Hagerstown day care resource center holds open house

November 14, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- After becoming dissatisfied with her first child's day care provider, Tracy Buzzerd sought assistance from a local child resource center.

She called APPLES for Children Inc., which searched a database and matched Buzzerd with licensed day care providers that met her needs. That was 12 years ago, and Buzzerd said the search for day care for her child was successful with APPLES' help.

Buzzerd now works as a part-time clerical assistant at the organization's West Washington Street office in downtown Hagerstown. She also attended an open house there Thursday for employees and those who seek their services.

Fanny Crawford, executive director of APPLES for Children, said the resource center helps parents search for day care providers for their children, and also offers professional development for child care providers.


Katrina Coburn, who is the group's director of consultant services, said child care providers also can call for help with a particular problem or concern that they are having within their business.

APPLES for Children Inc. began in 1991, and was affiliated at the time with Head Start of Washington County before becoming an independent nonprofit in 2002. The bulk of its funding comes from state funds, Crawford said.

She said they take about 2,000 calls annually from parents, and serve between 3,000 and 5,000 child care providers in Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.

Ben Jakoby, a child development manager at Head Start, said teachers and assistant teachers there often use the training provided by APPLES. Staff has taken training in math, science, school readiness and other topics.

"We use it a lot," Jakoby said.

The Head Start staff includes both new and veteran teachers, and Jakoby said they all benefit from what APPLES offers.

"I definitely believe that it helps," he said.

To contact APPLES for Children Inc., call 301-733-0000.

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