2011-2013 biennium. This is in addition to $51 million in cuts to WorkFirst announced last August, which at that time included moving from 200 to 175 percent federal poverty level for Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidies eligibility.

These new reductions are needed in part because assumed emergency Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding was not appropriated by the federal government, and in part because of increased caseloads.

Here is what the new reductions mean for WCCC (information clarified on Jan. 10). 
  • Families who currently pay a monthly copayment of $50 or more will see a $10 increase in their copayment. 
  • All new families applying for WCCC must also receive a TANF grant or be determined eligible for TANF to be eligible for WCCC.  
  • All eligible families who currently receive WCCC are income eligible until their income is more than 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines. For example, a family of three can’t earn more than $2,671 a month.
Please note: Families must reapply for WCCC before their current eligibility period ends or they will need to meet the new WCCC eligibility requirement.

As part of the August 2010 cuts, on Jan. 1, anyone receiving WCCC subsidies who is above 175 percent FPL will no longer receive the benefit. The 1,112 families affected by this, and the child care providers who serve them, have been notified.

All the WorkFirst reductions will be posted online next week at
We at DEL know that these are tough messages for families and providers. We must keep working to come out of this economic situation stronger than before, and smarter about leveraging every available resource. DEL is participating in an effort to put forward to Gov. Chris Gregoire a set of recommendations around redesigning WorkFirst, and will share more information about that when it is available.