April 2, 2021

April Webinar: Register Today

Join Nonso Umunna, our Research Director, and Melissa Rock, our Birth to Three Strategic Initiative Director, on Tuesday, April 13th from 3PM-5PM for our third webinar, Creating Safe Spaces: Children and the Settings They Inhabit. 

Using data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT Data Center, and speaking with experts Krystal Williams and Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith, we will dive deep into the status of Maryland's children and the steps we need to take in order to secure a better future for Maryland's children and youth. 

Click here to register. Until then, check out our February webinar, African American Families in Maryland: A Perspective Through Data.


On March 20th, the House of Delegates passed the Juvenile Interrogation Protection Act unanimously, 90-41. After this bill crossed over, it received a favorable vote in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and will be discussed on the Senate floor.

Current Maryland law does not require parental notice, nor the presence of an attorney when a child is interrogated by police. The result is that children often make false confessions in exchange for short-term rewards. HB315 requires parental notification when a child is in police custody, as well as protects their right to counsel.


Two additional Birth to Three bills are closer to becoming law. 

HB944 Growing Family Child Care Opportunities Pilot Program – Established creates a pilot program to provide grants to family-based childcare providers. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, childcare providers faced significant sustainability issues. The childcare industry has faced dire consequences that have risen during the pandemic. For family-based childcare, the profit margins are especially thin, and many have already had to close or anticipate closing soon. HB 944 will help family-based childcare providers reopen and stay open, ensuring young children have better access to quality childcare.

SB923 Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Eligibility ensures that people who give birth remain eligible for Medical Assistance for a full year after giving birth. Today, certain individuals lose their Medicaid coverage only 60 days after giving birth. In Maryland, Black mothers are 4 times more likely to die within a year of giving birth than their White counterparts. 44% of the deaths of birthing individuals occur 46-365 days postpartum; all mothers should retain continuity of care and ongoing medical coverage during this critical period.

For more information regarding our legislative agenda, click here.


HB1372 – Blueprint for Maryland’s Future – Revisions: This past February, the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future became state law.  In March, lawmakers moved swiftly to introduce companion legislation (HB1372).  This legislation adjusts critical timelines for Blueprint implementation, ensures funds are spent appropriately, and updates the bill to address COVID-related impacts around learning loss; the digital divide; and social emotional, behavioral, and mental health supports for students. The bill passed both houses and awaits the Governor's signature. Highlights of amendments specific to benefits for students include: 

1. Ensuring funding for educational technology

2. Additional funding for community schools

3. Expanded summer school eligibility for kindergarten along with the availability of meal services and transportation for communities in need

4. In-person learning opportunities for summer school programs encouraged when feasible

5. Accountability standards and evaluation for tutoring, virtual learning impacts, college and career programs, and student outcomes

Amendments for administrative aspects of the Blueprint include modifications to reporting requirements, accountability and implementation board clarifications, and enrollment count calculations further defined.

Budget: The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is bringing equitable educational instruction to more than 900,000 Maryland students from Pre-K to the 12th grade by investing $1,951,136,802.  The historic underfunding of schools—especially in certain jurisdictions—makes this investment necessary to address systemic barriers that favor some and hinder others. 

We will be sharing in more detail about how the funds will be allocated in our upcoming newsletter.

Local impact: For information about the Blueprint’s Impact on Immigrant Families, check out CASA de Maryland’s opinion piece: Opinion: Blueprint for Md.’s Future Is a Major Step Forward for Immigrant Students – Maryland Matters


Advocates for Children and Youth is looking for leaders to join our Board of Directors. A unique leadership opportunity awaits if you seek to put your talent in strategic thinking, financial forecasting, organizational behavior, project management, policy, advocacy, or events in service to ensuring equity for all kids in Maryland.

If you have any questions, please contact Mariama Boney, Interim Executive Director at mboney@acy.org.


Over the past year, Advocates for Children and Youth's Board of Directors and Staff have been working on refining our approach to advocacy. We shared our mission statement, launched our campaign, Equity for All Kids during the 2020 legislative session, and continue to be responsive and preemptive to the new challenges that the pandemic has either magnified or exposed. 

To give you further insight into our progress toward racial equity and inclusion both internally and externally, we are sharing our Strategic FrameworkTheory of Changeand Values.  With these tools in hand, we will work toward building a strong Maryland by advancing policies and programs to ensure children and families of every race, ethnicity, and place of birth achieve their full potential.

Advocates for Children and Youth
One N. Charles Street | Suite 2400 | Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Advocates for Children and Youth is funded by: Abell Foundation | The Annie E. Casey Foundation | Arnold Ventures | Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation | Clayton Baker | The Fund for Change | Fund for Families with Young Children | Greater Washington Community Foundation | Lockhart Vaughan Foundation | Meyer Foundation | OSI-Baltimore | Partnership for America's Children

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