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Wed Aug 17, 2022, 01:48 PM

Child care workers in King County to receive one-time 'retention' bonus

King County and the city of Seattle are preparing to hand out one-time retention bonuses to more than 12,000 childcare workers across the county in an effort to steady the industry's workforce.

Nationwide, the industry is still recovering from the pandemic, which caused droves of workers to leave childcare facilities for other work. As demand came surging back, the lack of capacity caused childcare costs to rise.

"Childcare workers are essential to a healthy, thriving region, providing critical services to families and communities every day," King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release.

As of 2021, childcare centers in King County were 13% (1,200 workers) short of their pre-pandemic employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the same span, average wages rose 15%, but not enough to attract and retain staff.


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