The Early Years
Prince George’s County Child Care Resource and Referral Center was founded by Marti Worshtil in 1990 as one of the three original pilot sites of the Maryland Child Care Resource Network. In the early days, our focus was on supporting child care programs and helping families find quality child care.
In 1994, Marti’s vision manifested in our first major expansion – the Adelphi/Langley Park Family Support Center opened. We carved out our niche, providing multi-generational programming to the immigrant community in the Adelphi/Langley Park/Hyattsville Area. We are proud that our center was an original partner of the original Judy Center that opened right upstairs.
Expanding even more to serve families, our accredited Healthy Families Prince George’s program opened in 1998, providing long term home visiting services to support new parents in the earliest years of their children’s lives. And continuing on, our Early Childhood Mental Health program launched in 2007, supporting children experiencing challenging behaviors in child care settings.
PGCRC Grows Up
It was around this time we realized that, while we were delivering excellent programs to child care providers, families and children, we really needed to engage in and foster advocacy. We educated ourselves on how to become effective advocates, both at the County and State levels. And more importantly, we created space to support child care providers and parents as they use their voices to advocate for themselves, their families, and their communities. This was a significant shift in the life of our organization because we came to understand that, to truly make a difference, we need to impact systems. Yes, continue to provide direct service – but also advocate to increase equitable access to community services and dismantle barriers that prevent children and families from thriving. This shift to systems-thinking and using an advocacy lens is what positioned PGCRC to grow into the organization we are today.
Our Recent History
In 2016 when Marti retired, she left a strong and stable organization. Jennifer Iverson, who had been with PGCRC since 2001 and had learned under Marti’s leadership, became Executive Director. Carrying the vision and values that had been part of the organization’s DNA since day one, Jennifer continued to stay true to the mission – to help create healthy and nurturing environments for children by supporting their families and educating their caregivers.
Family Connects Prince George’s, a nurse home visiting program, began serving families in 2021. Recognizing that ALL families are vulnerable when they have a new baby, this universal access program is open to all new moms and caregivers. A nurse visits a family within the first few weeks of the infant’s arrival, conducting wellness checks for both caregiver and baby, and connecting to resources in the community.
Our latest big expansion was not programmatic, but geographic! In January 2022, PGCRC expanded its child care support services into Anne Arundel County. Arundel Child Care Connections (ACCC), who had been providing services with dedication and excellence, ceased as an organization. PGCRC was delighted to hire all five of ACCC’s staff, who have continued to seamlessly provide services in Anne Arundel County under PGCRC’s umbrella.
Prince George’s Child Resource Center becomes Child Resource Connect
So it was time. Time to shed our regional identifier; time to eliminate assumptions that we were part of the government, or that we were a child care center. Time for a new name that represents our growth and expansion. A name that points to our role as Connector, so that we can continue to serve our community and join with others to dismantle racism and inequitable practices so that every one, people of all ages from all backgrounds and walks of life, can meet their full potential.
Child Resource Connect is deeply committed to both Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties. Our staff – all 47 of us at three sites – have internalized a call to be a part of something greater than ourselves and choose to work together for the good of children and families all over the region.