Md. essential child care providers worried about compensation timeline
MARYLAND – Maryland day cares, open for essential employees, tell 47 ABC the state isn’t giving them all the information they need. Up until Wednesday afternoon, many providers say they didn’t know how or when they were going to be paid.
Thousands of child care providers finally heard from the state around 2 pm on Wednesday. The state now has a place for providers to send invoices to, in order to document the kids they’re caring for, which will then allow them to be compensated correctly. As of Wednesday, providers also have a timeline for when they’ll be paid which the state says will happen in about two weeks.
Many providers, whether they’re based out of large centers or homes, tell 47 ABC they’ve been caring for kids of essential employees for almost two weeks. However they’ll have to go nearly a month without any income since their payments won’t be coming in until mid-April, which they say puts them in a tough situation.
“Whether it be electric and water which I need for my children or the cleaning supplies that are very slim out there. But even the little bit we do or can get now we have no funding. We don’t have any money coming in so how can we go buy the supplies that we need and food that I need to feed the children, pay our electric, pay our water bills,” says Crystal Ritter, a child care provider in Delmar.
Providers tell 47 ABC now that they can send the state invoices, they’re just hoping the state approves all the kids they’ve been caring for as “essential”. Providers also tell 47 ABC they’re hoping the two week timeline is accurate and things don’t take any longer than they already have.
The state is also offering child care providers a bonus payment to “acknowledge the additional efforts that have been put into the reopening effort”. In Wednesday’s update they also apologized to providers saying, “Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. Please understand that we have been working on ensuring this process was as simple as it could be and we wanted it to be done right, which is why it took a little longer to send out.”