ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced Thursday that childcare providers are now able to return to the full teacher-child ratios and capacities for which they are licensed.
During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Salmon said more than 82% of the state’s child care providers have already reopened, but demand remains high due to virtual and hybrid learning.
She also said there have been very few positive cases in daycares. She said state officials are concerned that illegal, unlicensed daycares are opening to meet increasing demand as people go back to work.
“There are no background checks, no oversight and parents cannot be sure their children are in a safe environment,” Dr. Salmon said of the underground daycares.
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The loosened restrictions mean child care centers will be able to have up to 20 three- and four-year-olds in a room with one teacher per 10 students. For school-aged kids, the centers will be able to have up to 30 in a room with one teacher per 15 students.
Child care centers will also have to follow all federal and state health guidelines, Salmon said.
State superintendent says they have seen few positive cases in childcare facilities; 82% of childcare facilities have reopened; she announced today, there will be no capacity restrictions beyond what their licenses allow. @wjz pic.twitter.com/ZqLTc9MU4u
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) October 1, 2020
Because of the demand, the state’s education department is providing $1,000 in startup grants to new child care providers. Grants of $800 per family child care provider and $1,600 per center-based provider will also be available for existing businesses through October 31.
14d) MSDE is also providing $1,000 in start-up grants to eligible, new child care providers in an effort to bolster new small businesses.
— Kata D. Hall (@katadhall) October 1, 2020
Watch the full news conference below: