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Montgomery County Launches Fiscal Year 2024 'EquiCare Subsidy Seats' Grant Program to Boost Quality Child Care Access and Sustainability

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 19, 2024

Montgomery County’s Early Childhood Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Office of Grants Management, is accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2024 “EquiCare Subsidy Seats” Grant program. The program is designed to support Montgomery County families with children ages 0-3 years old enrolled in high-quality child care. The program will also support eligible Montgomery County child care providers to have access to income to have increased sustainability for their businesses.

A total of $1 million will be made available to fund awards between $57,504 minimum for family child care programs and $282,720 minimum for center-based programs for one year. The goal of the grant program is to fulfill the access and affordability and sustainability requirements for child care as outlined by Montgomery County’s Early Care and Education Initiative.

“One of my top priorities since I have been in office is to invest in early childhood education and we have provided more than $56 million.” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We want all young children in Montgomery County to have access to affordable high quality early care and education. Quality early childhood education is critical to set our children up to succeed. As a former elementary school teacher, I saw firsthand the importance of early childhood education and how critical it is to education and equity outcomes.”

The grants are designed to alleviate the financial burden on child care programs, covering the entire tuition costs so qualified families do not bear any expenses toward tuition. Awarded child care programs will evaluate eligibility of families based on Montgomery County residency with an income at or below 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and are not eligible for the Maryland State Scholarship or Montgomery County Working Parents Assistance program.

Child care providers will apply for a designated number of seats available in their program. Eligibility for awards will be based on pre-determined criteria that includes, but is not limited to, participation in Maryland EXCELS, the State’s quality rating system for child care, and accreditation. Child care programs will be prioritized in areas of higher need, with a focus on zip codes 20877, 20886, 20902, 20866 and 20906. Applicants will submit funding proposals for up to three years. Funding beyond the first 12 months will be contingent on satisfactory project performance and future County Council appropriations.

For more information about the program, eligibility and to apply, visit the Montgomery County Office of Grants Management grant application platform. Applications must be submitted by eligible organizations by 11:59 p.m. on Monday Feb. 5.

Recordings of two information sessions that were held are available at Applicants with questions about the application process should contact the Office of Grants Management by calling 240-773-3344 or by email at

Grant applications will be reviewed by an independent committee organized by the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee will include neutral, qualified individuals from Montgomery County Government who are selected for their expertise, grants administration or project management.

The mission of Early Childhood Services to ensure that all Montgomery County children birth to age 5 will have support and access to inclusive, child-centered, family-focused programs and services.

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Release ID: 24-049
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 3015297669
Categories: Education