Are you ready to help shape the future of family child care in Maryland?


If so, then you have the opportunity to join a groundbreaking project which will serve as a national model of how to integrate FCC into a mixed delivery system for PreK.


The Family Child Care Alliance of Maryland (the Alliance) is now taking applications for participation into the second year of our PreK Expansion Pilot Project. Thirty-five family child care business owners from around the State will be selected to participate in this landmark project. If selected, you'll be part of a unique group of providers that will help change the future of FCC in Maryland. Participants selected will begin teaching PreK classes starting in September, 2021, through June of 2022.

Maryland's State Department of Education is committed to including family child care in its expanding offering of high-quality PreK programs for qualifying children. Over the next ten years, the State will expand the qualification guidelines and most families in Maryland will qualify for free or reduced cost PreK education for their children. As a result, the Alliance pilot is laying the groundwork to ensure FCC remains a crucial component of Maryland's birth-to-five care infrastructure. 


About the Pilot


Our PreK Expansion Pilot is sponsored by MSDE and is designed to integrate FCC into Maryland's mixed-delivery system for PreK. The State's goal is to have FCC teachers in the PreK have the same training, skills, and knowledge as their counterparts in public/private schools and publicly-funded center-based PreK programs.  In exchange, by 2031, FCC teachers with P-3 certification will be able to make over $19,000 per eligible child for just 6.5 hours per day for the 9 month school year.  


This is a pilot project where you will be providing high-quality PreK instruction to eligible children and get compensated in one of two ways (detailed in the Level descriptions.) The pilot project is also set up to be a research project. We want to learn about what family child care teachers need to achieve state P-3 certification, and when they do, what support services they need to run a high-quality PreK program.  


The new version of the Alliance pilot has three goals:

  1. To build a network that supports family child care business owners eligible to participate in Maryland's publicly funded PreK Expansion program.

  2. To help family child care providers achieve Maryland's P-3 certification through support for degree completion and passing the Praxis exam. 

  3. To help all pilot projects deliver a high-quality PreK program through the pilot year and beyond.  

Services and Support You Get as a Pilot Participant


All participants in year two of the pilot will receive a wide range of support services as well as compensation based on educational attainment. 


Those supports include:


•    A materials budget. Buying materials to support a curriculum gets expensive. We will help cover those costs for the duration of the nine-month program.


•    A business advisor. Our goals are to help you minimize the time you have to spend on business processes and maximize profits. To help with that, we'll provide you with personalized assistance from a business coach to help improve all aspects of your business operations, and if needed, create a business plan, marketing plan, and retirement plan.


•    Marketing support and fee collection from Wonderschool. The online Wonderschool software was designed especially for family child care businesses. It helps market your program to new families and it provides tools to help you manage your business, including collecting tuition payments. Wonderschool was selected to support one of our two major project goals, i.e., to give you more time for teaching, college coursework and/or family, by reducing the time you have to spend managing your business. (note, we’ll also help you attract eligible children through relationships with your local school district.)


•    An iPad. For the duration of the program, you'll get an iPad to use for program-related activities.


•    Paid substitute coverage for training. To make the best use of the curriculum, we'll provide you several days of training and if you need to hire a substitute, we'll pay for the substitute. 


•    Paid substitute coverage for coursework. A primary goal of the pilot project is to develop a system that helps FCC providers get degrees and, ultimately, P-3 certification. To do that, we know you need time away from teaching and managing the business. So pilot participants will receive substitute coverage each month to help you focus on your college course work.


•    Free curriculum from Teaching Strategies. Using a state-approved curriculum will save you time from having to create lesson plans every day. 


•    Coaching for continuous quality improvement. What do Tiger Woods, Olympic gold medalists, Fortune 500 CEOs, and the world's best movie stars have in common? They all have coaches! The world's best know that there is always room for improvement and they use coaches to help them improve their performance. Through the pilot project, you'll have a personal coach to help you build your own continuous quality improvement plan and support you along the way.


•    Peer support. The time demands and home-based nature of a FCC business can be very isolating. Pilot participants will have access to a network of providers focused on changing the future, building a high-quality (and profitable) PreK program and for some, pursuing a degree at the same time. Ask your peers and our coaches about a business problem, a child behavior problem, or a homework problem. You won’t be on this journey alone! Support will be a phone call, email or text away. 

Compensation

Providers in program levels 3 and 4 can qualify for up to $12,000 per year per eligible child for the nine-month school year. 


Providers in program levels 1 and 2 can qualify for up to $4,000 (or possibly more) for completing college classes during the pilot project year. 

 

Eligibility Requirements

Participation in Maryland’s EXCELS program level 3 and above is required for all participants.

Level Four

By September 1st, 2021, providers must have:

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and P-3 certification,

  • Or, a Bachelor's Degree in a related field and P-3 certification.

FCC business owners without P-3 certification but employ a teacher that holds a P-3 certification also qualify.

Level Three

By September 1st, 2021, providers must have:

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or related field, plus current or planned enrollment in a P-3 Alternative Certification or other Program.

  • Any other Bachelor's Degree, plus current or planned enrollment in a P-3 Alternative Certification or other Program. At least five years of experience as a family child care provider.

FCC business owners without P-3 certification but employ a teacher that is working towards P-3 certification also qualify.

Level Two

By September 1st, 2021, providers must have:

  • An Associate’s Degree in ECE, plus current or planned enrollment in a program leading to a Bachelor's degree in ECE (paid for by DEC), and a desire to achieve P-3 certification after bachelor's degree completion. 

  • Or, a minimum of sixty hours of college credits and current or planned enrollment (by Spring 2022) in a program leading to a Bachelor's degree in ECE (paid through DEC), and a desire to achieve P-3 certification after bachelor's degree completion.  At least five years of experience as a family child care provider.

Level One

By September 1st, 2021, providers must have:

Current or planned enrollment (by Spring 2022) in a degree program leading to a Bachelors’ in ECE, but with less than 60 credits completed. (paid for by DEC), plus a desire to achieve P-3 certification after degree completion.

If a provider has less than 30 hours of college credits, then a current CDA will be required. 

This project is made possible through the generous support of the Maryland State Department of Education and the Bainum Family Foundation. 


 

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