But creating a new exemption to child care licensing for some program providers is not one of them.
Let’s do something.
The next stop is this week in the Maryland Senate. There’s a committee hearing on Thursday and we can submit testimony.
There’s an important rule: testimony must be submitted exactly 2 days before the hearing. This means we submit our testimony on Tuesday between 8 AM and 3 PM – no sooner and no later than that time period.
The energy about this legislation is pretty clear in our community: this is not the direction we need.
Here are action steps to submit testimony:
- Create your free online “My GA” (“GA” means General Assembly) account so that you can submit written testimony. Just fill out this form and click the “register” button: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Account/Register/Tracking Where it asks for an organization, you can list the name of your early childhood program or you can leave it blank. Be sure to remember your password so you can log in later!
- Use this sample testimony to make your own! Save as a Word document on your computer, and add in your own personal points.
- Mark your calendar for some time on Tuesday, March 30 to submit your testimony, before 3 PM!
- Log in to your MyGA account and upload your testimony, saved as a PDF.
- We’re here to help! We’re having “advocacy office hours” from 10am – 2pm on Tuesday, March 30. No need to register. Just click here We’re having “advocacy office hours” from 10am – 1pm on Monday, March 1. No need to register. Just click here https://zoom.us/j/98831945891?pwd=WEIvY3RMUGNaYkloeUw2QU1kQ2Fpdz09 to join the advocacy office hours when you’re ready! to join the advocacy office hours when you’re ready!
You can contact your Senator directly:
Senator Paul G. Pinsky
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3155
Senator Obie Patterson
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3092
For calls, these are the talking points to share:
Your program (family child care, center child care)
That you are licensed
How many children you can take and if you are a center, how many staff you have employed
Talking points to highlight
Even as amended in the House, the bill still has serious and potentially dangerous shortcomings with regard to background checks. Checks may still be conducted with outside organizations’ protocols, not according to Maryland standards. Child Protective Services checks, an important second layer of vetting, may be omitted.
The bill as amended pulls from disparate sections of COMAR in an attempt to micro-manage regulations through statute in a way that will only apply during unusual circumstances. All parties, including the bill’s proponents, would be better served by a comprehensive review and revision of the regulations as they pertain to school-age child care.
Families are doing their best, choosing from among what they can afford with too often too little support. School-age child care – whether it is before or after school, in the summer months, or supporting virtual learning – requires and deserves appropriate safety and health practices too. We believe that all programs responsible for the well-being and safety of children should be licensed, adhere to basic safety and health standards, and receive the support of monitoring, assistance and resources from MSDE.
Please add your own personal story about how this bill could impact your program!
Please contact Laura at email@example.com if you have any questions!