Two 4-year-old pre-K students are shown at Tender Heart Child Care in Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md.- It took 18 months for Tender Heart Child Care in Salisbury to complete all of the requirements for state accreditation. It was a feat that owner Becky Culver called overwhelming.
"It was a lot of work," she said. "We put in a lot of hours."
The Maryland State Department of Education gives accreditation to child care providers. The MSDE started raising requirements and making changes to early childhood education since taking it over in 2003.
Culver, and others who work in the child care provider industry, suspect it is a move toward what is called universal pre-K.
Universal pre-K is a movement to provide quality preschooling to all 4-year-olds regardless of income. It is a state-funded program as opposed to a federally funded program like Head Start. Each state has individual legislation that sets its mandates for the program.
Right now, Maryland offers preschooling in public schools for children eligible based on family income.
Karen Goldman-Karten, director of the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center, said universal pre-K is only an idea floating around in Maryland and will not happen overnight. Karten added that if the state does mandate universal pre-K, local schools would not have enough room to house the extra pre-K students.
Karten said, "It's something that we all have to think about, where would all these 4-year olds be?"
That is where child care providers, like Tender Heart could step in. The state would need accredited centers for the pre-K programs. Karten said, right now, there are only three accredited child care centers in Wicomico County.
Karten stresses that if universal pre-K was to come to Maryland, it would not be required for students.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:12 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:12:14 GMT
UNDATED- Because temperatures are expected to reach well into the 80s this afternoon , Delaware Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative are asking all of their members to voluntarily conserveMore
Because of today's hot and humid weather, Delaware Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative are asking all of its members to voluntarily conserve or limit energy usage between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m.More
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:51 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:51:15 GMT
SALISBURY, Md.- A former gym teacher who taught at Beaver Run Elementary School in Salisbury was on trial Monday in a "Peeping Tom" case.Jeffrey Brabitz appeared in Wicomico County Circuit Court on chargesMore
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