Yesterday in Annapolis, the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families held a hearing on child care, another in a series that this Committee is hosting to get a deeper understanding of the policies, practices and experiences across our state. The first hearing was about licensing; the second about quality; and yesterday’s hearing addressed the child care assistance program.
Prince George’s Child Resource Center submitted testimony describing the experiences of families and programs in our area, and offered these recommendations for investments needed to make access, quality and affordability a reality:
- Invest to enroll children off the subsidy waiting list and support 12-month eligibility in subsidy
- Invest to increase payment rates to providers to ensure access to programs with a foundation of health and safety and access to EXCELS quality providers
- Invest to carry out the details of the CCDBG law, and Maryland’s efforts to prioritize high-needs communities and increase the number of low-income children in high-quality care, including homeless children, families who work non-traditional hours, and families seeking infant care.
Submitting testimony at a hearing is an important way we’re taking action for children, families, and the child care provider community. Read our full testimony here (link to pdf of final document). The Resource Center also submitted testimony in September on the urgency of child care quality (link to pdf of that final document).
There’s a role at every level for ensuring access to affordable, safe, reliable, licensed child care. We can do more to ensure that high-quality providers are enrolling low-income children, and more to lift the quality of providers that do enroll subsidized families. Payment rates are critical to this effort. We’re committed to advocating at the federal, state and local level for expanding support for families, and support for providers.
Posted on October 6, 2016