Scholarships Not Subsidies: Parenting and Teaching – John Lamb

Increases in tuition costs affect every level of education, both public and private, across the country. Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan recently expanded the opportunities for Maryland families to provide top-tier early education for children by signing into action a new plan. The goal of this expansion is to help severely decrease costs and undeniably increase the number of children receiving the best education available.

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 simple and you can already get started and approved in as little as ten days. Start by going to the Maryland Department of Education website’s subsidy page with the following information ready:

            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 often helps find extra care options and benefits you may qualify for and don’t know about.)

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.

If you’d like to find out more about subsidies and how Celebree Learning Centers can help the little ones you love click here for more information on how to get started.