In January, Abilities Network received a Council grant in the amount of $75,000 to provide intensive, customized technical assistance to child care providers throughout Maryland to increase skills, knowledge and capacity.
This initiative, Child Care: Building Capacity Through Technical Assistance, addresses the Council's Five-Year State Plan Objective to "increase access to inclusive opportunities in early childhood care and education, school, and out-of-school time activities."
We just received the first quarterly grant report from Abilities Network, and we're excited to share some of their progress.
28 providers (in the Baltimore, Capitol, and Eastern Shore regions) participated in StAR Technical Assistance to improve the ability of child care providers to support children with disabilities in their programs.
Each provider received a copy of the Inclusion Handbook which was developed as a part of the project.
All providers who have requested technical assistance have been willing to consider making changes and improvements to their programs and practices in order to better include children with disabilities alongside their peers without disabilities.
Four child care providers have completed the technical assistance model and successfully implemented inclusive strategies, including using visual supports for transitions, incorporating movement breaks, and adjusting the daily schedule to meet children's needs.
What Child Care Providers Liked Best About the Project:
"The ideas were given for improving our transitions. We implemented them right away and they've been great."
"Made me more mindful of strategies I was aware of but not using."
Stay tuned to Council communications for more updates from grantees about the progress they are making in employment, leadership, community outreach, and more.
Be sure to follow us on social media for the latest action items for Marylanders with developmental disabilities and their families.