Md. child care providers for essential workers get 1st payments from state

The Maryland State Department of Education announced it has processed more than $29 million in payments to thousands of daycare providers in the state, some of which are serving the children of essential workers.

The payments are the first to be made to child care providers since an executive order shut down operations in March due to the coronavirus public health emergency. The payments cover the period from March 30 to April 12.

It has been a long wait for the roughly 3,700 day care providers taking part in Maryland’s program for essential workers.

State Superintended Karen Salmon addressed the topic of the payments in a meeting Tuesday.

“My team at MSDE has been working side by side with our vendor to expedite all payments,” Salmon said.

“We’re doing our best. It’s not quite good enough yet, but we’re getting there; and I’m very grateful to the providers for their patience.”

Christina Peusch, executive director of the Maryland State Childcare Association that represents some 4,600 day care providers across the state, said Friday that those day care operators who signed up to work under Maryland’s “Essential Personnel Child Care Program” were heading into their fifth week of operations without payment when news of the first payments arrived.

Peusch described the issues facing day care operators and said without payment, “We can’t stay open and keep lights on and buy any snacks, or milk or protective equipment.”

Peusch said operators who agreed to serve the families of essential workers understood that they could not accept direct payment from those families and that they would have to wait for payment through the state.

“We are doing our best to step up to the plate, but we’ve got to have some kind of funding to continue,” Peusch said.

Salmon said in a statement Friday that the turnaround time for payments for the next period should be accelerated. “With current program enhancements, as second period invoices arrive and are processed, MSDE anticipates the timeline of invoice receipt to payment to be 5-7 days.”

Child care providers who have questions about payments can use this form that allows specialists to prioritize your inquiry. They can also send an email to or call the following numbers.

  • 410-767-0337
  • 410-767-6947
  • 410-767-6549
  • 410-767-1664
  • 410-767-0120
  • 410-767-7805
  • 410-767-7863
  • 410-767-0583
  • 410-767-7798
  • 410-767-7128

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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