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Below you'll find answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the temporary COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program.

FAQ

The temporary COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program was created by King County management and unions in the Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee (JLMIC) to help working parents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in the closure of many in-person schools and child care providers. The program will reimburse eligible employees in the Regular Employee Benefits Plan for child care expenses incurred during the 2020–2021 school year.

Non-represented employees and employees represented by JLMIC unions in the Regular Employee Benefits Plan are eligible to apply for reimbursement for reasonable costs related to child care expenses.

If you are eligible to receive benefits from the Regular Employees Benefits Plan, but have opted out of medical, you can still participate in the COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program.

For details, see the List of Participating Groups. For additional information, go to Eligible employees and children.

This program was developed through a collective bargaining agreement between King County and the JLMIC. The joint decision-making group is the JLMIC. The JLMIC includes most, but not all, King County unions.

The Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee (JLMIC) is the labor-management committee responsible for bargaining benefits for a majority of King County labor groups, as well as non-represented employees.

The amount of reimbursement you may receive will vary by your income from King County and the number of children you have. Employees who earn lower salaries or wages are eligible to receive higher payments, up to the program maximum of $5,000 per child. The minimum reimbursement amount is $500.

For more information and examples, go to Your program amount. To find out your eligible reimbursement limit, contact Navia at Navia Benefit Solutions or 425-452-3500.

Payments made for reimbursement to employees for child care expenses under the COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program are not taxable as income. These payments will not appear as income on your W-2 statement. Under Section 139 of the IRS tax code, employers can reimburse employees for reasonable and necessary expenses related to a federally declared national disaster. On March 13, 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States was declared a national emergency by the president.

Eligible expenses include payments to both licensed and unlicensed child care providers, including preschools, school-age programs, nannies, au pairs, tutors, extended family members (such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent), friends, and neighbors. Expenses not eligible include child care services provided by the child’s parent, stepparent, foster parent, legal guardian, or siblings under the age of 18; private K-12 school; curriculum, educational materials and equipment (e.g., books, computers, internet, etc.); food and other materials, such as sanitary items, cleaning supplies, diapers, unless these expenses are included in the provider’s rates; travel expenses; and medical expenses.

The terms of this program were negotiated by management and the JLMIC unions. They are modeled, in part, after other similar child care support programs, which limit the age of eligibility to age 12 or younger.

Log in to your existing account at Navia Benefit Solutions or create a new account using code KIG. Pay for eligible expenses, then submit a claim and receipts online at Navia Benefit Solutions

You can fill out the claim form identifying dates of service and obtain a signature from the child care provider to verify the services were provided and paid for by you.

Navia Benefit Solutions is King County’s third-party administrator for COBRA, Retiree Medical, Flexible Spending Accounts administration, and now the COVI-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program.

Yes. If you are eligible to receive benefits from the Regular Employees Benefits Plan, but have opted out of medical, you can still participate in the COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program. To see which employees are in the Regular Employee Benefit Group, see the List of Participating Groups.
If you are eligible for the Regular Employees Benefits Plan, you may be reimbursed for child care expenses even if your child is not currently enrolled in a King County medical plan. If you believe your child is eligible, contact the King County Benefits Team at KC Benefits or 206-684-1556 or use the Add Child to COVID-19 Child Care Program Form.

You can start submitting claims after you receive welcome information from Navia. Claims can be submitted for eligible expenses incurred during the reimbursement period, which began Sept. 1, 2020, and ends on the earlier of the following dates:

  • June 30, 2021 (claims must be submitted by Aug. 31, 2021)
  • The date program funding is exhausted (claims must be submitted within 30 days)
  • The date the federally declared national disaster for COVID-19 ends (claims must be submitted within 30 days)
It depends upon your eligible expenses and eligible reimbursements. You will only need to send a claim for any date(s) of service once. If your expenses are higher than your monthly allowed reimbursable amount, you’ll automatically receive a payment from Navia the following month for any remaining unreimbursed amount. Because the reimbursement period looks back to September 2020, you will have access to available funds from September 2020 through January 2021 in your account. Beginning in February, another monthly allotment of funds will be deposited into your account. You can find out your total reimbursement amount available by logging in to Navia Benefit Solutions calling Navia at 425-452-3500.
The COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program is funded with $9 million earmarked from the JLMIC’s Protected Fund Reserve to pay for all costs associated with this new program.

The temporary COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program ends on the earlier of the following dates:

  • June 30, 2021
  • The date program funding is exhausted
  • The date the federally declared national disaster for COVID-19 ends

If the program ends before June 30, 2021, because program funding is exhausted or the federally-declared national disaster for COVID-19 ends, you may not receive the program maximum reimbursement shown in your Navia account.

It’s important to remember that your program reimbursement maximum is not paid in one lump sum—there is a monthly allowable amount. Because the reimbursement period began in September 2020 and the program started in January 2021, your initial account balance will have reimbursement allowances for five months. In mid-February, and in subsequent months, you will see another monthly reimbursement allowance added to your account until you reach your maximum allowed reimbursement amount. See Your Program Amount for details about reimbursement.

Employees are encouraged to submit invoices for reimbursement as early as possible to avoid missing out on this temporary program.

With an FSA, you contribute pre-tax money from your paychecks into your Day Care FSA account, then you request reimbursement for eligible expenses, including child and adult day care, preschool, and before- and after-school care.

With the COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program, you do not contribute to the program fund. You pay for eligible expenses incurred Sept. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, including those to both licensed and unlicensed child care providers, then request reimbursement.
If you are already enrolled in a Day Care Flexible Spending Account, you may also submit claims for reimbursement through this new program. Although Navia administers both programs for King County, they are completely separate programs.
No. You will not be dually reimbursed for the same expenses. (You cannot double-dip from both accounts.)

When you log into your Navia Benefit Solutions account, you will see a summary similar to the following example:

chilcare-navia-bar-graph

Blue bar: Shows the amount of program funds currently available for you to claim. When you submit a claim, this amount will go down. This amount increases each month when your monthly reimbursement allowance is added to your account.

Gray bar: Shows the total program maximum amount you are eligible for, based on your annual pay and the number of children you have. See Your Program Amount for details about how this is calculated.

All employees will be notified of this program through regular King County communication channels, including email, employee newsletters, and home mailings. Communications will also be sent by our third-party vendor, Navia Benefit Solutions, to employees that were identified as being initially eligible for the program. JLMIC unions will also be communicating about the program.
To find out your reimbursement amount available, log in or create an account at Navia Benefit Solutions using code KIG. If you have questions about how to submit a claim, contact Navia Benefit Solutions at 425-452-3500 or Navia Benefit Solutions. If you have questions about enrolling a child who is not already on King County medical benefits or is over the age of 13 with a disability, contact the King County Benefits Team at KC Benefits or 206-684-1556.
Benefits and retirement

Phone 206-684-1556
Fax: 206-296-7700

Phone hours:
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays
Payroll

Fax: 206-296-7678