Reel Stories

Videos on Early Childhood Topics

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The First Five Years

the First Five Years

This powerful video illustrates the importance of the early years through the eyes of five young children. The video highlights the urgency of ensuring that all young children have nurturing care in the places that matter most — at home, in child care, and in other early childhood settings.


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The 5th Annual Sandra J. Skolnik Lecture

The 5th Annual Sandra J. Skolnik Lecture

Accomplished scholar, writer, and longtime child advocate, Dr. Marti Erickson was the guest lecturer at MFN’s 5th Annual Sandra J. Skolnik Lecture on October 28, 2014.  She is the co-host of MomEnough, a popular podcast that explores the many facets of motherhood in today’s world.


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Casa Childcare and MFN

Casa Childcare and Maryland Family Network

Kimberly Greene-Epps, owner of Casa Childcare in Baltimore, says that she is grateful for training and technical assistance from Maryland Family Network because it helps her stay current in a competitive industry. Learn more about Casa Childcare and the many ways MFN helps professionals like Kimberly.


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Our first five years will last forever.

Our First Five Years Will Last Forever

Maryland Family Network celebrated our fifth anniversary in 2014. This slide show highlights some of the achievements and milestones we met in the first five years since the merger of our legacy organizations — Friends of the Family and Maryland Committee for Children.


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Tell Your Child Care Provider Thank You!

Tell Your Child Care Provider Thank You

Not everyone works a nine-to-five schedule. Towanda Wiggins Carter, owner of Charlie’s Little Angels in Windsor Mill, specializes in care during non-traditional times. Whether it means a 6:00 AM drop off, or weekend care, Towanda and thousands of other child care workers in Maryland provide the loving and attentive care that parents need.


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Moving Forward to Find Family Success

Moving Forward to Find Family Success

Julia Amaya redefined success for herself when she had children. In November, 2012 Julia earned her high school diploma thanks to the support of the Adelphi/Langley Park Family Support Center, one of Maryland Family Network’s 23 family support centers. Since graduating, Julia has gone on to work full-time and plans to pursue her college degree.


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Help Take the Scariness Away

Help Take Away the Scariness

At age 40, Gina Verstaete is a little older than most first-time parents. So without a peer group and no extended family nearby, she often feels frustrated and scared about making mistakes with her three-year-old daughter, Eme. That’s where the support of Maryland Family Network comes in.


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The Jump Bunch

Children Jump for Joy and Good Health

When children engage in regular physical activity they are developing habits that will help them live a healthy lifestyle now and into adulthood. But it isn’t just great exercise — children are also building coordination, and balance, as well as learning team work and self-confidence.


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Process Over Product: Persistence and Problem-Solving for Young Children

Persistence and Problem-Solving for Young Children

“There is a big value in the process rather than the product,” says Shannon Glisan, an early childhood trainer and consultant. “Anthony’s learning persistence, and … that when one thing doesn’t work, you try something new. Regardless of what happens in the future, that trait will stay with him.”


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Grandparents Help Children Get Hooked on Books

Grandparents Help Children Get Hooked on Books

Greenbelt Children’s Center affirms a special connection between young children and their grandparents. “Children’s literacy begins with reading these stories,” says Mary Edwards, lead teacher in the pre-school classroom. “When a grandparent sits with a child in his lap, the child learns to be comfortable with books.”


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Connecting With "Real Food" At An Early Age

Connecting With “Real Food” At An Early Age

“We see the value of children getting to see what food looks like when it doesn’t come from a can,” says Ann Green, a volunteer market manager at the Druid Hill Farmers Market. Farmers markets provide healthy food, family fun, and great early learning opportunities for families with young children.


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A Playground Is A Laboratory for Children

A Playground Is A Laboratory for Children

“Young children are natural scientists,” says Debbie Moore, Senior Policy Analyst at Maryland Family Network. “And there’s no better way for them to learn than to turn them loose outside. Kids learn so much just from running, jumping, swinging, stomping in puddles, and picking up worms.”


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Dusty The Rabbit Fosters Empathy in Young Children

Dusty The Rabbit Fosters Empathy in Young Children

“Some of the children are very outgoing when they come up to meet the rabbit, and some of the other children are a little shy. Seeing the rabbit experience a bit of shyness or nervousness helps the children identify those feelings in themselves,” says Sue Penix, Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center.


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Narrating Your Child's Day

Narrating Your Child’s Day

Infants and toddlers begin developing the foundation for language long before they’re verbal. That’s why it’s crucial to talk to them constantly — even about the simplest activities, like putting on their shoes or eating a snack. Discover more about the importance of narrating your child’s day


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The 5 Things All Families Need

The 5 Things All Families Need

A feature of Strengthening Families, Parent Cafés encourage reflection and empowerment based on five “Protective Factors” that help all families thrive. As one mother reported after attending a Parent Café: “It gave me a little boost in my confidence that I am capable of doing the day-to-day routine with three kids — which is a lot!”


