University of Maryland School of Nursing Developing Pilot Program For State Child Care Providers
Collaborative effort promotes health and safety in childcare.
Baltimore, Md. – As part of the national Healthy Child Care America campaign, the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) has awarded a $386,719 contract to the University of Maryland School of Nursing to fund a pilot program for the development and implementation of a statewide system of health care consultation and training for child care providers. To this end, a Child Care Health Consultation and Training Office has been established at the School of Nursing to respond to child care providers' inquiries for advice and health care information. Marla Oros, MS, RN, Associate Dean for Clinical and External Affairs, will direct the staff in the design and implementation of several initiatives including:
- Developing web-based and distance learning educational programs to respond to training needs of childcare providers across the state;
- Training and supervising a statewide network of nurse consultants to provide health information to regional child care providers;
- Developing an annual educational program to support key areas of training necessary to improve the knowledge and skills of the care providers;
- Developing a system to evaluate and monitor achievement of program goals and objectives.
"My vision is that this interactive relationship between the childcare community and health professionals, particularly nurses, will be the beginning of a culture that recognizes childcare providers as very pivotal in promoting the health and safety of our children," said Doris Addo-Glover, MSN, RN, nurse coordinator for the program. "A childcare provider who is trained and knowledgeable about health and safety issues can raise the same awareness in parents and guardians, which will in turn foster the creation of healthy families."
Prince George's County, an urban county, and Frederick County, with a more rural outlook, were selected as the sites for the pilot program. The information garnered from the pilot program will be used to perfect the outreach activities for expansion to other Maryland counties and to build strong partnerships around other community/childcare initiatives.
"This collaborative effort will help childcare providers obtain the training they need, while increasing access to health and social service programs," stated Ms. Oros.