Montgomery Co. to consider grants for businesses that subsidize child care

The Montgomery County Council will consider legislation that would establish a matching grant program for small businesses that subsidize child care costs for their employees in the Maryland county.

Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz said he and his co-sponsor, County Council member Nancy Navarro, hope the program will serve as a recruitment tool for employers while helping families.

The measure being introduced Tuesday “provides that local businesses with less than 50 employees would be eligible to receive grants of up to 50 percent of the annual amount of childcare contributions paid by the local businesses to employees who earn less than $125,000,” according to a news release from Albornoz.

The bill was initially introduced two years ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Women have been significantly, disproportionately impacted from workforce development and are leaving the workforce in droves, in large part because of child care challenges in their communities — which were challenged even prior to the pandemic,” Albornoz said.

“This is a matching grant program that we hope will provide some support for businesses to provide some relief for their employees, but also as a recruitment tool that [will] have economic benefits to the county, as well as social benefits to the families,” he said.

Albornoz said that investing in business while expanding access to child care are “key to foster economic development, alleviate stress for working families and ensure business success across our county and region.”

Other co-sponsors of Bill 38-21 are Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker and council members Sidney Katz, Andrew Friedson and Hans Riemer.

If the bill passes, it will be run out of the county’s Economic Development Fund.

WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher contributed to this story.

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal levels for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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