ANNAPOLIS — Ten toddlers, from the Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency’s Early Head Start (EHS) program, joined their parents and program staff at Maryland Family Network’s Annapolis Day on February 27, 2018 at the Miller Senate Building, within the state capital complex.
Annapolis Day, an annual advocacy day, is an opportunity for infants, toddlers, parents, advocates and educators to visit legislative offices and thank lawmakers for championing programs that benefit families. Community Action is committed to supporting and advocating early childhood education within our community.
While attending Annapolis Day, Early Head Start families had the opportunity to participate in interactive entertainment for both children and adults, and listen to legislators speak about the programs they support on behalf of young children.
Elected officials who spoke at Annapolis Day included Sen. Nancy King, Sen. Richard Madaleno, Sen. Antonio Hayes, Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes, Del. Brooke Lierman, and Del. Jheanelle Wilkins.
Families and staff from Community Action’s Early Head Start center also met with Senator John Astle, and Delegates Mark Chang and Michael Malone. During meetings with elected officials, families were able to share their experiences with the Early Head Start program and how their children have benefited from the program.
“Our children depend on everyone to help meet their early educational needs and care,” said Carmelia Hicks, director of Community Action’s Early Head Start program. “We attend this important day to say thank you to our legislators for all their support and commitment to our families.”
Twenty-four Family Support Centers participated in Annapolis Day, including 13 Early Head Start Centers, which were represented by 89 infants and toddlers, and 93 parents. In addition, 97 members of Family Support Network staff, Child Care Resource Center staff, and Maryland Family Network staff and board members attended the event.
Community Action’s Early Head Start program, which is located at the Lula G. Scott Community Center in Shady Side, is an income eligible, family-centered program that facilitates the educational and social development of pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and children with special needs. Parents gain parenting skills and education necessary to raise healthy children and lead self-sufficient lives. Children are involved in developmentally appropriate activities with other children in their age range and with their parents.
For more than 50 years, Community Action has been empowering people by reducing poverty and building resilient communities throughout Anne Arundel County. Community Action achieves its mission by administering quality services and programs benefiting low-income individuals and families. The Agency’s Early Head Start program supports the birth of healthy babies, positive parenting skills, and early childhood development.