The lack of child care in our communities, including Skagit County, impacts families, employees and employers in a variety of ways such as missed work, lost wages and in some cases, employees exiting the workforce altogether.  

That’s why Opportunity Council’s Center for Retention & Expansion of Child Care (C-RECC) supports local child care providers and works to expand child care capacity across Northwest Washington.  

In an exciting new pilot project, the C-RECC team will provide up to $75,000 of federal pandemic relief funding to help one or more employers in Skagit County open a child care center for their employees and the community. 

Funding to jump-start onsite child care in the workplace 

As part of the pilot project, employers would build out a child care facility onsite or near the workplace with funding support and coaching from C-RECC. This innovative approach brings numerous benefits, especially for businesses whose employees struggle to find quality and affordable care for their kids.  

With this partnership, working parents would have slots reserved specifically for their children, giving them the security of reliable child care. Thanks to the proximity to work, drop-off becomes easier and faster—saving families the cost, time, and stress of another morning stop. Extra child care slots, in high demand across our region, can also be opened up to the rest of the community, supporting other nearby employers and families.  

By supporting families, we increase security and well-being while employers benefit from increased employee longevity, retention, and performance—all of which in turn strengthens local business and the economy we all depend on.  

The application is now open at and contracts are set to finalize by March, so we invite you to spread the word among friends and colleagues this holiday season. Please contact for more information. 

Five people stand together outside in front of some trees and a fence.

Emily, Megan, David, Kenda, and Sandra from Opportunity Council's Early Learning programs get together for a picture. All are from the Center for Retention & Expansion of Child Care (C-RECC), except David (center), who is the director of the Early Learning and Family Services department.

Restoring child care capacity in Skagit County 

Skagit County lost nearly a quarter of its child care capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic, and many families, employees and employers are still reeling from the impact. The essential workers we all depend on—medical providers, law enforcement, and educators—are facing staffing challenges due to a lack of available child care, especially in rural areas in the county. 

This grant program—intended to support the child care sector and help reverse the effects of the pandemic on capacity—is made possible by the support of Skagit County and the Population Health Trust Advisory Committee, and pandemic relief funds from the America Rescue Plan Act.  

The Center for Retention & Expansion of Child Care Northwest (C-RECC) was created in early 2020 through a partnership between Opportunity Council and the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. C-RECC NW focuses on sustaining, strengthening, and expanding child care capacity in Skagit, Island, San Juan, Snohomish and Whatcom counties. The C-RECC team supports potential and current business owners through startup grants and strategic coaching. C-RECC also works to increase affordable child care options for parents, investing in quality early learning so that the next generation of our community can thrive. Please reach out to to learn more about how our C-RECC team can support you!