The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Invests $15,000 in Ready At Five Initiative.

Project Will Increase Parent Leadership and Advocacy Skills

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council is investing $15,000 in an initiative to expand family engagement efforts. The Council will support Ready At Five’s Parent Leadership Learning Parties for parents and caregivers of children with and without developmental disabilities throughout the state. This initiative addresses the Council’s Five-Year State Plan Goal: People with developmental disabilities and families are empowered to lead the lives they want and transform communities.

Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland so that every child has the foundational skills needed for success in school, career, and life. Ready At Five provides information, resources, and data-driven solutions for educators, parents and communities. They also work with experts on parent leadership initiatives, including Parent Leadership Learning Parties (PLLPs). PLLPs  provide parents and caregivers with important leadership and advocacy skills to promote civic engagement. They help parents understand that their opinions matter and that they truly are the most influential advocate for their child and their communities.

This project will allow Ready At Five to expand its family engagement efforts by funding eight PLLPs that are specifically designed for parents of children with disabilities and delays. At the conclusion of these programs, it is anticipated that the parents/caregivers of children with disabilities who participated will take a more active role in making community-level changes. For more information about this project, see the

project summary sheet.

Interim Executive Director of Ready At Five Susan Foulds comments on the initiative:  “We know from Readiness Matters, the annual Kindergarten Readiness Assessment data, that children with low income, English as a second language, and disabilities are most at risk at being left behind their peers even as they begin kindergarten. So we couldn’t be more excited to work on this joint pilot project with MDDC to provide opportunities for parents/caregivers of children with disabilities to build their own leadership skills to become advocates for their own children and children in their neighborhood schools.”

Stay tuned to Council communications for updates and outcomes from this project and other initiatives.

1.800.305.6441 – 410.767.3670