Working parents with young children need accurate information on how to find affordable, high-quality child care and how to pay for it. This section of the ECE Toolkit offers answers, guidance, and links to resources that can provide additional assistance.
As an employer, there are many steps you can take to be more responsive to the challenges faced by employees with young children. This section of the ECE Toolkit brings together information, resources, and best practices that can help you create an ECE-friendly workplace – including many no-cost and low-cost ideas.
Being an employer who cares about ECE can help you attract and retain employees, as well as reduce the day-to-day costs associated with child care challenges. Making ECE a priority – in your workplace and your community – is also a powerful way to invest in the workforce of tomorrow.
It's important to remember that all early care is also early education.
Parents, family, and other caretakers help lay the foundation for future success in school and in life. Here are some valuable resources for parents, grandparents, extended family, and anyone who helps care for young children:
The Parent Encouragement Program (PEP) is a program based in Kensington, MD, that offers affordable online and in-person workshops and classes on a variety positive-parenting topics.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a section on their website devoted toinformation for families.
The parenting website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, HealthyChildren.org, offers a wealth of information, with articles specific to ages and stages (including baby, toddler and preschool), healthy living, family life, and more.
Ready at Five offers parent tips to develop young children's skills and abilities to help prepare them to succeed in school.
Sign up for Vroom to receive daily easy-to-use learning tips for children 5 and under. Any adult can use Vroom to help children learn and develop.
Joanne Hurt, Executive Director of Wonders Early Learning and Extended Day, on how Early Care and Education supports workforce development.
The First Three YEARS ARE CRITICAL
Many times, conversations about early education focus on preschool and pre-Kindergarten. However, early education really starts at birth, and the first three years are very important.
Did you know? Young children's brains form 700 to 1,000 new synapses every second.
Zero to Three offers a collection of information on early development and well-being, including how the earliest relationships with caregivers can promote healthy brain development, how young children build social and emotional skills, and ways to support language and literacy development starting from birth.
The Basics are five parenting principles that encompass much of what experts find is important for children from birth to age three. Parents can sign up to receive text messages twice a week with tips to boost their child's learning, matched to the child’s age: Basic Insights Text Message Sign-up
CHECK OUT the Local Library
Local libraries offer many free resources for families, including story times and activities for children of all ages.
Every library has a large collection of children’s books, CDs, DVDs, videos, and audio books. Libraries are also a great place to find parenting books and resources.
For the location and hours of Montgomery County Public Libraries and information on upcoming programs for children and families, click here.
Emergency Child Care Fund Addresses a Common Challenge for Parents and Employers
The Emergency Child Care Fund is an employee benefit negotiated by SEIU Local 500 and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) that helps supporting services employees deal with an emergency break in their regular child care arrangements.