Maryland Family Network (MFN) is an advocate and catalyst for the development of a strong system of quality child care, early education, and family support.

Maryland Family Network (MFN) is a private, non-profit organization with a strong history of action in matters affecting the state’s children, families, and child care community. MFN was created in 2009 from the merger of two leading non-profit organizations: Maryland Committee for Children and Friends of the Family.

Maryland Committee for Children was founded in 1945 as a private, non-profit organization to advocate for the development of a strong system of quality child care, early education, and family support on the local, state, and national levels. Originally known as the Maryland Committee for the Group Day Care of Children, it presented an organized voice in support of continued federal funding for child care programs and to promote better child care services throughout Maryland.

Between l946 and l964, the organization was primarily focused on: providing training for teachers in child care programs; helping to raise money for the operation of child care centers; conducting research; and spearheading the fight for child care regulation. In l965, the organization combined its board and professional advisory committee with members of the public at large, thereby broadening its base to more effectively reach the general public with its message of the need for quality child care services. In the early l970s, the Board of Directors expanded the organization’s support services to parents and those who work with young children. Accordingly, the organization focused its direct services on the child care community. In 1989, Maryland Committee for Children began operation of the Maryland Child Care Resource Network, a public/private project created to strengthen the child care delivery system in Maryland.

Maryland’s family support initiative was established in 1985 in response to the State’s escalating infant mortality and teen pregnancy rates as well as increasing child abuse reports and foster care placements. The Maryland State Department of Human Resources, the Morris Goldseker Foundation, and the Aaron and Lillie Straus Foundation formed a public/private partnership and allocated funding to establish Maryland’s first four community based drop-in Family Support Centers.

Friends of the Family was established in 1986 as an intermediary to ensure the optimal growth and development of the family support movement in Maryland. From its earliest days, Friends of the Family promoted, developed, and sustained preventive services and programs that strengthened and supported families with children from birth through age three.