Governor Hogan Announces Application Window Open For Child Care Stabilization Grants

by Patrick Herron

Per the State of Maryland:
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has opened the application window for the Child Care Stabilization Grant Program and will be accepting applications through Monday, August 29. Through this program, MSDE will distribute $50 million in state funding to help address the financial burdens and operational challenges faced by child care providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“Child care has been critical to our recovery efforts in Maryland, and making sure providers have the resources they need to operate remains a top priority,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration is grateful to our state’s child care providers for their unwavering commitment over the last two years, and we look forward to working closely with them to allocate this additional relief.”

Earlier this year, Governor Hogan announced the allocation of an additional $50 million in grant funding in his FY23 budget to support child care providers. In accordance with House Bill 89, enacted by the governor on April 21, 2022, these grants will be disbursed in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to providers that have faced a financial hardship or suffered an operational burden during the pandemic. Grant funds may be used to support the developmental and learning needs of children, promote equitable access to high-quality child care, and support a professional workforce that is fairly and appropriately compensated for their essential skilled work. MSDE will assist providers with the application process through a system of customer service supports in advance of the application deadline, which is Monday, August 29.

“As essential partners in early childhood education, Maryland’s child care providers build the foundation for the healthy growth, development, and academic achievement of our state’s children,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “This funding will help further strengthen the child care community, increase access to quality child care, and ensure equitable access for every child, especially those who have been historically underserved. As the repercussions of the pandemic continue to impact our learning communities, our family child care and center-based providers and families have held strong. MSDE remains committed to supporting our early childhood educators, who are critical in fostering a positive trajectory for the state’s youngest learners.”

MSDE will also deploy direct calls to all providers in advance of and during the application window to ensure the program reaches as many eligible providers as possible.

In this round of funding, the law requires MSDE to give preference to child care providers based on the following criteria, in order of priority:

  1. Providers that have a demonstrated financial hardship that poses significant risk of the provider’s business closing within the next 12 months;
  2. Providers that have not received a stabilization grant in a prior application cycle;
  3. Providers that participate in the Child Care Scholarship Program;
  4. Providers located in areas designated by MSDE as lacking child care slots;
  5. Providers that serve primarily low–income populations in areas of high poverty;
  6. Providers that serve children with special needs; and
  7. Providers that serve children 2 years old and under.

Eligible providers meeting the above criteria receive additional funds, per licensed slot, for each priority area. Providers can view the Grant Information Guide on the program website for detailed information regarding terms and definitions for each priority area. Today, MSDE released grant guidance documentation, the grant application template, and its plan for a series of virtual customer service support sessions. Providers are encouraged to review the materials and attend one of the offered customer service support sessions.

Timeline:

  • August 3-22, 2022: Application window open; MSDE will review and process applications on a rolling basis
  • August 9, 11, 13, 15 & 16: MSDE will host virtual customer support meetings to meet providers’ needs
  • August 29, 2022: Applications due by 11:59 p.m. EST

Late applications will not be considered. Please monitor the MSDE Child Care Stabilization website for updated information and resources. A recording of the technical assistance meeting will also be posted on the website.

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