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Press Releases - County Council

Council introduces $7,687,000 special appropriation to increase access to licensed full day school-age child care throughout virtual learning

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Funding spearheaded by Council President Sidney Katz would increase the sustainability of the school-age child care sector, help families of school-age children to access full-day child care while MCPS is meeting virtually, and remove barriers that prevent foster families from accessing full day child care subsidies

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 22, 2020—Today the Montgomery County Council introduced a special appropriation of $7,687,000 to support school-age child care providers operating licensed child care programs in public school buildings and aid families in accessing full-day care. The full Council is sponsoring the special appropriation, which was initiated by Council President Sidney Katz.

“School-age child care, like early care and education, is an essential service to support families as they return to work and navigate virtual learning. It is incumbent upon us to help sustain a strong sector that offers equitable access to quality full-day child care to all children,” said Council President Katz. “This investment is also critical to the County’s economic recovery, allowing furloughed child care providers to return to work and caregivers to attend to their professional responsibilities. Thank you to the Montgomery County School-Age Child Care Coalition, Department of Health and Human Services, and my Council colleagues for their collaboration.”

The funding for school-age child care providers 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. Many of these providers did not qualify for support for school-age child care services through the County’s Public Health Emergency Grant program or the Early Care and Education Initiative Recovery Fund. 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. Grant awards will be based on the number of classrooms that the child care provider will be opening in school space during the first semester of the MCPS 2020-2021 school year multiplied by $19,500. The maximum grant amount for each organization is $250,000. To be eligible for a grant, child care providers must: reopen full-day, school-age child care classrooms in MCPS buildings during the first semester of the MCPS 2020-2021 school year; have a Maryland license to operate child care in the classrooms; have a facility use license for the classrooms through the Office of Community Use of Public Facilities; and be in good standing with the State of Maryland.

This special appropriation will also support working families with incomes below 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and foster families by funding before, during and after school child care while MCPS is meeting virtually during the first semester of school ending on January 29, 2021. This care will provide supervision to children ages five through 13 who would otherwise be in school but for the restrictions to in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This special appropriation also provides $5.6 million to provide tuition assistance for full-day, school-age child care services offered by child care centers, registered family child care homes or letter of compliance programs located in the County. Reimbursement for services must be based on the Maryland Family Network average rate for five-year-old children in Montgomery County.

Eligibility for this tuition assistance will be determined separately and differently from existing subsidy programs. The funds will be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of 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, their families must have income levels at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level and applied for state and local child care subsidies. The family income requirement will not apply to school-age children in foster care needing child care.

The Council staff report with more information can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-373
Media Contact: Mary Gies 240-777-7817