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Resource Network for Early Childhood Care and Education (Baltimore)

Resource Network for Early Childhood Care and Education (Baltimore)

The goal of this project is to provide parents with access to local resources and empower them with knowledge of child development and early learning behaviors so they can establish a supportive environment during the child’s critical learning years prior to kindergarten. This effort addresses the lack of infrastructure to deliver quality childhood care and education that is accessible and affordable to all families. This need is particularly acute in underserved communities that lack resources to support positive parenting skills and quality early childhood experiences.

Project milestone

Idea Complete

Idea Complete
Prototype Complete
In Development
Deployed
Commercialized

Impact statement

This project aims to assist parents and childcare providers in nurturing their children’s development and preparing them for successful entry into kindergarten. The
Resource Network will establish an interactive childcare portal— delivered via smartphone, tablet, or computer – to connect parents and caregivers with local childcare resources and agencies, and enable the formation of social networks among parents, family members, pediatricians, and childcare services. The pilot is a smartphone-based application in an inner-city neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland that enables parents to connect via their smartphones to local childcare resources, to schedule and attend medical appointments, and to develop and maintain relationships with childcare services. The outcome is a networked referral system that automatically matches parental needs to community resources to improve the efficiency of pediatric and child health service delivery. One goal is reducing costs to the hospital system that occur due to missed appointments, late diagnoses and interventions, and unsatisfactory parental experiences. The project addresses a lack of infrastructure to deliver quality childhood care and education that is accessible and affordable to all families. This need is particularly acute in underserved communities that lack resources to support positive parenting skills and quality early childhood experiences.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks for support to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of the City of Baltimore, and to Dr. Stephen Czinn, Director of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.