Van Hollen, Ruppersberger Highlight New Funding for Maryland Child Care Centers, Head Start Programs
American Rescue Plan provides $515 million for Maryland childcare centers
Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (both D-Md.) today highlighted more than $515 million to help Maryland child care providers keep their doors open and reduce costs for struggling families amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was provided by the recently-passed American Rescue Plan and included more than $11 million for Maryland’s Head Start early childhood development centers.
Maryland child care centers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, operating at significantly reduced capacity while facing unforeseen costs for sanitization and personal protective equipment. Nearly 80 percent of child care providers reported a financial loss due to COVID-19 and almost half said they may close permanently if children stay home another six months, according to the Maryland Family Network.
“A good early education helps put our children on a path to success,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This essential funding will help Maryland’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs serve our communities and continue their vital work to support children and families in Baltimore and across our state. I will keep pushing to make these funding increases permanent to ensure that every child has the opportunity to get a good start in life and a chance to succeed.”
“Without quality, affordable child care, our economy simply cannot recover,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “This funding is a literal lifeline for the providers and families who have relied on them so that they can return to work knowing their children are cared for. It is also a long-awaited acknowledgement that this industry deserves greater protection, respect and investment moving forward.”
In addition to direct stimulus payments, the American Rescue Plan Maryland families with children with also see benefits through an enhanced Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for 2021. The legislation also includes funding for nutrition programs and eviction protections. Combined, the bill is expected to lift 52,000 Maryland children out of poverty.
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