It's a really big deal
This week Governor Moore introduced his 2025 budget plan, and it included a combined $488 million to support the Maryland Child Care Scholarship Program (CCSP). That would make it Maryland’s largest ever investment in child care. It’s a really big deal and we can’t thank the Governor enough for making this a priority.
If you’re familiar with MFN and our work, you likely know that the CCSP is something that we strongly support. For decades, MFN has advocated for the protection, improvement, and expansion of the CCSP. Why? Because when families can afford child care a lot of other things happen. First and foremost, young children get a strong start in life. It’s been proven over and over that quality early care and education are the keys to a better life. Children with access to child care turn out healthier, earn more money, and are generally more productive citizens than those who didn’t have access to early learning programs.
Second, when parents can afford child care they can go to work. It sounds really obvious as I type that but it’s true. When caregivers have reliable affordable child care they can not only enter or remain in the workforce but they’re more likely to accept promotions or pursue new educational opportunities.
Why should you care about CCSP? Well, you want the best for the 32,000 little kids and their families who depend on it. Those children will be more likely to graduate on time from high school, go on to college, have higher earning potential, as well as have better long-term physical and mental health outcomes. In short, it saves you, the tax payer, money. [LW1] Those parents who are now employed full-time, are also now contributing to the current tax base. At the end of the day, every $1 invested in early learning returns a benefit over time of at least $7 to individuals and society as a whole. BOOM: we all win!
Child care is an anti-poverty program. It’s a workforce development program. It’s a long-term plan to strengthen families and our communities. Investing in it is common sense and we applaud the Governor for his commitment to child care in Maryland.
Laura Weeldreyer is the Executive Director of Maryland Family Network. Over the course of her career, she has devoted herself to improving educational outcomes for students ranging from babies and their families all the way up to senior high school students who were getting ready to graduate. This blog is an opportunity for Laura to share her experience and expertise but also to learn from her readers.