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Maryland Takes Major Steps to Improve Access to Quality Child Care
Increased Support Helps Families Gain Access to Early Education
BALTIMORE – Governor Larry Hogan recently approved a key step in aiding Maryland families in paying for the high cost of child care, helping to incentivize more early learning programs to participate in the Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP).
As of July 1, 2019, the provider reimbursement rate of the CCSP increased to the 30th percentile of the 2019 Child Care Provider Market Rate Survey. Legislation passed in the last session will also increase the value of the child care scholarships next year to the 60th percentile of the market rate.
The CCSP, overseen by the Division of Early Childhood at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), is funded through a combination of state and federal sources and provides child care financial assistance to families who meet the program’s income eligibility requirements and are working in an approved training program or attending school.
“Each increase in the reimbursement rate is an investment in our children,” said Steven Hicks, Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Early Childhood at MSDE. “The ability for parents to access the highest quality early education, especially from birth to age 3, when brain development is the most active and child care is often the most expensive, is a major investment in Maryland’s current and future workforce.”
Maryland has approximately 8,051 regulated child care centers and family home providers eligible to participate in the CCSP, with approximately 2,445 providers currently accepting children using scholarships. In February 2018, Governor Hogan approved the funding needed to eliminate the CCSP waitlist that had been in effect since March 2011. Last August, CCSP income eligibility guidelines rose from 33% of State Median Income (SMI) to 65% SMI. That means that a family of four can earn up to $71,525 and still qualify for a child care scholarship. Together, with the increase in provider reimbursement rates, more children are able to access high-quality early care and education programs while their parents work or participate in school/training programs across Maryland.
The number of children receiving child care scholarships rose from 14,000 in July 2018 to 19,000 today. For more information about the Child Care Scholarship Program, visit money4childcare.com.