On February 3, 2022, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in support of HB 89 – Child Care Stabilization Grant Program and Child Care Expansion Grant Program – Established. This bill provides state financial aid for existing linseed child care providers via establishing a Child Care Stabilization Grant Program and would incentivize new providers to come into the market via a Child Care Expansion Grant Program.
Counties have worked diligently and creatively to address the lack of safe, reliable child care in our communities, but these efforts cannot replace the resources that the State of Maryland is best suited to provide the child care community.
From the MACo testimony:
The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the shortage of licensed child care providers to support the safe care of Maryland’s kids and support the state’s working families. Maryland does not currently have enough licensed providers to meet the needs of such families balancing work, child care, and the ongoing pandemic, as many providers had to cease operation due to public health risk and financial instability associated with COVID-19. Those providers that remain in operation are struggling to stay afloat, and many are unable to provide reliable child care.
HB 89 seeks to address these issues. The bill would provide existing child care providers with stabilization grants to help offset costs and fiscal instability, and would incentivize new providers to come into the market via significant financial assistance to establish licensed child care providers. Furthermore, the grants established in HB 89 are authorized to support a variety of critical expenses associated with operating a safe and reliable child care facility, including materials and programming, staff training, and relevant to the ongoing pandemic, cleaning supplies.
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