Licensed Childcare Provider Grants

ROUND 1 and Round 2 Applications are closed.

Your childcare business is a foundational priority for the economic recovery of our community. Across Whatcom County, childcare businesses have experienced economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have had to close or significantly reduce and/or modify operations, and there is risk that some will not re-open. The purpose of this program is to collaborate county-wide to support childcare businesses impacted due to COVID-19 to maintain/further economic recovery. Deployment of the grant funds will occur as quickly as possible to address the time-sensitive nature of the need. Repayment of this grant will not be required, except in the case of misuse of funds.

Esta subvención proporcionará fondos a proveedores de cuidado infantil con licencia seleccionados de todos los tamaños en todo el condado. Los proveedores de programas de cuidado de niños o jóvenes exentos de licencia pueden ser elegibles para el programa de Asistencia Comercial.


You are eligible to apply for the childcare business assistance grant if your childcare business is:

  • Licensed by the state of Washington
  • Located in Whatcom County
  • OPEN and actively serving at least one child on site as of July 31, 2020

*Licensed exempt childcare and programs serving children are not eligible for this grant program, but may be eligible for the general Business Assistance Grant


  • Payment of rent or required monthly loan payments.
  • Payments of regular wages, employee benefits and taxes; provided such expenses have not been and, to the best knowledge of the Recipient, will not be reimbursed under any federal, state or regional program, including any grant or loan programs such as EIDL or PPP.
  • Expenditures involved in typical operating costs, including those set forth on an income statement as a regular, ongoing cost of operating the business.
  • Typical draws or wages paid on a regular interval to the owner; provided such draws or wages are consistent with those paid to the owner in previous corresponding quarters, years or other appropriate time intervals.
  • Expenses for compliance with COVID-19-related public health measures, including personal protective equipment and supplies, plexiglass barriers or other similar equipment and expenses reasonably necessary for the protection of public health and the health of Recipient owners and employees.


  • Political campaign contributions or donations.
  • Charitable contributions or gifts.
  • Bonus payments to Recipient owners, officers or employees.
  • Payment of wages to any member of the Recipient owner’s family who is not a bona fide employee.
  • Draws or salary to Recipient owner that exceeds the amount paid over a corresponding interval, quarter, or year in 2019.
  • Paydown or payoff of debt by more than the monthly amount required by the underlying debt instrument.
  • Payroll and other employee- or business-associated costs for which the Recipient has received or expects to receive reimbursement from other federal, state or regional funds (e.g. Payroll Protection Program or unemployment insurance).
  • Damages covered by insurance.
  • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services.
  • Severance pay.
  • Legal settlements.
  • Any expenses not considered an eligible business expenses by the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service.


All recipients will be required to complete a close-out interview with the Opportunity Council no later than December 31, 2020. This interview may include the collection of your financial data.

Questions? /Preguntas?

Please read these FAQs before submitting additional questions.

If you have questions about this application, require additional support to complete it or are currently closed but plan to open again, please contact:

Si tiene preguntas sobre esta aplicación, necesita asistencia adicional para completarla, o si necesita el documento la posición financiera o las instrucciones en español o está cerrada pero planea abrirla nuevamente, comuníquese con:

Opportunity Council’s Child Care Aware of NW Washington
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday
Phone: (360) 734-8396 x227
Toll free: (888) 444-1862 x227

08/31/2020 Update: Awards Announced!

Thanks to countywide collaboration, the Whatcom ReStart grant program will disburse $670,316 in CARES Act funding to support 26 licensed childcare providers throughout Whatcom County. Supporting the hard work of the childcare industry is a foundational priority for the economic recovery of our community. The purpose of the program is to support licensed childcare providers impacted by COVID-19 in order to further economic recovery and support working families. CARES Act funding is intended to reimburse the cost of business interruption caused by reduced operational size, temporary closures, or by stay-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Round 1 applications are now closed.

Information about grant allocations can be found here.

10/13/2020 Update: Round 2 now closed.

The City of Bellingham and Whatcom County offered a second round of CARES funding to licensed childcare providers. The countywide collaborative program, Whatcom ReStart, issued $700,000 for eligible licensed childcare operators. There was no cap on grants to support childcare. 

Applications for Round 2 grants to licensed childcare providers are now closed

Round 2 recipients will be announced soon.