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Monday, May 20, 2024

Bowser Proposes Expansion to Child Care Subsidy Program

As a part of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) proposed FY 24 Fair Shot Budget, the District’s child care subsidy program is set to expand through an increase in income eligibility.

The budget would raise eligibility subsidy from 250% to 300% of the federal poverty line, and the eligibility cap will rise from $62,150 to $74,580 for a family of three and from $75,000 to $90,000 for a family of four. Through these changes, an estimated 2,200 additional children will become eligible for the subsidy.

Bowser emphasized the importance of investing in childcare both for childhood development and the District’s families.

“We know that high-quality child care is critical for a child’s long-term development, it helps us keep and attract families in DC, and it creates more opportunity for parents. Making child care affordable is one of the most important ways we make DC affordable for families,” Bowser said.

Bowser’s proposed budget also allocates $6.9 million to the Special Education Enhancement Fund that will work to establish new dedicated child care slots, out-of-school time slots, and a referral system for infants and toddlers with disabilities.

Early childhood learning, State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant said, is vital to helping the District’s community thrive.

“Every DC family should benefit from the excellent early learning programs the District has to offer, and these investments offer our families more options and more flexibilities,” Grant said. “Expanding access to high-quality early learning prepares our children for success in life, and it also helps our community thrive.”

You can learn more about the changes to the child care subsidy and Bowser’s FY 24 budget here.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.

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