The Washington State Department of Commerce is accepting applications for the first round of a new competitive Child Care Partnership grant program. Funding will support grants up to $100,000 each for collaborative efforts that expand child care capacity in communities throughout the state.

Since March, more than 1,100 child care centers have temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot allow a learning gap to persist in Washington state — the long-term costs in human potential for our kids, our communities, and our economy are staggering,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said in a statement.

Organizations eligible to apply for grants up to $100,000 are: nonprofit organizations, local government entities, educational service districts, and federally recognized tribes. This is the first of two application cycles and projects must be completed by June 30, 2021. A second application round is expected to open mid-August.

Only electronic submissions of the application form and required documents will be accepted and via a single email to the application coordinator Mary Baldwin, program coordinator, at mary.baldwin@commerce.wa.gov by 5 p.m. on July 10. Application materials are available here. For questions and more information, contact Baldwin at (360) 725-2815 or via email.