New resource center to help Cecil daycare providers
Free help with continuing education, business
— Daycare providers in Cecil County have a new source of information and support through the Child Resource Center of Harford and Cecil Counties at Abilities Network/Project ACT.
“We work with family pro-
viders in the home and with centers in the classroom,” said Sarah Walmsley, program manager of the organization located on Emmorton Road in Abingdon.
That was good news to Jackie Boyer, who runs a daycare from her Elkton home.
“We as child care providers need classes to keep our license up to date,” she said. “I wish there was one here in Cecil County. We have to drive down to Baltimore or even farther to take a class on a Saturday, and it is very inconvenient.”
Boyer welcomed the news from Walmsley that the Childcare Resource Center would come to her.
“We travel into Cecil County to meet the needs of these providers,” Walmsley said, adding that the only benefit in coming to the Harford County location is printing services for educational materials.
There are 136 licensed daycare providers in Cecil County, including 58 home care providers and 10 centers in the Elkton zip code, according to the Maryland Family Network.
Children ages 5 to 9 make up the majority of those in care, followed by the 2 to 4-year-old age group. Some centers offer eight to 12-hour care windows and still others only before- and after-school care options.
At her Rising Sun daycare, Laura Buskirk appreciated the offer of assistance, but said she maintains her license through online classes.
“I personally don’t like going to classes and only attend them if I can’t find them available online at carecourses. com,” she said. “But I do think it’s great for many providers out there.”
Walmsley said Tuesday that in home daycare providers as well as those in centers will find a wealth of information to help with not only the child care element, but also education and the business side of the much-needed service. That includes everything from license compliance and continuing education to behavior and discipline issues.
“We go in completely free of charge and work with them,” Walmsley said.
Funding is provided through grants issued by the Maryland State Department of Education.
If more assistance is need- ed, Walmsley said the center has access to other programs and can make referrals.
While the center celebrated its grand opening this week, including a Wednesday ribbon-cutting ceremony, Walmsley said the center has already held a dinner meeting with local providers in November with plans to construct a full schedule of training and informational meetings.
Providers don’t need to wait for those sessions though. Anyone with questions or concerns can call 443-7610206.