Applications are now being accepted to support school-age child care providers that operate licensed child care programs in public school buildings and help eligible families pay for full-day care during virtual learning. The County Council unanimously approved a $7 million special appropriation last week for an initiative sponsored by Council President Sidney Katz and strongly supported by County Executive Marc Elrich.
The application period for both the reopening grants and tuition assistance runs through Nov. 30. For more information on the application process and how to apply, visit the COVID-19 website.
“We know that our County’s road to recovery starts with expanding access to licensed child care,” said County Executive Elrich. “During this period of extended virtual learning, we must do everything we can support working parents who have been most affected economically and could use immediate assistance with child care. This funding will be a win-win-win for the child, their parents and our County’s economic recovery.”
The special appropriation provides:
- $1.8 million to support reopening grants for full-day, school-age child care services in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) buildings. This funding makes it possible for school-age childcare providers to open licensed childcare programs in public school buildings to support working parents. This funding is needed to offset increased COVID-19 related expenses and decreased revenue from lower classroom capacity and the inability to operate in school space since March 2020. More information is available on the COVID-19 website.
- $5.6 million in tuition assistance for full-day, school-age child care services offered by licensed child care centers, registered family child care homes or letter of compliance programs located in the County. Eligibility will be determined separately and differently from existing subsidy programs. The funds will be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Children, Youth and Families. To be eligible for these services, a child must live in the County, be enrolled in MCPS and actively attend a full-day child care program. In addition, families must have income levels at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level and have applied for State and local childcare subsidies. Details on the income thresholds is available at https://montgomerycountymd.gov/Biz-Resources/Resources/Files/ecesag/ecesag-parents-providers-en.pdf.
- The Department of Health and Human Services has created a simplified process for families that are already enrolled in subsidy programs and for eligible families within the income guidelines that have not previously used state or local childcare. More information is available on the COVID-19 website.
“I am very pleased that we are able to make this investment in school-age child care while students in Montgomery County are engaged in distance learning because of the pandemic,” said Council President Katz. “This funding addresses the need to ensure equitable access to child care for all families in Montgomery County. This is not only an issue of equity in education but a critical component of our County’s economic recovery, as it allows furloughed child care providers to return to work and caregivers to attend to their professional responsibilities.”