Maryland Dept. of Ed to hold Town Hall meeting on Early Childhood Development in region

News Release, Maryland State Department of Education

Maryland State Department of Education, Department of Health and Department of Human Services Seek Public Input

BALTIMORE —The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and the Maryland Department of Human Services (MSDH), in partnership with Ready At Five, will hold a series of regional town hall meetings on the State’s early care and education system.

“This is an opportunity for the three state agencies that oversee early childhood programs and services in Maryland to collaborate together in a nine-stop listening tour,” Division of Early Childhood Assistant State Superintendent Steven Hicks said.  “Our focus is finding out what parents, early childhood educators, policymakers, business leaders and other stakeholders see as our greatest challenges and opportunities to building a well-coordinated and integrated early care and education system in Maryland. Participants will help shape the future for children in Maryland.”

MSDE was recently awarded a Preschool Development Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Grant, a $10.6 million federal grant that will help states conduct a comprehensive statewide birth through five needs assessment followed by in-depth strategic planning. The grant also focuses on enhancing parent choice and expanding the current mixed delivery system consisting of a wide range of provider types and settings, including child care centers and home-based child care providers, Head Start and Early Head Start, state pre-kindergarten, early intervention and special education services, and home visiting service providers across the public, private and faith-based sectors.

As part of the PDG B-5, nine regional town hall meetings will take place between March 26 and May 17, 2019, with both morning and evening sessions offered to accommodate various schedules and needs. Continental breakfast will be provided at morning sessions and a light dinner will be served at evening sessions.

Representatives from the State, Ready At Five, and local child- and family-serving agencies will share updates on a variety of topics related to early childhood care and education, family supports, new data from Maryland’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, and opportunities through the new PDG B-5 grant.  Each session will also include opportunities for the public to contribute to developing the State’s prenatal to age five needs assessment.

Feedback and findings from the town hall meetings will be used to develop and inform a new early learning strategic plan for Maryland by identifying significant needs and priorities. To join one of the Regional Town Hall meetings, please register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ECETownHalls

Locations, dates and times can be found below. More information about the Regional Town Halls, including handouts, can be found at https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/townhalls.

Jurisdiction(s)Date & TimesLocation
AlleganyCarrollFrederickGarrettWashingtonTuesday, March 26, 2019Morning 8:30-11:30AMEvening 5:00-8:00PMWashington Co. Board of Education10435 Downsville PikeHagerstown, MD 21740
Baltimore CityBaltimore CountyThursday, April 4, 2019Morning 9:00-11:30AMEvening 5:00-8:00PMBaltimore County Public Library/Owings Mills10302 Grand Central AvenueOwings Mills, MD 21117
CarolineDorchesterKentQueen Anne’sTalbotTuesday, April 16, 2019Morning 8:30-11:30AMEvening 5:00-8:00PMChesapeake CollegeThe Higher Education Building1000 College CircleWye Mills, MD 21679
SomersetWicomicoWorcesterThursday, April 25, 2019Morning 8:30-11:30AMEvening 5:00-8:00PMWor-Wic Community College32000 Campus DriveSalisbury, MD 21804
CecilHarfordTuesday, May 7, 2019Morning 8:30-11:30AMEvening 5:00-8:00PMThe Center for Educational Opportunity in Aberdeen253 Paradise RoadAberdeen, MD 21001
Anne ArundelHowardThursday, May 9, 2019Morning 8:30-11:30AMEvening 5:00-8:00PMPoint Pleasant Resource Center1450 Furnace AvenueGlen Burnie, MD 21060
CalvertCharlesSt. Mary’sWednesday, May 15, 2019Morning 9:30-11:30AMEvening 5:00-8:00PMCalvert County Public Library850 Costley WayPrince Frederick, MD 20678

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David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in Digital Marketing, eventually leading him back to his passion. David started The Southern Maryland Chronicle in December 2017 and has grown it to become the #1 news source in Southern Maryland.

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