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Former Child Resource Center splits into two agencies

March 27, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

While the Child Resource Center for Western Maryland may have a new name and a new sister agency, the two emerging groups share quarters and a common mission - to serve the needs of children.

The Feb. 1 split was mandated by the Maryland Department of Human Resources and the Maryland Committee for Children but was done smoothly, according to the executive directors of the two new entities.

"We had to make a decision and we wanted to make sure we would be providing the same quality to children," said Paul Pittman, now the executive director of the new Head Start of Washington County Inc.

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The former Child Care Resource Center for Western Maryland has become APPLES for Children Inc., headed by Fanny Crawford, who was on Pittman's staff when he headed CCRC.

The new agency stands for Alliance for Parent, Provider and Local Employer Solutions for Children.

"APPLES for Children Inc. has its offices at 323 W, Memorial Blvd.," Crawford said. "We will be leasing space and subcontracting some administrative services from Head Start," which is at 325 W. Memorial Blvd.

Pittman's agency is funded to serve 384 children at four Head Start centers and two home-based programs.

Three classrooms provide full-day, full-year Head Start classes to about 54 of those children. The rest have what is known as part-day, part-year Head Start programs, Pittman said.

Crawford, who heads a staff of 10, said APPLES for Children Inc. maintains a computerized listing of all regulated forms of child care - including Head Start - throughout Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties.

The agency will furnish training and support to family child-care providers, child-care center personnel and parents. Businesses and industries can tap into the agency's expertise in providing employee child-care programs, Crawford said.

Today in Maryland, 66 percent of women in the work force have pre-school age children and 89 percent have school age children.

Pittman and Crawford said the consensus was that changes in the Head Start structure that would be required to meet the state's mandate would not be in the best interest of the Head Start children and their families.

"The only remaining option was to set up an independent child-care resource agency (APPLES for Children Inc.), which is distinct from and legally separate from Head Start of Washington County," Pittman said.

Both Head Start and APPLES are private, not-for-profit agencies, Crawford said.

The phone number for APPLES for Children Inc. will be 301-733-0000. Head Start of Washington County Inc. can be reached at 301-733-0088.

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