Now accepting bids for the Child Care Worker Wage Boost Pilot – apply by October 19!

We are excited to share the Child Care Worker Wage Boost Pilot request for qualifications (RFQ) is now open! This funding opportunity closes on Monday, October 19 at 2PM, please submit your bid by then.

Click here to view the full funding opportunity details and apply.

Note: please create a log-in to view details and access the ZoomGrants webpage.

About this opportunity:   

Child Care workers keep the child care sector — and our broader economy — running, but they are among the lowest paid workers in the state. At the same time, child care workers are more likely to be women of color. To ensure sustainability in the sector and to support equity in the workforce, it’s essential we invest in child care workers. That’s why we’re launching the Child Care Worker Wage Boost Pilot RFQ.  

The Pilot will run through 2027 and allocate approximately $5 million annually to provide a wage boost to child care workers at selected sites, working with children ages birth to twelve in King County. The Pilot will study the impact of the wage boost on employee retention, continuity of care, and worker well-being with the intention to assess the impact and use data and learnings to support the holistic health and stability of the child care sector.

This RFQ is building a collaborative team to design and implement the Pilot and support the ongoing goals of the Pilot. The successful respondents from this RFQ are responsible for designing and implementing the Pilot, distributing funds, learning from the pilot and disseminating these learnings. The successful respondents will build off early design work and launch the Pilot in 2024 and may continue leading the Pilot through 2027. Participating child care sites will be enrolled through a lottery, and eligible workers will enroll in the Pilot and remain in the Pilot for the duration of their employment, or through 2027, whichever comes first. 


This RFQ is open to for-profit and nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations and public or governmental agencies. Small nonprofits and community-based organizations are encouraged to submit submissions.   

This RFQ is accepting submissions from partnerships of two or more organizations for a single role or multiple roles. Multiple organizations may decide to apply as a partnership for a singular role to ensure that all qualifications are met. Respondents applying to work together in separate roles must apply separately and will indicate their partnership within the ZoomGrants portal. Respondents may apply for one role or multiple roles without receiving any automatic advantage or disadvantage. 

Funding available:   

This RFQ offers up to a total of $21,400,000 in funding for three (3) years, but resulting contracts may be extended through 2027 in King County’s sole discretion in which case funding may be added to the contracts proportionately. The majority of this funding is for pass-through funds that will be paid out directly to Child Care Workers as a Wage Boost.    

Attend our information session:   

We strongly encourage anyone interested in applying to attend an information session to learn more: 

  • September 14, 2023 (10:30 – 11:45 am) 
  • September 19, 2023 (2- 3:15 pm) 

Learn more about this funding opportunity and access meeting details for the information session within the full RFQ document here.  


RFQ Issued   September 11, 2023 
Information Sessions September 14, 2023
(10:30 – 11:45 am)

September 19, 2023
(2 – 3:15 pm)
Final day to Submit Questions via ZoomGrants   October 6, 2023 
Recommended final day to initiate request for technical assistance October 13, 2023 
RFQ Application Due   October 19, 2023 by 2:00 pm  
RFQ Applications Reviewed    October 19 – November 3, 2023 
Interviews with respondentsNovember 2023 
Notification of Selected and Non-Selected RFQ Applicants   November 2023 

Do you have any questions?   

If you have any questions about this funding opportunity, you can submit a question before September 22 through the Contact Admin tab in ZoomGrants. The response to all questions received will be posted as an RFQ amendment on ZoomGrants.   

For complete details, please view the RFQ on ZoomGrants: If you experience technical difficulties with ZoomGrants, you can email directly. Any other questions can be sent to:    

Would you like support? Access Best Starts technical assistance!   

Free application support is available for organizations interested in applying for this Best Starts funding opportunity! Best Starts partnered consultants can support by: helping to determine appropriate fit between your work and this funding opportunity, providing guidance on how best to answer application questions, supporting your application development (including editing and reviewing), and supporting you in explaining your qualifications in the most clear and concise way.    

If you are interested in partnering with a technical assistance consultant, learn more here

1. Check out our funding calendar    

This calendar shares upcoming funding opportunities staggered throughout the year. Subscribe to our blog and newsletter to the right of the calendar to receive notices whenever we post a new funding opportunity.    

2. Watch our latest recorded info sessions    

If you were unable to make it to the info session for an open funding opportunity, check out the recordings and slideshows here.   

3. Keep an eye out for our next open house!   

Keep an eye out for our next Best Starts virtual open house! View the recordings from the latest open house on March 1, 2023

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