Montgomery County selected the Children’s Opportunity Alliance of Montgomery County to serve as the county’s new Early Care and Education Coordinating Entity.
The creation of a public-private partnership to tackle early childhood education and childcare issues in the county is part of its four-year process to address challenges associated with rising costs and limited access. In February, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a bill that provided the framework “to establish an independent entity to coordinate childcare programs.” Notably, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Chair Councilmember Craig Rice helped lead the passage of that bill.
The Early Care and Education Coordinating Entity (ECECE) “will work to ensure that more parents can join the workforce as their children are being cared for and that children will receive an educational foundation to help them in their future.”
The Council approved County Executive Marc Elrich’s nominations to ECECE’s Board of Directors on July 12, the same day the partnership was announced.
A press release on the new partnership detailed its future work:
This organization will focus on systemic issues related to accessible, high quality and sustainable early care and education (ECE) in order to empower more parents to participate in the workforce, provide a solid educational foundation for children, help employers attract and retain talented individuals, and ensure a talented future workforce to help spur Montgomery County’s economy.
The entity will serve as a public-private convenor to help build a more unified system and bring together all stakeholders, including parents, employers, and childcare providers. It is charged with facilitating the coordination of resources across the entire ECE system. The nonprofit organization will develop recommendations to increase the availability of, and access to, high-quality, affordable early care and education programs. Particular attention will be given to underrepresented populations and children up to 5 years of age. The entity must also adopt and implement a racial equity and social justice policy consistent with Montgomery County’s policy.