History of the Alliance
In 2018, a group of about a dozen people got together at a restaurant in Maryland to propose a bold idea. This group was composed of both active and former MD family child care (FCC) providers, along with several FCC advocates. The bold idea was to form an organization focused solely on advancing the field of FCC in Maryland. While the state has several organizations committed to helping FCC, none were exclusively focused on serving as a collaborative backbone organization to support FCC.
After several organizational meetings, the Family Child Care Alliance of Maryland was incorporated in the fall of 2019. The Alliance is Maryland’s first Staffed Family Child Care Network.
True to the desire to be governed by family child care, the original board of directors included five active family child care providers and three former providers.
In the winter of 2020, the Alliance had a committed board, a bold vision…and $800.00 in the bank. A proposal for creating a pilot network using PDG Birth to Five grant dollars wasn’t funded and the board had to figure out what to do next. In the spring of 2020, the Alliance began conversations with the Maryland State Department of Education about how to use the Alliance to expand FCC participation in the state’s Pre-K program. In less than 90 days, the Alliance designed a PreK program for family child care providers and presented the plan to the state. The project was funded that summer and the ASPIRE PreK program was born.