Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, in partnership with the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC), announced a new program to provide grants of up to $50,000 to county childcare businesses.
The program provides operating funding to assist the licensed family childcare homes and childcare centers that have seen a significant decrease in enrollment over the last six months. The new initiative has an initial budget of $3 million, which comes from the county’s federal CARES Act funds.
The grant provides working capital to cover operating expenses such as rent, payroll and utilities, and costs associated with the purchase of personal protective equipment, ensuring sanitary physical spaces and implementing online communications and learning. The grant cannot be used for any expenses previously covered by another federal, state or local government COVID-19 related program, losses covered by an insurance policy or capital improvements to the business property.
The amount of the grant will be determined by the size of the business and the availability of funding. AAEDC will give priority consideration to providers that serve low-income communities, families residing in childcare desert communities or children with special needs such as infant and toddler programs, Head Start, 504 plans and Individualized Education Program plans (IEP).
A qualified business must:
- Have been open and operating prior to March 13, 2020;
- Must be in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation;
- Submit a copy of its license issued through the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and a signed W-9 form; and
- Upload a voided company check.
AAEDC is currently developing a portal on its website where businesses can create an account and complete the entire application process. The application period is expected to open in early October. For additional information, inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to MSDE data, since fiscal 2018 through July 2020, the total number of licensed child care providers in Anne Arundel County dropped by 42 percent. In July, AAEDC sent a survey to 415 licensed providers. Respondents stated that they are operating at under 50 percent capacity and the average loss of enrollments is 42 percent.
Priority needs of the businesses responding to the survey include help covering operating losses/expenses, increased enrollments, rent/mortgage assistance, PPE and help in funding employee salaries & benefits.