What is Goodwin Connections?
Goodwin Connections is a Seattle-based nonprofit funded by private foundations and donors that believe in our mission and want to see you and your child succeed! We are not like the WA Department of Children Youth and Families, or a city organization, since those are publicly funded. We fundraise and write grants to support the Family Connections Program and the Student Parent Success Program which offer benefits to assist parents enrolled in a degree program.
Are you currently accepting applications?
At this time our program is at capacity. We are currently unable to accept new applications.
How do I apply?
When the application cycle opens, we offer an online application that requires supporting documentation and is followed by an interview (via Zoom). Once accepted into the program you receive benefits through graduation, one degree at a time if the minimum eligibility requirements are met. You can find more information on our Application page.
What are the next steps after filling out the application?
- If your application is COMPLETE, we will notify you by email if you will move on to a virtual applicant meeting, or if your application is declined.
- The applicant meetings will be conducted via Zoom and are the last stage of the application process.
- You will be notified immediately following your applicant meeting if you have been accepted, if we need additional information, or if you are declined.
- If accepted into the program, you will be required to attend a virtual orientation meeting before the following term begins.
- Payment is made directly to the licensed childcare/preschool/after-school care of your choice on a quarterly or monthly basis.
What are the program requirements?
You need to be enrolled in a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree program at an approved college in King, Pierce, or Snohomish Counties. Your kids need to be under 12, and you should be able to demonstrate financial need. There are more details provided on our Eligibility Guidelines page.
What documents do you need to apply?
You will need a copy of your FAFSA Student Aid Report or your WASFA application, and transcripts of previously completed course work. If you are new to school, you will need proof of acceptance or enrollment. Also, we ask each student for an academic plan. An academic plan is a plan that shows which classes you plan to take each term to graduate on time. It’s like your road map to graduation. If you advance to the second round, you will need your tax returns. You can find more information and guidelines on our What You’ll Need to Apply page.
What are the benefits of being in the program?
Most people apply to the Family Connections Program for childcare/preschool tuition assistance, which is awesome! We also offer family essential funding (i.e. diapers, utilities, etc) through the Student Parent Sucess Program. It is important to note we also offer basic needs assistance and career development resources, as well as a holiday program and ongoing support from our whole staff.
Is this just like a grant or a scholarship?
No. This is a comprehensive program that strives to be an extension of your support system. We want to see you graduate and will work with you along the way to get there and are always thinking of new ways to help the families we serve.
Do I have to reapply every school term?
You do not have to reapply, but we do need to know you are still enrolled in school and in good academic standing, so you will have to renew your status with your current schedule and grades either quarterly (Family Connections Program) or annually (Student Parent Success Program).
How much childcare assistance will I get in the Family Connections Program?
The childcare assistance can be used for childcare, preschool tuition, or before/after school care and the amount of the award is based on the age of your child/ren and your income. Infants aged 0-2 are eligible for up to $2,200/quarter, preschoolers age 3-5 are eligible for up to $1,650/quarter and school-age kids are eligible for up to $1,200/quarter. These are the maximum award amounts.
Can my child go to any childcare I want?
If your child is under 6, the facility needs to be licensed. You can choose any licensed childcare facility or preschool that fits your budget and the needs of your family. The childcare must accept public subsidies. If you have school-age kids, you can also choose a program like the YMCA. If you need help finding childcare, we can send you a list of providers student parents in our program have used and connect you to our partners at Childcare Resources to help you find a good fit.
How does the payment work?
For childcare tuition assistance through the Family Connections Program: The payment is made quarterly (or monthly if needed) and is sent directly to the childcare/preschool/after-school program you choose. It is not made automatically though; you will fill out a simple form each quarter to initiate the payment.
For family essentials funding through the Student Parent Success Program: Payments or procurement of approved essentials is made directly to the vendor or with a gift card to the vendor. For example, if you need gas to get to class, we would likely buy you a gas gift card. If you need a textbook for a class, we would likely buy the book and have it shipped to you.
Can I pay a babysitter or family member?
No, we are not able to pay individuals. That includes family members, friends, and babysitters.
I get additional childcare funding is that OK?
Yes! We love when our students are resourceful and able to secure additional funding for childcare. Our Family Connections Program program is meant to be used as a gap funding source to pay your out-of-pocket costs once all other childcare assistance has been applied to your childcare costs. If you are in the Family Connections Program, we would be your second (or even third) funder and pay what is left after your public funding is applied, up to the maximum you were awarded. If your funding doesn’t cover the entire balance owed, you are responsible for what is left.
What if I want to go to school part-time, can I still be in your program?
Right now we offer two program options in terms of enrollment requirements:
- The Family Connections Program requires full-time enrollment (12+ units) at an approved institution.
- The Student Parent Success Program requires three-quarter time enrollment (10+ units) at an approved institution.
How flexible is your program?
Students can change their major or move to a new college one time while in the program. We offer each student a personal quarter for any reason, where they will continue to receive benefits regardless of enrollment. Students may also save this personal quarter and use it after graduation, as they look for a job. However, if a student does not meet our minimum eligibility requirements (grades, enrollment, income) they will forfeit their place in the program.
What happens after I graduate?
You have two great choices! You can exit the program, and use the career resources we talked about earlier, or you can continue your education—if you haven’t met the maximum award amount for your family. We support student parents “one degree at a time” for a maximum of 2 degrees or 4 years. So, if you earn a certificate you can stay in the program and get your associate’s degree, or if you get your associate’s degree, you can stay with us for your bachelor’s degree.
What kind of basic needs support do you offer student parents?
Our basic needs assistance is currently $100 of unrestricted support for the fall quarter and winter quarter in the form of a gift card. We also have a generous holiday program in the winter that includes gifts for your kids and small treats for you.
If you are in the Student Parent Success Program you are also eligible for up to $500 per year of assistance with family essentials (i.e. diapers, utilities, etc.).
Goodwin Connections is committed to assuring equal access to services, programs, and activities for individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of Goodwin Connections to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability to enable such individual to apply. Further, it is the policy of the Goodwin Connections to provide reasonable accommodation for religious observers. If you need accommodation, please contact us at email@example.com or 206-526-7944 ext. 4
Goodwin Connections will not condone any harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, creed, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, the presence of any physical or mental disability, or any other protected classification under applicable laws.