There are some good opportunities to address the child care crisis right here in Maryland.
But creating a new exemption to child care licensing for some program providers is not one of them.
Thank you to all of the child care program leaders who came to our Joining Voices meeting on February 25. Area child care centers and family child care homes work every single day to demonstrate their commitment to children, families and the profession.
The energy about this legislation was pretty clear: this is not the direction we need. We heard things like:
- “Parents think these unlicensed programs they are legit, licensed.”
- “What happened to the “who is watching your child?” campaign?”
- “Until there is enforcement of illegal child care, what motivates these people to stop?”
- “I’m confused. I have to comply with licensure.”
- “Why are we here? We’ve been over this.”
- “It just opens the door for more people to bypass licensure.”
The pandemic crisis and the economic crisis have created enormous challenges for child care programs. These problems are not solved by exempting some child care settings from licensure.
Let’s do something.
The HB 1307 “emergency” legislation will be considered in the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, March 3. But this is not the emergency direction we need.
We aren’t going to Annapolis this season, but we can still be involved right from where we are! We appreciate that the General Assembly set up a way for any of us to submit written testimony online. There’s an important rule: testimony must be submitted exactly 2 days before the hearing. This means we submit our testimony on Monday, March 1 between 8 AM and 3 PM – no sooner and no later than that time period.
Here are three action steps so we’re ready to submit testimony:
- Create your free online “My GA” account
We aren’t going to Annapolis this season, but we can still be involved right from where we are! Please create your free online “My GA” (“GA” means General Assembly) account so that you can submit written testimony to Committees as they do their work this session. Just fill out this form and click the “register” button. 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!
- Write your testimony (we have a sample!)
Here is a sample of written testimony (will download as a Word document) with a message that opposes HB 1307 and urges legislators to look at the strategies we do need for child care. If it is helpful, you can use this sample! Please download the Word document, save to your computer, edit with your own information and prepare to submit. After you’ve finished writing your testimony in a Word document and saved it to your own computer, please also save it as a PDF.
- Mark your calendar:
- Submit testimony using your new My GA account between 8 AM and 3 PM on Monday, March 1. You’ll have the chance to indicate online whether you support or oppose HB 1307. Hot tip: the online tool does not work with Internet Explorer but will work with Chrome and Firefox.
- Want to submit your testimony together, or celebrate teamwork advocacy, or say hi and get some assistance? 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!
Thank you for being a part of this!
Please contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Did you know?
Three Delegates from our area are on the House Ways and Means Committee, and can be participants at the hearing happening on Friday, February 5: Committee Vice Chair Alonzo T. Washington, Delegate Darryl Barnes, and Delegate Julian Ivey. https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Committees/Details?cmte=w%26m
Here are all of the Delegates that represent Prince George’s County neighborhoods, and their email addresses: https://princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/delegates/