The Kennedy Krieger Institute will open an early childhood learning center in Northwest Baltimore.
The center, which will open in July, will act as a statewide model for training and coaching educators of early childhood, while utilizing health, education, and specialist resources through telehealth and tele-education.
The Kennedy Krieger Integrated Early Learning Center will offer an all day, year-round program for up to 40 children, ages three to five, from under-served communities with or without disabilities.
“We already provide a multitude of services for children in early childhood and that includes educational offerings through our existing preschool programs,” Kennedy Krieger President and CEO Brad Schlaggar said in a statement. “Our new early learning center complements what we offer, while allowing us to increase education, training and telehealth opportunities. This model center is designed to serve students and their families and advance educators’ knowledge and effectiveness.”
Students will learn in an atmosphere that recognizes the needs of developing and neurodivergent children. The learning model displayed at the center expects to close learning disparities between children and better the social, emotional, functional, and behavioral outcomes.
To fund the project, Kennedy Krieger received $7 million from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and an additional $1.2 million through federal Community Project Funding.
“A top priority for the MSDE is to advance equity and inclusion for young children and their families, which will lead to better learning outcomes. This completely aligns with our goals at Kennedy Krieger,” said Dr. Nancy Grasmick, chair of Kennedy Krieger’s board of directors and the former state superintendent of education, in a statement. “We want to advance learning opportunities for as many children as we can, and we know this must start with early childhood education.”