Maryland’s licensed child providers and approved family childcare providers are eligible for a $60 million grant program that is aimed at helping offset additional costs incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will be established by the state’s Department of Education and will be funded with federal money Maryland received from the coronavirus aid package Congress approved last month.
The application process will begin on Feb. 16. The deadline to submit an application is March 3. Applicants must explain how they intend to use the money and detail financial loses attributed to the pandemic.
Both Gov. Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced the grant program in a series of statements on Friday morning.
“Maryland’s child care providers have made it possible for front line workers to continue their critical work throughout this public health emergency,” Hogan said. “As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful to child care providers who have reopened and provided continued support to our children and families.”
“In the face of the pandemic, Maryland’s family and center-based child care providers have remained vital partners in our early education efforts and have been essential to the State’s overall recovery efforts,” Salmon said. “These additional grant funds will help support child care providers manage increased costs, so they can continue to deliver safe, reliable, and effective care to our children.”
There are 368,977 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Friday morning, according to the state’s Department of Health, and 7,324 people in Maryland have died from the virus. The state’s positivity rate is at 4.87%, which meets CDC recommended guidelines for containment. Maryland has conducted almost 7.4 million COVID-19 tests.
The state’s health care providers have administered 818,478 COVID-19 vaccine doses. That includes the distribution of 753,175 first doses and 499,025-second doses. More than 605,000 first doses have been received and more than 213,000-second doses have been received.
Earlier this week Maryland ranked 41 out of 50 among states with regards to vaccine administration, according to the CDC.