The Montgomery County Council signed off on a financial assistance program for child care centers in the Maryland county that are struggling with reopening and with the general losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Child Care Recovery Program sets aside $10 million in emergency funding for providers, which can start applying for a share of the money later this month.
“We know that many businesses have suffered financially due to COVID-19, and child care programs have been hard hit,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement.
“Before COVID hit, we already knew that we had a shortage of accessible, quality child care. And they are really struggling now. We know we need to help our providers so that they can continue to provide the quality early child care and education that is so important to the success of our children.”
Licensed center programs, registered family child care homes and letter of compliance programs are eligible for up to a month of expenses, along with additional compensation.
Grants range in value from $75,000 for a single site to $250,000 for providers that have four or more sites.
Those who qualify must have a licensed facility in Montgomery County, provide care to kids ranging from newborns to 5 years of age, be in good standing with the state of Maryland and must be able to reopen by the end of August.
During Phase One of Maryland’s reopening, providers were restricted to caring for the kids of essential workers only and had stringent capacity limits.
But during the county’s Phase Two reopening, which starts Friday, centers can reopen with up to 15 people per classroom.
Between licensed day centers and home-based providers, there are more than 1,300 child care programs in Montgomery County.
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