On Thursday, March 2, Maryland Family Network (MFN) and the Anne Arundel Professional Firefighters Association presented children at the Annapolis Family Support Center with books for their home libraries. The event kicked off with a photoshoot for the children on an antique firetruck followed by a brief safety presentation and a few stories read to the children by one of the retired firefighters. The day ends with parents and children selecting books to take home and keep. This is the 8th year in a row that the firefighters have collected new and gently used books for the children at the Center. The event is always held in March to coincide with Dr. Seuss' birthday.
Contact Members of the House Ways & Means Committee and Urge Support for HB 495 & Child Care Scholarship Funding
HB 495 will protect Maryland's critical investments in child care. It will help rebuild our child care capacity and support families. The bill hearing is February 15. Urge legislators to support child care!
The Sacrifices Parents Make: The urgent need to fix Child Care Scholarship today and secure Maryland's future highlights the extreme lengths many parents must go to in order to pay for child care. We surveyed thousands of parents across Maryland and talked to dozens of other parents in small group discussion-oriented workshops. They told us that the Child Care Scholarship program was too difficult to navigate, they were turned down for minor paperwork errors, and that materials were not available in Spanish or other languages. As a result, parents said they had to sacrifice things like healthy foods for their family, prescription medicine, medical check-ups, and even face housing insecurity to pay for child care. Read the report to learn more and to find out what considerations policymakers can take to improve the system.
Maryland Family Network (MFN) is issuing a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) seeking qualified Vendors to design, collect, compile, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data for MFN’s Building Better Beginnings (B3) Listen and Learn tour for the state of Maryland. B3 desires to hear from families with young children and early childhood practitioners about what changes they would like to see within the state’s Prenatal to Three systems. We are especially interested in hearing from members of the BIPOC/ALANNA community and communities that are impacted by the state’s policies. This work will begin in March 2023 and will end in July 2023.
Maryland Family Network (MFN) is issuing a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) seeking qualified Vendors to provide leadership and advocacy training for parents in the state of Maryland. Through Building Better Beginnings (B3), MFN desires to build and expand its Prenatal to Three coalition with parents as its leaders that will lead to and sustain systems reform for children and families. The purpose is to train parents, grandparents, foster parents, and other caregivers to become skilled advocates and strong voices for their children and families at the local, state, and national level. MFN expects for this work to begin in March 2023 and should end by May 2023.
Twenty of Maryland’s legislative districts have been identified as child care deserts according to Maryland Family Network (MFN) today. A child care desert is defined as a census tract with at least 50 children under age five AND greater than a 3:1 ratio of children to spots available. Garrett, Somerset and Cecil Counties have been identified as entire counties considered child care deserts.
Maryland Family Network honored Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson yesterday with the Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick Leadership Award in Early Care & Education. President Ferguson has championed the critical role that quality early care and learning will play in transforming public education in Maryland into a world-class system, and his leadership has ensured that new parents and all Marylanders will never be forced to choose between the jobs they need and the families they love.
Earlier this year, we convened town hall discussions with hundreds of child care providers across the state to learn more about their experiences with MSDE’s Child Care Scholarship program. What we learned is that for too many providers the system is too slow, too cumbersome, and too unreliable for early childhood educators to depend upon it as a reliable source of income.