Maryland State House. Photo by S.L./Flickr.

Governor Hogan yesterday announced $50 million in additional grant funding to help child care providers cover unexpected business costs associated with the pandemic.

Child care providers will be able to use the funding to cover costs such as rent or mortgage payments, masks, personnel costs, and mental health support for children and employees.

Many child care centers have struggled to remain open during the pandemic, as enrollment dropped and finding qualified workers became difficult.

Since March 2020, 751 child care providers in Maryland have closed, according to the Maryland State Childcare Association.

“Child care is one of our most essential services, and keeping facilities open and available to parents with minimal disruption is a top priority,” Governor Hogan said in a statement yesterday.

“We want to thank our providers for all of their efforts, and we look forward to working closely with them to allocate this critical relief,” he said.

In the fall of 2021, the Maryland State Department of education distributed $158 million in American Rescue Plan funding to child care providers throughout the state.

On Jan. 3, the department opened the application window for the second and final round of grants.

In the second round, the department will distribute more than $125 million to child care programs in Maryland.

With federal funding “exhausted,” Hogan said, he will add grant programs to the budget for 2023.

The governor said he will also allocate $5.2 million to help child care staff attain credentials; $5 million for awards to providers who participate in Maryland EXCELS; $3 million for local Head Start programs; and $1 million for the Child Care Accreditation Support Fund, which helps child care providers with the costs of receiving accreditation.