“The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families.”James J. Heckman, Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics.
"Please think of the children first. If you ever have anything to do with their entertainment, their food, their toys, their custody, their childcare, their health care, their education – listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first."Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood

In one of the wealthiest states in the U.S., less than half the children enter kindergarten ready to learn. As a result, they are very likely to be playing catch-up with their peers for the rest of their lives.

Research and practice show us how to make sure all children–regardless of race, class, language, disability, or neighborhood–grow up ready to succeed. Like many states, Maryland has all of the necessary elements, but they are fragmented, not to scale, and of varying quality.

By interweaving home visiting, quality child care, and family support –while developing the birth-to-five workforce –Maryland Family Network is working to make our state the nation’s leader in early care and education. We provide funding, quality assurance services, and expertise to local networks of parents, child care providers, community-based organizations, political decision makers, and business and government leaders. These partnerships help with local system design decisions and to foster public will to sustain and replicate success.

Neuroscience tells us that the early years are the foundation for everything that comes after. Economics has shown that investment in quality early care and education returns huge dividends to us all. Let’s make a change.

Public Policy Alerts

Studies Show The Importance Of The First Five Years

Researchers and child development experts have studied the First Five Years and the benefits of investing in families with very young children.

Maryland Family Network’s families

Maryland Family Network's Families

Success stories of Maryland Family Network’s families.

Studies show the importance of the First Five Years

The ABC’s of Early Childhood PDF

Whether you’re a parent, a policymaker, a member of the media, or a concerned citizen, we know you’ll find the information in this publication helpful. This document forms the building blocks of knowledge, best practices, and public policy in the early childhood field.

Our History

2020 Child Care Demographics

Maryland Family Network’s 2020 Child Care Demographics report breaks down statewide information about demand, supply, and cost of child care in Maryland.

Locate Child Care

Trends in Child Care PDF

This publication provides a summary of the critical components (demand, supply, and cost) of child care from 2014-2023. The analysis is based on data collected by MFN’s LOCATE: Child Care and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network.

Take a First Steps Tour

Counting Our Loses PDF

This publication looks at the overwhelming loss to the Maryland economy as result of the State’s inadequate child care system. It lays out the tremendous cost to working families, the state’s tax base, and business’ bottom lines.

Young child

CCRC Results-Based Accountability System 2020 Report PDF

Every community in Maryland is served by one of twelve regional Child Care Resource Centers (CCRCs) which make up the Maryland Child Care Resource Network. This network provides leadership and services designed to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in communities across the state.