Increases in tuition costs
John Lamb, Assistant Branch Chief of Childcare Subsidy Programs, explains the improvements signed into action, the impact of these improvements, and how to access assistance on this week’s episode of Parenting and Teaching with Richie Huffman and Ali Kraus.
The Future of Education in Maryland
John Lamb has worked in childhood education for decades and specifically helped structure the new voucher program signed into action and it is a drastic change. First, to get to the changes, we need to understand what a subsidy for education costs really consists of at the ground level.
John succinctly explains, “[Subsidiary programs] are designed to help families and children who could not necessarily afford quality childcare so the voucher program helps pay a portion of that cost.”
With the new program, a family of four in a dual income household, can earn up to $70,000 and still remain eligible for assistance. That is an incredible increase from what used to be around just $30,000. The amount varies based on family size, income, and whether multiple incomes contribute to care, among other variables.
The most important part remains that more families and more children are eligible for a lot of help toward receiving far better childcare.
When, Where, and How do I Apply?
This is important. You’ll certainly need to apply but the steps are
1. Proof of identification
2. One month proof of employment or status as an enrolled student. (John describes this as proof of activity that would require the need for care)
3. Maryland Residency
4. Disclose any disabilities the child or parent may have (This
One of the beauties of this new program is in its simplicity and also in the ‘why’ of childcare. Much of John’s effort comes from the passion and desire to make sure every child receives an equal and optimal choice in education.
“Children belong in a stable environment where education is important, they’re learning to grow and develop. Continuity in care is important as well.”
Don’t Call it a… Handout?
While vouchers or subsidies tend to have somewhat of a negative stigma, John, Ali, and Richie offer up a much better way to think of the program. This acknowledgement, and this portion of the conversation, becomes somewhat of a lynchpin in the conversation by offering a different approach to what the discussion is really about.
John offers the reason to look at a subsidy as a positive and not simple bureaucratic assistance. “Don’t look at this as a government handout. This an opportunity for your child or your children to receive a better education that’s going to prepare them for school.”
“It’s the child’s first scholarship to education.” John goes on, “Don’t look at it as a hand out or a hand up. It’s an opportunity.”
As Richie puts it, this is about getting the word out for a program that changes the way children are educated and supported in the state of Maryland.
It’s difficult to overstate the benefits and importance of this change in policy and opportunity. Simply put, there is no overstating the importance of investing in children and the education of children in the state of Maryland.
Listen in as Richie, John and Ali discuss the financial impacts on individual families, the state, and the future of education, both locally and nationally, on this week’s episode of Parenting and Teaching.