In partnership with the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC), Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced a new program providing funds to county childcare businesses.
The program will provide grants of up to $50,000 in operating funding to assist licensed family childcare homes and childcare centers that have seen a significant decrease in enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial budget of $3 million comes from Anne Arundel County’s federal CARES Act funding. Grants will provide working capital to cover operating expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities, and “costs associated with the purchase of personal protective equipment, ensuring sanitary physical spaces and implementing online communications and learning.”
From the press release:
“Few industries are more important to this county’s overall economic health than the childcare industry,” said County Executive Pittman. “That’s why I asked our team at economic development to survey our providers and work with them on a Childcare Providers Support Program. By providing grants to keep these small businesses operating, we are nurturing young children and allowing their parents to continue their careers through this difficult time.”
“We’ve heard from many of these businesses that have had to deal with reduced enrollment while trying to meet their standard operating expenses as well as new costs,” said Ben Birge, President and CEO of Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation. “These grants aim to be a bridge so that these providers can continue to be in business and available to serve families when the economy fully reopens.”
The amount of the grant will be determined by the size of the business and availability of funding. AAEDC will give priority consideration to providers that serve low-income communities, families residing in childcare desert communities or children with special needs such as infant and toddler programs, Head Start, 504 plans and Individualized Education Program plans (IEP).