Council Supports Allocating $7.7 Million for Low-Income Families To Access In-School Childcare

Montgomery County Councilmembers expressed their unanimous support of a $7.7 million appropriation to fund school-age childcare in public schools for students whose parents are working and cannot supervise them during virtual learning.

A public hearing will be held Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Council President Sidney Katz called it “critical” to financially assist licensed childcare providers who have operated in the schools as they have lost revenue while the schools were closed and continue to lose money as they cannot accommodate as many students as they used to due to the global pandemic’s social distancing guidelines. He also stressed the need to help parents pay to enroll their children in these programs.

During its virtual council meeting Sept. 22, the council discussed allocating $1.8 million for reopening grants for full-day school-age childcare services inside Montgomery County Public School buildings. Another $5.6 million is set aside for tuition assistance for low-income families and $287,000 for the Department of Health and Human Services for staffing to administer the grants.

The money includes in-school assistance before, during and after school for children in low income families and foster care.

Grants to the licensed childcare providers will be awarded based on the number of classrooms operated, to a maximum of $250,000 per provider.

Achievements gaps start early, said Councilmember Craig Rice, noting that these funds will “give our children a chance to have a level playing field.” He added, “If we are ever to get a firm footing, it starts with our babies. It starts with our children.”

The money comes from federal grants and is designed for use during the first semester, while MCPS meets virtually. The total allocation is $7,687,000.

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Suzanne Pollak

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.


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