As the early education coordinator for Prince George’s County Public Schools, Judith P. Hoyer lamented the gaps in available services for low-income families. In the 1990s, she created a central location in Adelphi, Maryland for important early childhood services, thus fostering cooperation of governmental and private agencies around the needs of local families. After her untimely death in 1997, her husband, Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), in partnership with then Governor Parris N. Glendening, led a successful movement to bring her model of collaboration to other areas of the State. As a result, the Maryland State Legislature enacted the Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Education Enhancement Program in May of 2000.
The legislation took Judy Hoyer’s model and financed an expansion across the state, offering comprehensive, integrated, full-day and full-year early care and education services. In 2001, 13 Judy Centers were established in Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s and Washington counties, as well as Baltimore City. The following year eleven more centers were funded in Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties, and Baltimore City. A contact list is available here (PDF).
Between 2011 and 2016, the program has experienced tremendous growth through additional state, federal, and private funding. There are currently 51 Judy Centers across Maryland.
View the video below for an overview of Judy Centers.