Mary’s Center to Establish D.C. Child Care Reopening Fund with Support from Five Foundations; The $1M Fund Will Assist 115 Local Child Care Programs

Washington, DC, July 11, 2020 --( Mary’s Center announced today a partnership with five foundations to establish and administer the D.C. Child Care Reopening Fund to respond to child care providers’ urgent need of support as the District of Columbia and surrounding states begin to reopen. The partner foundations include the Bainum Family Foundation, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and the Richard E. & Nancy P. Marriott Foundation.

The new $1 million fund will provide four months of sustained support for 115 licensed home-based child care programs and small child care centers in the District through cash assistance and technical assistance to implement new D.C. guidelines for child care providers, as well as personal protective equipment. Mary’s Center, which has a long-standing relationship with the community that includes extensive work with home-based providers across D.C., will work with its partner in education, Briya Public Charter School, in the selection of program participants and the distribution of the funds.

“D.C. won’t recover economically without a healthy and strong child care sector, and child care providers won’t recover without dedicated support,” says Christie McKay, Director of Education at Mary’s Center. “We are thrilled to be part of this collaborative effort to support providers and the families and employers who depend on them.”

The D.C. Child Care Reopening Fund seeks to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic’s severe strain on child care providers across the country due to factors such as lost revenue, increased costs for cleaning and sanitation, and limited support from federal, state and local programs designed to help small businesses and child care programs weather the crisis. An analysis released in April by the Center for American Progress estimated that up to 20% of child care providers nationwide could close as a result of the pandemic, creating challenges for families and potentially slowing the economic recovery.

Two local associations representing early childhood educators and program administrators helped shape the D.C. Child Care Reopening Fund and will play a central role in informing local providers about the new program and encouraging them to apply for it.

“We greatly appreciate these foundations, which regularly support early childhood needs in our community, for stepping forward to create this much-needed fund,” says Kathy Hollowell-Makle, Executive Director of the District of Columbia Association for the Education of Young Children (DCAEYC). “However, we want to reinforce that substantial and sustained public funding also is needed - both now and over the long term - to ensure that all D.C. children have access to affordable, high-quality care to support their healthy growth and development.”

“The support provided by the D.C. Child Care Reopening Fund will be invaluable to home-based providers, who are small-business owners already operating on very thin margins,” says Cynthia Davis, President of the D.C. Family Child Care Association. “Most providers have been closed throughout the pandemic, while some have remained open to serve essential workers. Regardless, all of them need support as the District moves toward reopening and the new guidelines take effect. It’s become very clear how essential family child care providers are to our community, too.”

The new D.C. guidelines cover a range of issues, such as staffing levels, class size, and health and safety protocols, many of which have significant cost and/or operating implications for child care providers.

Child care providers in the District who meet the fund’s criteria may begin applying for this support immediately at the D.C. Child Care Reopening Fund website. Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis through August 3. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

About Mary’s Center
Founded in 1988, Mary’s Center is a Community Health Center that provides a model of care including healthcare, education, and social services to nearly 60,000 individuals from 50 countries through eight locations in Washington, DC and Maryland. Using a holistic, multipronged approach, Mary’s Center helps each participant access individualized services and find a path towards wellness, family stability, educational success, and economic opportunities.

About the Foundation Partners
The Bainum Family Foundation combines proven expertise with a passion for supporting the whole child by providing integrated services to help them thrive. Our circle of collaboration includes investments and support in Early Learning, Wrap-Around Support and Knowledge Building. Founded in 1968 by Stewart and Jane Bainum, the Foundation has helped underserved children exit poverty through high-quality educational programs and services for more than 50 years.

The A. James & Alice. B Clark Foundation partners with grantees who build practical, immediate and concrete connections between effort and opportunity, and focuses its investments in the following areas: educating engineers to solve society’s toughest problems, improving the lives of veterans and their families, and providing members of the DC community the best opportunity to thrive.

The Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund is committed to promoting breakthrough neuroscience research, improving early childhood care and education (particularly among low-income children), and enhancing the development of teachers and leaders in independent schools.

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation supports thriving communities, where all have the resources and opportunities to succeed. Founded in 1966, the Foundation invests to strengthen the D.C. community, advance medical research and mental health initiatives, and promote workforce readiness, with a special focus in the hospitality industry.

The Richard E. & Nancy P. Marriott Foundation is dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations primarily located in Washington, D.C. This includes a focus on helping youth secure a promising future, especially through early childhood education and creating gainful employment opportunities.
Mary's Center
Lyda Vanegas