Almost 500 child care centers and family child care homes received a total of $10 million through the Montgomery County Child Care Recovery Program, Executive Marc Elrich announced Aug. 20.
“Providing safe child care, which is essential for so many of our residents – especially during this pandemic, is challenging and costly,” Elrich wrote in a news release. “I am pleased we are able to provide some relief for this vital requirement during these difficult times.”
The 467 places receiving grant money are spread throughout the county. There are more than 1,300 licensed child care programs, including centers and home-based programs, in Montgomery County. Approximately 660 providers applied for these funds.
The program had been approved by the county council on June 16 and is designed to enable families to get back to work while ensuring that their children are well taken care of during the global pandemic.
“Child care providers are an essential part of Montgomery County’s economic engine and recovery efforts,” said Council President Sidney Katz. “We thank them for their ongoing commitment to our children and their parents during this challenging time.”
Katz continued, “The fact is that our community members cannot return to their jobs, if they are unable to find safe and affordable child care options, and both of these things have been jeopardized by COVID-19. While we continue to advocate for additional state and federal funding, this $10 million investment has been of great assistance to some of the child care providers in our community.”
Councilmember Hans Riemer called child care “a public-private partnership model, meaning that we often rely on private providers to provide an essential public service,” adding, “There is no question that schools will be there when it is safe for students to return, but we cannot say the same about child care providers. That is why this grant fund for providers is so important. We are in the midst of a crisis, and we need bold solutions.”
Early Care and Education Initiative’s Child Care Recovery Grant Program Awards $10 Million to 467 Child Care Providers. This is key to keeping our local economy healthy and competitive.
— Nancy Navarro (@nancy_navarro) August 21, 2020