BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland will provide $50 million in grants to child care providers to cover costs associated with the pandemic, Gov. Larry Hogan said on Monday.
“Child care is one of our most essential services, and keeping facilities open and available to parents with minimal disruption is a top priority,” said Hogan. “We want to thank our providers for all of their efforts, and we look forward to working closely with them to allocate this critical relief.”READ MORE: Roof Partially Collapses At Scene Of Mt. Airy Barn Fire, Authorities Say
The Maryland State Department of Education has already used $285 million in federal funding to offer two rounds of grants to providers. With those funds “exhausted,” Hogan said he is now adding grant programs to the budget for Fiscal Year 2023.READ MORE: U.S. Naval Academy Plebes Cap First Year With Herndon Climb
Funds can be used for COVID-19 related expenses, such as covering personnel costs, acquiring personnel protective equipment, paying rent or mortgage, and providing mental health support for children and employees.
The governor said he is also allocating:
- $5.2 million to help child care staff attain proper credentials
- $5 million for awards to providers who participate in a state rating system, Maryland EXCELS
- $3 million for local Head Start programs promoting school readiness
- $1 million for the Child Care Accreditation Support Fund, which assists providers with the accreditation costs
Lawmakers returned to Annapolis earlier this month for the 2022 legislative session, and one of their top tasks is figuring out how to spend the state’s $4.5 billion budget surplus.