The following resources cover a wide range of topics about the First Five Years and the benefits of investing in families with very young children. If you would like more information about any of these issues please contact us.

Maryland Family Network Publications

The ABC’s of Early Childhood: The Building Blocks of Child Development, Practice, and Policy

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. Digest this information quickly or delve into each topic at greater length, as you choose. This document forms the building blocks of knowledge, best practices, and public policy in the early childhood field.

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. This report is the only one of its kind in Maryland and informs policy makers, parents, and professionals about the latest data and trends in the field of child care. The 2020 Maryland Family Network Child Care Demographics includes reports for the entire State, for each of Maryland’s 23 counties, and the City of Baltimore.

View all 2020 Child Care Demographics Reports

Trends in Child Care

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. Historical data collected from 2014 to the present is analyzed and used to project the data forecasts for 2019 through 2023 using the Multiple Regression Analysis and Forecasting template.

Counting Our Loses: The Hidden Cost to Marylanders of an Inadequate Child Care System

This publication looks at the overwhelming loss to the Maryland economy as result of the State’s inadequate child care system. Conflicts such as a sick child, finding affordable care, and even weather related issues add up to billions in lost dollars, lost productivity, and lost opportunity. The report asked parents with children age five and under who had worked in the last year questions about child care issues and how these issues affected their work. What they found was a tremendous cost to working families, the state’s tax base, and business’ bottom lines. All this despite mounting evidence demonstrating the importance of early childhood education and its economic, social, emotional, and intellectual benefits to children and society.

Other resources

The Heckman Equation

Anyone looking for upstream solutions to the biggest problems facing America should look to Nobel Prize winning University of Chicago Economics Professor James Heckman’s work to understand the great gains from investing in the early and equal development of human potential. https://heckmanequation.org

Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University

The science of early childhood is a source of new ideas that could be used to develop more effective policies and services focused on the early years of life. https://developingchild.harvard.edu

Does High-Quality Preschool Education Make a Difference?

In 1962, the landmark Perry Preschool Project began in Ypsilanti, Michigan and the trajectory of early education was changed forever. Under the visionary guidance of psychologist David Weikart, and with the extraordinary dedication of Perry Elementary School principal Charles Eugene Beatty, the Perry Preschool Project studied the impact of high-quality early education on 123 African American children at risk of failing in school. Learn about the results of this landmark study. https://highscope.org/perry-preschool-project

The Abecedarian Project

Early care and education are fundamental to the success of the United States because they allow parents to be more productive and efficient at work while providing a strong foundation for children’s success in school and life. In the 1970s, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute started one of the first and most influential early childhood studies. The Abecedarian project is perhaps the most oft-cited research project in the country, and has contributed to our understanding of the long-term effects of quality early childhood education programs for children raised in poverty. https://abc.fpg.unc.edu

The Power of Parenting

Strengthening Families is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. It is based on engaging families, programs, and communities in building five key Protective Factors. https://cssp.org/our-work/project/strengthening-families

The Importance of Parents in Toddlers’ Emotional Learning

The role of parents during the first five years (and beyond) is critical. Through a series of studies, the Center for Toddler Development has examinee how toddlers learn about emotions, how to manage them, and how these skills are constructed in collaboration between the toddler and the important people who care of them (e.g., parents, teachers, caregivers). https://toddlers.barnard.edu/research-0#the-importance-of-parents-in-toddlers-emotional-learning-2

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-things-every-parent-play

Home Visiting: A Common-Sense Investment

An overview of how Home Visiting improves children’s health, increases parent earnings, and helps everyone succeed. https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting-overview

Home Visiting Helps

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/455-home-visiting-infographic

Brain Architecture

Early experiences affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health. Just as a weak foundation compromises the quality and strength of a house, adverse experiences early in life can impair brain architecture, with negative effects lasting into adulthood.

What are ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences)?

The September-October issue of the Academic Pediatric Association’s journal was devoted entirely to ACEs, with commentaries from researchers, practitioners, and parents. https://www.academicpedsjnl.net/issue/S1876-2859(17)X0002-8

A Brief History of Early Learning (Pt. 1)

There has always been a need for early learning and care for America's children — and our communities and government have come up with creative and effective ways to provide kids and families the services they need. Learn more about the up and down history of early education in the United States, from day nurseries to professional development for preschool teachers to nearly universal early education during World War II.

A Brief History of Early Learning (Pt. 2)

At one point in history, the United States had universal early childhood education. So what happened?

Why Does Child Care Cost so Much Yet Providers Make so Little?

It’s a common question. Why do parents spend so much on child care, yet early childhood teachers earn so little? The average cost of child care is out of reach for many families and rivals college tuition, while early educators are among the lowest paid workers in the country. How is this possible?