Thank you for supporting young children and the people who care for them.
The first five years of a child’s life are critically important.
We urge you to make the needs of young children and their families a priority again this Session.
Child Care Subsidy Program
Child care is one of the top three household expenses in every Maryland jurisdiction. The Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) helps low-income working parents pay for it.
CCSP is in a much better place this year than last year because the subsidy rates are on the rise and the income-eligibility limits for families have been raised. Just a year ago, Maryland ranked near the bottom nationally on both counts.
Thank you for recognizing that for parents to keep earning and children to keep learning, the State needed to increase the subsidy rates and eligibility.
HB 248 / SB 181 “Education – Child Care Subsidies – Mandatory Funding Level” would accelerate the phase-in of the subsidy rate increase, thereby getting higher subsidy rates to parents and providers more quickly. We ask for your support.
Please support legislation to accelerate the Child Care Subsidy Rate increase.
Pre-K in High-Quality Child Care Settings
Experienced child care providers in community-based settings are ready, willing, and able to play a major role in the delivery of state funded pre-K for four-year olds and low-income three year olds, as outlined in the preliminary recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.
It makes sense to provide pre-K in community-based programs. These programs are already equipped to meet the needs of working families and young children. Utilizing community-based programs eliminates the need for costly construction of additional classroom space and mitigates transportation challenges. Child care settings can provide the six and a half hours of state-funded pre-K, plus the additional wrap around hours that working families need.
The child care quality rating and improvement system, Maryland EXCELS, helps inform which programs are providing quality care and sets a roadmap for program improvement. In many communities, sufficient slots for pre-k in high quality community-based child care settings are available now.