Montgomery work group to focus on working parents -- Gazette.Net


A new Montgomery County Council group will look at ways to help working parents get subsidies to pay for child care.

The council approved a resolution Tuesday asking County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) to establish the work group to look at the county’s Working Parents Assistance program, which gives subsidies to families for child care.

The work group should look at what standards are used to determine eligibility and what is required for child care providers to participate, according to the resolution. The group also should consider a minimum subsidy and the possibility of updating the rules of how the program is overseen.

The Working Parents Assistance program began in 1986 to help families afford the high cost of child care and help low-income families who earn too much to qualify for the State Child Care Subsidy Program.

Income eligibility limits and problems finding funding have limited the number of people who got the subsidies in recent years, according to the resolution.

It calls for the work group to include members from the county’s Health and Human Services, the Commission on Child Care and local child care providers, among others.

The subsidies are critically important for working families that can’t afford the extremely high cost of child care in the county, said Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring.

Children need child care providers who provide early education to help prepare them for school, she said.

Without the subsidies, many children won’t get that education, she said.

Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg said the council wants to fully understand the needs of working parents in the county.

The work group should look for ways the county can help working parents get high-quality child care, he said.