Maryland Family Network - 2/14/18

Budget Update

  • MSDE egregiously under-spent budgeted child care subsidies by over $55 million over the past three years
    • FY16: $12.8 under-spent; FY17: $20.5 under-spent; FY18: $22.8 under-spent on a $108 million budget;
    • some accounting still not clear yet, but it looks like it was $56.1 million under-spent over three years;
    • Federal Funds were likely canceled; some may have been rolled forward; state funds may have been gone back to general fund
    • current 8% proposed budget increase in subsidy budget would take MD to the 20th percentile in reimbursement rates
    • how can we trust this will be managed properly? need regular updates of the subsidy spending
  • Most other parts of the budget were level funded; slight increase in pre-k funding
  • Head Start hearings -- would restore funding back to to the 2009 levels (State funding was cut almost in half)

Legislation

  • SB0379/HB0430 Child Care Subsidy Bill -
    • require Governor to include money in the budget to take subsidy reimbursement rates to the 60th percentile by 2022 (meaning the reimbursement plus copay would be enough to cover the costs at the cheapest 60% of child care programs; still need to do better, but this would be a substantial step in the right direction)
    • $5.8 Billion coming in Federal Funding for CCBDG over 2 years - doubled funding
    • with the MSDE under-spending, strong case for legislature to put in mandates for funding
    • fiscal note just came out on the bill and was much higher than expected -
      • $36.7 million per year to take us to the 60th percentile -
      • but these numbers are based on info that comes from MSDE which could not keep track of its spending
      • also as of Sept of 2017, MSDE estimated it to be only $21 million - how could it have increased so much, so quickly???
    • current proposals don't do anything to income eligibility rates; (there is still a long way to go from where we are to median income)
    • parent co-pays are still too high - may get addressed with CCDBG rules that may cap them at 7%
    • parent differential is also a factor (amount still left over after co-pay and subsidy are applied to the cost provider needs to charge)
    • bills seem to have strong support in the legislature
  • SB0859/HB0775 Parental Leave Bill - for State employees and hoping to be able to expand it at some point to more people
  • SB0647/HB0856 Earned Income Credit - expands it to cover non-custodial parents to be better able to make child support payments
  • SB0544/HB0879 Dental Access Bill
  • Child Care Tax Credits for Employers - for building child care facilities or paying for child care or referral services for employees
    • Two different but similar bills:  HB0068 Delegate Angel and HB0883 Delegate Queen
    • OPEN QUESTION - Does it only apply if the employer is paying the Provider directly? This seems to only benefit large corporate providers who contract with large employer; why not have it more permissive to cover employer giving direct benefit to employee so employees can use whichever provider they choose?
    • Hearing on HB0883 is 2/21 at 1pm - Providers may want to submit testimony recommending amendments
  • HB0941 - Unemployed to remain qualified for subsidy; may not be needed as a federal regulation is requiring it already
  • HB1415/SB1092 - Kirwan Commission Bill - large bill;
    • for pre-k would require Governor to maintain funding for pre-k;
    • provider concerns about when public pre-k programs fill low-income slots with higher income children when there are vacancies (drawing away from the private providers and threatening their sustainability)
    • also requires "certified" teachers - why are we going straight to the highest and most expensive option? this is presumably the blueprint for Universal Pre-K; provider concerns are being dismissed
  • HB1476 - Supplemental Pre-K Grant
    • would offer more funding for some Counties on pre-k
  • HB1610 - Child Care Centers in Renovated buildings -- would require building child care centers in State buildings when doing renovations
    • Is this efficient and supportive of quality?
    • Why not contract with existing providers?
  • HB0057 Green Cleaning seems NOT to be currently moving forward
  • HB0228 Definition of Child Care also seems NOT to be moving forward

 

     

    Partners/Associations Meeting with OCC/MSDE

    Maryland Family Network - 1/24/18