The Maryland State Department of Education(MSDE) will open part of its child care subsidy waiting list for low-income working families on March 11.
With this reopening, child care subsidies will be available to additional Maryland families with a child care need. MSDE, working closely with the Maryland Department of Budget and Management, determined it would partially lift the freeze on income level eligibility. Eligibility for the subsidy is based on income level and family size. For example, a family of three can have an annual gross income of up to $23,676 and still be eligible, a 57 percent increase over the previous income eligibility amount.
“Paying for child care is a significant part of working families' budgets, and opening up this waiting list will help up to 2,300 of those families get access to safe, quality care for their children over the next 3 years,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “In Maryland, the average child care costs for a family of three living at the poverty level are half of that family’s annual income. Without assistance, these families simply cannot afford to get their children the care they need, and expanding the waiting list is an important step towards ensuring that all of Maryland’s families have access to affordable child care.”
The child care subsidy program provides financial assistance for the cost of care to income-eligible working families through each local department of social services. The program issues vouchers to eligible families to defray those costs. As of December 2012, there were 14,800 families on the waiting list.
Funding for the additional spaces is made possible by fiscal 2013 federal and state money, based on anticipated costs.
Families interested in getting on the list can apply through their local department of social services. A list of local departments can be found by clicking here.