February 3, 2021
Testimony Concerning H.B 608, the Early Childhood Education – Child Care Provider Support Grant Program (The Child Care Provider Support Act)
Submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Prince George’s County was home to 747 family child care programs and 377 centers. I am writing to you today on behalf of one of those programs: (insert name of the program and location/city in the county).
When Governor Hogan ordered the closure of child care centers and family child care homes due to COVID-19, the Maryland State Department of Education created an application process for child care programs to be available to serve essential workers. Our 1,124 licensed child care programs shrank to 435 programs for essential workers only. With the permission to re-open granted later in 2020, all area child care programs (whether they stayed opened or closed temporarily) continue to climb back, under-enrolled, with staffing challenges, and the continued stress and fear of COVID-19.
We have an opportunity to address the child care crisis thanks to Delegate Solomon introducing HB 608, the Child Care Provider Support Act. This legislation calls for flexible grants for licensed child care centers and family child care homes in the Maryland EXCELS program.
Insert some things about you/your program, for instance:
- That you are licensed
- If you are in EXCELS or not in EXCELS
- Your licensed capacity and how many children are enrolled now
- If you have staff, how many you would have ordinarily and how many you have now
- What difference it would make to have help with rent/mortgage, utilities, supplies through a flexible grant, and how you would use these funds immediately
Child care in Prince George County was in crisis prior to COVID-19 presenting its challenges. Regulated child care, both family child care and center-based programs, had been on a steady decline in our county since 2015. The economic impact on child care has been devastating. There is no time to lose. Each day brings a new challenge for licensed child care programs and we are grateful for your leadership. We must stabilize the child care sector and the well-being of people who work in child care. We must also rebuild child care better than before. Together, we can do this. Thank you for supporting the Child Care Provider Support Act. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to talk about ideas for supporting child care in Maryland.
Be sure to include your name, program name, and contact information.
Dowload as a word document: PGCRC sample written testimony on HB 608