Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Prince George’s County was home to 747 family child care programs and 377 centers. When Governor Hogan ordered the closure of child care centers and family child care homes due to COVID-19, the Maryland State Department of Education created an application process for child care programs to be available to serve essential workers. Our 1,124 licensed child care programs shrank to 435 programs for essential workers only.
Child care in Prince George County was in crisis prior to the COVID-19 presenting new challenges. Regulated child care, both family child care and center-based programs, had been on a steady decline in our county since 2015. Statewide, 51% of child care providers reported extended closure will force them to close permanently, according to a survey by Maryland Family Network. We cannot afford such a loss in Prince George’s County.
Did you know that Prince George’s County Council has an important role to play in supporting our community?
It’s time to let each member of the County Council know about the experiences of child care programs and the families counting on you.
Family child care providers and child care center directors, please communicate with them directly so that they’re even more encouraged to act on your behalf.
Here’s what you can do:
Step 1: Look up the name and contact information of the Council member who represents your neighborhood.
- The work of the Council is divided into 9 districts, each with a Council member, plus two more Council members who serve an “at large” role (the whole county).
- Here is a map of districts and a list of the names and parts of the county they each represent: https://pgccouncil.us/443/Councilmanic-Districts. Or, you can enter your program address here: https://pgccouncil.us/169/About
- If you’re writing on behalf of a center, we suggest sending this to the Council member who represents the location of your program, even if your home is in a different neighborhood. We want to make them aware of child care programs inside their districts at this time.
- Once you’ve identified your Council member, you’ll find an email address on their bio page.
Step 2: Prepare what to say in your email to your Council member!
- The Resource Center prepared this template, which you can download as a Word document and save to your own computer: https://www.childresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/PGCRC-template-letter-to-county-council.docx
- You’ll see in the template that there are places to fill in your own experience, whether you’ve been open as an EPCC program, are re-opening now, or are still closed.
- If you’d like to work together on filling in your story, or want to share your ideas before you submit your letter, please contact Laura Terrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Yenny Lucero (email@example.com).
Step 3: Send your email!
- The document you prepared in step 2 can be pasted into an email or sent as an attachment to your Council member.
- Please let Laura and Yenny at the Resource Center know when you’ve taken action.
Once you’ve taken all of the steps be sure to take a moment to feel good about your advocacy!