Child Care After COVID: Equity, efficiency, and effectiveness in the financing and delivery of child care in Baltimore and Maryland
In “Child Care After COVID: Equity, efficiency, and effectiveness in the financing and delivery of child care in Baltimore and Maryland,” public policy analyst Martha Holleman examines the availability, affordability, and costs of delivering regulated child care in Baltimore, takes a deep dive into the current implementation and funding of the Maryland Child Care Scholarship Program, discusses what the expansion of pre-kindergarten might mean for child care providers, and suggests immediate opportunities for action.
With increased recognition of the significance of child care brought on by COVID-19 and substantial new state and federal investments in early care and education that are on the way, Maryland can:
- Develop a data-driven, equity-focused process for setting child care subsidy rates that identifies the real cost of care, pursues policy goals like program quality and teacher compensation, and evens out differences across regions.
- Make permanent changes to the Maryland Child Care Scholarship -- Maryland’s child care subsidy program -- to reimburse providers based on enrollment and eliminate co-pays for families with incomes below the state median.
- Streamline the application process and improve customer service for the Child Care Scholarship and related benefits for families.
- Invest new federal funding from the American Rescue Plan in strategies to strengthen child care businesses.
- Expand the use of direct grants to fill critical gaps in care, especially for infants and toddlers and in areas of concentrated poverty.
- Support comprehensive, integrated planning alongside the expansion of pre-K and maximize new resources so that all young children have access to high quality early care and education.
Source: The Abell Foundation