LOCATE: Child Care
LOCATE: Child Care is a parent-driven, child care resource and referral service. Information is provided to callers by trained LOCATE referral specialists who are professionals holding a minimum of a bachelors degree in early childhood education or other related field. When providing service, LOCATE referral specialists respect the parent’s right and ability to choose the best care for his/her child. LOCATE: Child Care services include:
- Maintaining the LOCATE: Child Care unique computerized database, which contains information on regulated child care programs in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia;
- Providing child care resource and referral to families in Maryland. Through this service, LOCATE: Child Care counselors help parents find and evaluate family child care, center-based care, before and after-school care, or Head Start programs;
- Providing enhanced resource and referral service to families who have children with disabilities;
- Providing guidelines for selecting quality child care and current information on early childhood education and best child care practices;
- Linking callers to other resources;
- Maintaining the LOCATE Community Resources Database which contains over 3,000 additional resources for families; and
- Disseminating printed resource materials to families.
Maryland’s network of Family Support Centers
Family Support Centers provide free, comprehensive services, either on-site or through referral, to families, targeting parents and their children from birth through age three. The Centers promote the optimal development of young children through the provision of parent/child activities and a wide range of child development services:
- Assist parents to develop more effective parenting skills and fulfill their aims related to school, employment and family life;
- Provide supportive networks among parents in local communities; and
- Connect parents and their children to public and private agencies and informal community resources that can help.
Maryland Child Care Resource Network
Every community in Maryland is served by one of twelve regional child care resource and referral centers (CCR&Rs). Together, these CCR&Rs make up the Maryland Child Care Resource Network, which provides leadership and services designed to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in communities across the state. This innovative public-private partnership was initiated in 1989 and is administered by Maryland Family Network under a contract with the Maryland State Department of Education.
Maryland Family Network has developed an interactive, highly effective, and acclaimed curriculum on Parent Leadership. The goal of the Parent Leadership Institute is to provide parents the opportunity to increase and build skills to take an active, effective leadership role within their families and communities, thereby influencing policy and program service delivery. Parents participating in the two days of skill-building training will increase their self-confidence and develop an awareness of the impact they can make through advocacy.
Strengthening Families Maryland
Strengthening Families, a national, research-based framework developed to prevent child abuse and neglect, has been implemented by Maryland Family Network. The Center for the Study of Social Policy, as part of the Strengthening Families framework, has identified five protective factors which help to prevent child abuse and neglect and build family strengths. MFN provides training, capacity building, and other quality assurance services related to promoting the development of Strengthening Families’ five protective factors in homes and early care and education settings.