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Free Personal Protective Equipment and Cleaning Supplies Offered to Licensed Child Care Providers; $500,000 Emergency Contract Helps with Needed Supplies

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 8, 2021

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today announced the establishment of a $500,000 emergency procurement to provide free personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies for licensed early care and education (ECE) programs in Montgomery County.

“The cost of trying to operate with lower enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous economic pressure on ECE programs, as many small businesses are faced with permanent closure,” said County Executive Elrich. “That is why we are announcing this latest emergency procurement, which is one of several actions we have taken to help our child care providers get to the other side of this pandemic. It is essential for our County’s overall economic recovery and for the peace of mind of thousands of parents.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ECE programs have noted the high cost and lack of availability of PPE and cleaning supplies. These programs use more of these materials than most businesses (outside of nursing homes, medical clinics, and hospitals), with a constant need to change gloves, for adults and children to wash hands, and for surfaces to be sanitized multiple times a day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State guidelines for operating ECE programs require strict use of PPE and cleaning supplies. Without the materials and the adherence to CDC and State guidelines, ECE programs will be forced to close, many permanently.

There are 1,300 licensed ECE programs in Montgomery County and all are struggling with economic loss due to the COVID-19 crisis. While the State of Maryland has moved to reopening Phase Three and allowed for return to full licensed capacity and group sizes, Montgomery County remains at reopening Phase Two and continues to limit enrollment in all ECE programs.

In July 2020, recognizing the financial toll that the pandemic was taking on the county’s child care providers, the County began administering $10 million in emergency funding to offset reopening expenses and financial losses due to lower enrollment. In addition, the County created PPE distribution centers last spring and into the summer for child care providers to pick-up free PPE and cleaning supplies. This new emergency procurement is the first of its kind that will provide PPE delivery directly to providers.

Under the new emergency contract, the vendor will provide PPE and cleaning supplies, including:

  • Disposable cloth masks for children and adults;
  • Unscented bleach, hand sanitizer and liquid hand soap;
  • Vinyl gloves; and
  • Paper towels.

The vendor will assemble kits and ship directly to licensed child care programs Family child care programs, as well as centers with up to 30 children currently enrolled will be limited to one kit per month. Centers with 31-60 children currently enrolled will be limited to two kits per month, and centers with more than 60 children currently enrolled will be limited to three kits per month.

ECE providers can sign up online for monthly PPE shipments. Through the online portal, providers will also have the option to purchase additional PPE at their own expense, at a reduced cost.

For more information, email ECEI@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.

For COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website.  Follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

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Release ID: 21-098
Media Contact: Mary Anderson, 240-777-6507
Categories: COVID-19