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Tucker the Turtle: Anger Management for the Preschool Set

Tucker the Turtle: Anger Management for the Preschool Set

“Tucker the Turtle tucks himself into his shell and takes three deep breaths to calm himself down,” says Jennifer Dorsey to her class of preschoolers A World of Friends Learning Center. She is teaching an anger management technique she learned from MFN’s Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center.


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Child Care Subsidy: Good for low-income parents and kids alike.

Child Care Subsidy: Good for low-income parents and kids alike

“If I didn’t have the child care subsidy, I don’t know what I’d do,” says Taria Franklin, a mother of two. “Before I got the subsidy, most of my paycheck was going to pay for child care.” Learn how the Child Care Subsidy helps low-income parents stay on the job, knowing their children are safe.


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Into the Woods with the Little Explorers Club

Into the Woods with the Little Explorers

Growing up in the inner city is typically not conducive to developing an appreciation of nature. Pinecones, rocks, acorns, and a turtle’s shell are exotic objects to the preschoolers in Baltimore’s Little Explorer’s Club. So, Sue Penix of Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center arranged to take the Little Explorers into the woods.


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To the Rescue

To the Rescue

Where do you turn when you have a stubborn problem at work? If you are a child care provider, you can turn to one of 12 local Child Care Resource Centers across the state, coordinated by Maryland Family Network. There you’ll find Technical Assistance Specialists who offer strategies and techniques for problems that confront the child care field.


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A New Delivery Model of Family Support

A New Delivery Model of Family Support

The Bon Secours Family Support Center in southwest Baltimore is the pilot site for a new service delivery model of family support and child care resource center services. The additional services will help ensure that no families in that neighborhood slip through the cracks, and that all those children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed.


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"I came here a girl. I'm leaving here a woman."

“I came here a girl. I’m leaving, a woman.”

Shakira Foster-Franklin, mother of two and recent GED recipient, recalled that when she first came to Bon Secours Family Support Center, she was a girl with a child, who knew she needed an education but didn’t know anyone to help her. All that changed at Bon Secours. “Everybody treated me like I was their own child and it meant the world to me.”


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Different Children, Different Needs

Different Children, Different Needs

Meet Monica French, one the 18,000 child care professionals that are served and trained by Maryland Family Network’s Child Care Resource Centers each year. Watch Monica engage with the children in her class, and see how she’s learning to help the children of Good Beginnings Child Care play, dance, and sing their way to being ready for Kindergarten.


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Things Will Get Better

Things Will Get Better

It’s not easy for anybody to predict what her future holds. For parents at MFN’s Family Support Centers, it can be difficult just figuring out how to put food on the table, pay the rent, and make sure their children have what they need to be healthy. That’s why it’s especially inspiring that they aren’t just hoping for a better tomorrow; they’re planning for it.


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Lost Without LOCATE

Lost Without LOCATE

“We hear it every day,” says Arna Griffith, Director of MFN’s LOCATE: Child Care. “Parents feel lost. They want to find quality child care but, without help, they’re not sure where to look or what to look for.” A free service, LOCATE: Child Care helps parents find child care in Maryland based on their family’s specific needs related to quality, cost, location, and type of care.


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Lobbyists for Little Kids

Lobbyists for Little Kids

Corporations spend huge amounts of money and time to persuade the Maryland General Assembly to look out for their interests. At Maryland Family Network, we harness the power of parents, child care providers, and community leaders to advocate for services that promote positive outcomes for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.


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A Win-Win for Struggling Parents

A Win-Win for Struggling Parents

MFN helps young parents continue their education so they can find jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency. In Essex, Phena Long’s GED students have young children and can’t afford child care. That’s why the combination at Young Parent Support Center — adult education classes and child care — is a win-win for struggling parents.


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In the Door and on the Floor: Watch a Home Visit in Action

In the Door and on the Floor: Watch a Home Visit in Action

Home visiting reduces child abuse, increases school readiness, improves parents’ economic self-sufficiency, and lowers crime. That’s why it’s offered through MFN’s Family Support Centers. Join Robin Mack from Family Partnership in Frederick, as she conducts a home visit with Mellisa and her son, Noah.


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What ADULTS Learn from Play

What ADULTS Learn from Play

At Family Support Centers across Maryland, young parents and children begin their day with PACT (Parents and Children Together) time. PACT encourages parent/child engagement and bonding. The goal is not finishing a painting or craft, or reaching the end of a storybook; it’s the mutual engagement that takes place during the activity itself.


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"A Real Eye-Opener" for a Young Father

“A Real Eye-Opener” for a Young Father

Each morning, before going into the GED classroom at Young Parent Support Center, Michael and his daughter, Jenia, participate in Parent and Child Together. He’s learned to follow Jenia’s lead in determining what they play or read together. “I’m definitely a lot calmer with my daughter now. I can … have a conversation with her and read books to her.”

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