SU Celebrates Eastern Shore Child Care Resource Center Ribbon Cutting
SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center has been a valuable ally to child care centers in Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties for nearly 20 years and now the footprint – and name – are changing.
After winning a recent $274,500 grant from the Maryland Family Network (MFN), the SU-coordinated entity has become the Eastern Shore Child Care Resource Center (ESCCRC) and has earned the right to coordinate coverage for the entire Eastern Shore after MFN redistricted to make the shore one district instead of its previous two. A ribbon cutting for the ESCCRC was held Wednesday, January 19 at SU’s East Campus Complex.
“The center has been an invaluable community connection for SU and a benefit to those in child care in the area,” said Dr. Laurie Henry, dean of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education, which helps coordinate the ESCCRC. “The assembling of resources on the Eastern Shore into one entity will only further the outreach efforts and allow the ESCCRC to be a greater asset to those in our area by providing access to high quality child care to the communities and families who need it the most.”
Child care resource centers provide leadership, training, coaching, program support and other services to child care providers as well as assist families in finding child care. While the footprint has expanded, the services remain the same and are even more convenient for local providers throughout the Eastern Shore. ESCCRC covers one of eight child care resource districts in Maryland ensuring every child care educator and program are provided the highest quality professional development, support services, and instructional materials.
“The ESCCRC directs families to child care resources. If families don’t have care for their children, parents can’t work,” said Leslie Sinclair, program director and training coordinator for the ESCCRC.
“We help families to navigate complicated child care systems by providing consumer education products and referrals to quality child care programs in the region,” said Dr. Chin-Hsiu Chen, associate professor of education and executive director of the ESCCRC. “A reliable workforce on the Eastern Shore (mostly rural and low-income communities with limited child care services) requires functioning child care systems. Without child care there is no economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.”
Helping those in the northern counties of the Eastern Shore, ESCCRC will staff a satellite office in Queen Anne’s County, on the campus of Chesapeake College. The grant allows for three new staff members to be hired for the satellite location along with one new staff member in the SU-based main office, bringing the full staff to seven employees. The additional location allows the child care community from the northern portion of the region “to build meaningful working relationships with ESCCRC staff close to home,” said Chen.
The grant allows the ESCCRC to maintain a robust offering of training opportunities throughout the Eastern Shore. The ESCCRC will offer support groups, conference opportunities and professional development in specialty areas presented by professionals from the ESCCRC, SU, and the school systems of all eight counties on the Eastern Shore.
Touching many lives of those in our community, the organizations mission statement says it best: The ESCCRC elevates the early childhood profession through cohesive professional learning opportunities, advocates for the highest quality learning environments for young children, and supports the unique needs of all families.
For more information about the center, visit the ESCCRC website.
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