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Press Releases - County Council

County Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Nancy Navarro Introduce Small Business Matching Grant Program for Child Care

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Program will help Montgomery businesses attract talent

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 4, 2020—On Tuesday, March 3, Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Nancy Navarro introduced Bill 9-20, Economic Development Fund – Local Business Child Care Grant Program, which will provide an incentive to help our County’s small businesses attract talent while also expand access to quality childcare. Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson, Hans Riemer and Tom Hucker are cosponsors.

“One thing is clear: our local workforce is the future of our county’s economic success,” said Councilmember Albornoz. “This is why we are partnering with local businesses to attract and retain talented professionals by expanding access to quality childcare. These investments are key to foster economic development, alleviate stress for working families and ensure business success across our county and region.”

“To succeed and maintain our competitive edge as a nation, children and their families need access to quality early care and childhood education,” said Councilmember Navarro.

“By investing in our children, we are making a commitment to the success of our country and our county. This is why I authored a framework that became the County’s Early Care and Education Initiative. It provides for a four-year action plan, and part of this action plan is to identify and resolve barriers to expansion, access and sustainability of quality childcare in the County, including workforce supports. Bill 9-20 is another tool in the toolbox as we work towards the design and implementation of a high-quality early care and education system in the County.”

Bill 9-20 provides that local businesses with less than 50 employees would be eligible to receive grants of up to 50 percent of the annual amount of childcare contributions paid by the local businesses to employees who earn less than $125,000. Resources would be provided through the county’s Economic Development Fund. Reporting data would be provided to the Council on an annual basis to evaluate the impact of the grant program.

This measure is part of both Montgomery County’s Economic Development Platform and the Early Care and Education Initiative. Each of these overarching plans were spearheaded by Councilmember Navarro and supported by Councilmember Albornoz and the full Council. Creating this grant program will help to attract and retain businesses in the county. In addition, providing childcare assistance will benefit residents across the entire workforce development continuum and expand early care and educational opportunities.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, “Lack of access to quality and affordable childcare is a significant barrier that limits the supply of talent. Companies that take an active role in helping their employees secure these services generate billions of dollars a year in revenue due to increase workforce participation.” The foundation also found that each dollar spent on high-quality childcare, sees returns of $16, and that turnover because of a lack of childcare costs businesses 20 percent of an hourly employee’s salary and up to 150 percent of a manager’s salary.

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Affordable, quality childcare is not only important to parents, it is critical to the success of our businesses. A 2018 report by the Maryland Family Network, “Counting Our Losses – The Hidden Cost to Marylanders of an Inadequate Child Care System,” found that absences and turnover due to child care issues for parents with children age five and under cost Maryland employers approximately $2.41 billion, reduced the State’s economic output by $1.28 billion, and reduced Maryland tax revenue by $117 million in 2016.

Lack of access to quality childcare for parents is equally stunning. Nearly 50 percent of working Maryland parents experienced a short-term disruption in employment due to childcare issues.

The annual cost of childcare in Montgomery County according to Child Care Aware of America 2018 report, ranges from approximately $13,000 for home-based care to $19,000 for center-based care a year. For infants and children up to four years of age, the cost is approximately $25,000 for home-based care to $33,000 for center-based care a year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that childcare should consume no more than seven percent of a family’s income.

See February 10, 2020 Washington Post story:


Release ID: 20-078
Media Contact: Lillian Cruz 240-777-7801, Bertha Cerzosimo 240-777-7986