The Dundalk Eagle

Ini­ta­tives to help fam­i­lies with young chil­dren

- Society · Education · Baltimore · Baltimore County · Newport County A.F.C. · Baltimore County Public Schools · Maryland · Department of Education · Philippines Department of Education · YMCA · After School · Dundalk, MD · University of Maryland Baltimore County · Maryland Food Bank

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive John Ol­szewski Jr. and Bal­ti­more County Public Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Dar­ryl L. Wil­liams on Thurs­day an­nounced two new ini­tia­tives – Child­care Sub­si­dies and Aca­demic Sup­port Cen­ters – de­signed to help sup­port fam­i­lies of young chil­dren dur­ing the chal­leng­ing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased that county govern­ment and lo­cal ser­vice providers are work­ing to pro­vide struc­tured en­vi­ron­ments to as­sist stu­dents with vir­tual learn­ing and as­sist fam­i­lies with child­care,” said Su­per­in­ten­dent Wil­liams. “Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, BCPS is con­tin­u­ing to de­velop its plans to bring small groups of stu­dents back into our class­rooms as early as Novem­ber. To­day, I will be re­leas­ing a time­line with more de­tails about how we will sched­ule staff and student reen­try.”

Child­care Sub­si­dies

Ol­szewski has al­lo­cated up to $7 mil­lion to pro­vide child­care sub­si­dies for work­ing fam­i­lies with chil­dren ages 5 to 12.

The pro­gram aims to sup­port low­in­come work­ing par­ents who are not able to stay home to man­age their chil­dren’s re­mote learn­ing. El­i­gi­ble fam­i­lies will re­ceive a sub­sidy of up to $250 per week per child to cover the cost of care at any child­care provider li­censed by the Mary­land State Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (MSDE).

Fam­i­lies re­ceiv­ing Sup­ple­men­tal Nu­tri­tion As­sis­tance Pro­gram (SNAP) ben­e­fits where all par­ents or guardians in the house­hold are em­ployed will be el­i­gi­ble.

To stream­line pro­gram ac­cess, po­ten­tially el­i­gi­ble fam­i­lies will re­ceive a let­ter with in­struc­tions on how to ac­cess the on­line ap­pli­ca­tion por­tal.

Let­ters will be mailed to fam­i­lies by Septem­ber 28. Fam­i­lies that be­lieve they may be el­i­gi­ble but are not re­ceiv­ing SNAP can ap­ply for SNAP and other as­sis­tance at the state’s Depart­ment of Hu­man Re­sources web­site or call311 to be con­nected to the Mary­landCASH cam­paign for a ben­e­fits el­i­gi­bil­ity screen­ing.

Aca­demic Sup­port Cen­ters

In ad­di­tion, the Bal­ti­more County Depart­ment of Re­cre­ation and Parks, the Y of Cen­tral Mary­land, and other lo­cal day­care providers will open aca­demic sup­port cen­ters to pro­vide full­day, in-per­son child­care for fam­i­lies of chil­dren in Kinder­garten to Grade 5.

The cen­ters will of­fer sup­port for vir­tual learn­ing as well as recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties. Stu­dents will be grouped in co­horts of up to 14 stu­dents.

So­cial dis­tanc­ing and mit­i­ga­tion strate­gies will be fol­lowed, and meals will be pro­vided. SNAP re­cip­i­ents who re­ceive County Child­care Sub­si­dies may use them at the aca­demic sup­port cen­ters.

The Bal­ti­more County Depart­ment of Re­cre­ation and Parks will host Learn­ing Cen­ters at its nine PAL Cen­ters sites around the County.

Th­ese cen­ters are de­signed to serve dis­con­nected youth iden­ti­fied by the Bal­ti­more County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices. Th­ese fam­i­lies will be in­vited to par­tic­i­pate, and care will be of­fered at no cost to the fam­i­lies. Trans­porta­tion will be avail­able.

Meals will be pro­vided by the Mary­land Food Bank. Fol­low­ing MSDE ap­proval, th­ese cen­ters will run daily Mon­day through Fri­day from 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.

A sec­ond group of cen­ters, op­er­ated by the Y of Cen­tral Mary­land, will open in five BCPS el­e­men­tary schools. The cen­ters will op­er­ate be­gin­ning Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 5, and will run daily Mon­day through Fri­day from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Meals will be pro­vided by Bal­ti­more County Public Schools.

Fees range from $225 — $250 per week per child. In­ter­ested fam­i­lies can ap­ply on­line now. SNAP re­cip­i­ents who re­ceive County Child­care Sub­si­dies may use them at the aca­demic sup­port cen­ters.

An ad­di­tional 40 cen­ters, lo­cated in

BCPS el­e­men­tary schools, will open Mon­day, Oct. 12, and will be op­er­ated by lo­cal day­care providers – Hot Spots Ex­tended Care Pro­gram, Kids Place Bal­ti­more, Open Door Be­fore and After School Care, and Play Cen­ters, Inc.

Depend­ing on the provider, th­ese cen­ters will be­gin offering care ei­ther at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. All will end at 6 p.m.

Meals will be pro­vided by Bal­ti­more County Public Schools. Th­ese cen­ters will charge $250 — $275 per week per child for full­time care.

Fam­i­lies in­ter­ested in th­ese cen­ters should con­tact the ap­pro­pri­ate day­care provider for reg­is­tra­tion in­for­ma­tion. SNAP re­cip­i­ents who re­ceive County Child­care Sub­si­dies may use them at the aca­demic sup­port cen­ters.

In to­tal, the 54 aca­demic sup­port cen­ters will be able to serve 1,552 stu­dents across Bal­ti­more County.

The list of Bal­ti­more County’s Aca­demic Sup­port Cen­ters is be­low:

Open­ing Sched­ule for Bal­ti­more County Aca­demic Sup­port Cen­ters

Op­er­ated by the Depart­ment of Re­cre­ation and Parks

Dun­dalk PAL Cen­ter, 15 Com­merce Pl., 21222; Mars Es­tates PAL Cen­ter, 1498 East Homberg Ave., 21221.

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