RELEASE: MACo, MARFY, and NACoRF Partner on Prenatal-to-Three Efforts 

November 14, 2022 

Contact: Victoria Maas, Communications Coordinator, MACo | 410.269.0043 | vmaas@mdcounties.org 

MACo, MARFY, and NACoRF Partner on Prenatal-to-Three Efforts 

Annapolis, MD (11/14/2022) – The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) has selected the Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth (MARFY) to partner on efforts to increase engagement in and support for early childhood learning and development. Through a partnership with the National Association of Counties Research Foundation (NACoRF), MACo and MARFY are participating in the Peer Learning Community of State Associations of Counties on Prenatal-to-Three (PN-3). 

The PN-3 program provides opportunities for MARFY and MACo to engage with other state associations around this important issue and help increase coordination among state and local policy, programs, and systems serving families with young children from prenatal to age three. Participants will explore approaches for developing content and facilitating PN-3 policy discussions, with the overarching goal of developing effective strategies for engaging state and county leaders and stakeholders on local interests and needs regarding PN-3 efforts.  

Specifically, the program strives to: 

  • Increase county elected officials’ knowledge on early childhood development and county-based strategies for expanding child and family services.  
  • Explore best practice approaches and innovative solutions for early childhood financing, policy development, and public will-building.  
  • Support ongoing PN-3 policy discussions among county leaders and efforts to strengthen the state-local partnership on early childhood development.  
  • Expand county leaders’ knowledge of state PN-3 programs, systems, and funding streams that expand and coordinate services for young children.
     

As the MACo-selected partner, MARFY will engage with MACo and the larger program in peer learning activities and contribute to policy discussions hosted by NACoRF.  

MARFY is the MACo-designated recipient of a $10,000 incentive award from NACoRF to advance this effort. MARFY was selected because the organization is the leading source of input from providers caring for Maryland’s most vulnerable children. MARFY plans to invest the funds in supporting providers of foster care, group homes, and other services through more than 200 programs across Maryland and in advocating to improve the state’s system of care for the youth and families it serves. 

MARFY’s Executive Director Keron Sadler noted “We are humbled to partner with MACo to address the array of disparities that exist within child welfare services. For example, health and racial disparities are often represented disproportionately in child welfare, which has an impact on the services that mothers are or are not receiving. This collaboration will increase parental care, giving mothers a greater chance of having healthy infants which will impact their development into toddlers, children, and eventually young adults.” 

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About the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo): MACo is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that serves Maryland county governments by articulating their needs and ideas to the Maryland General Assembly. The Association’s membership is composed of county elected officials and representatives from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.  

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