On July 7, 2023, The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced significant changes to the Child Care Scholarship program to expedite the application process for eligible families with the addition of the Fast Track Application process and the Family Portal.
Beginning July 1, 2023, the Child Care Scholarship (CCS) program uses a fast-track application process to provide eligible families assistance with child care expenses. The new process grants temporary eligibility determination to eligible applicants within three business days. Eligible families will receive 60-days of temporary child care assistance under the CCS program and will be provided with a pathway to a full, 52-week Child Care Scholarship. Prior to the fast-track process, families would have to wait up to 35 days for their application to be fully processed to receive assistance.
In addition to a faster application process, MSDE has also implemented a one-stop digital platform for the CCS called the Family Portal. The portal provides an efficient, online system that allows families to check their eligibility, complete the application, upload documents, check their application status, receive messages and alerts, receive personalized support, and access their benefits.
The Family Portal went live in February 2023 and is available in English and Spanish. It also provides supports for several other languages. Since its launch, the portal has taken in more than 5,300 applications and registered 16,000 families.
Learn more about the fast track application process and the Child Care Family Portal at money4child.care.com.