CHILD CARE workers in need of more training, businesses hoping to help their employees meet child care needs, people looking into child care as a business and parents in need of child care are all getting a helping hand today as the Maryland Child Care Resource Network opens.
The $7 million network consists of three centers -- in Baltimore, Hagerstown and Landover -- and a statewide system -- with a toll-free number -- designed to support and improve existing programs and to increase child care throughout the state.
The network officially began this morning as Gov. William Donald Schaefer and members of the business community opened the Baltimore center.
Although not the first statewide child care network in the country, Maryland's is thought to be unique in its blending of public and private money, said Sandra Skolnick, executive director of the Maryland Committee for Children, which was responsible for setting up the network. The committee also will staff the statewide center, which will operate out of Baltimore but will serve areas that do not have their own centers.
The non-profit centers, each with a staff of five or six, will begin their work by assessing the child care needs of their particular area, said Stephanie Sargent, the committee's development and marketing coordinator. "The network will not compete with existing services," she said. Rather, it will support those services and "fill the holes" in child care programs.
Helping people who wish to open day care centers or family day care homes will also be part of the network's job.
The network centers are:
* Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center, 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave., phone 728-8844. Executive director, Duane Dennis.
* Prince George's Child Care Resource Center, 9475 Lottsford Road, Landover, phone 772-8420. Executive director, Marti Worshtil.
* Western Maryland Child Care Resource Center, 82 W. Washington St., Hagerstown, phone 733-0000. Executive director, Candace Wagaman.
* Statewide Child Care Resource Center, The Maryland Committee for Children, 608 Water St., Baltimore, phone 752-7588. People interested in starting child care programs can call this center toll-free at 800-766-4900.