Judith P. Hoyer was the Coordinating Supervisor of Early Childhood Education in Prince George's County, Maryland, and the wife of U. S. Representative Steny Hoyer.  She made improving the lives of children her life's work.  Mrs. Hoyer believed early childhood providers are responsible in shaping the lives of children.   She called for collaboration and constant dialogue among those who worked with children and established innovative curricula and educational approaches in order to get children excited about learning.  In 1993, she was instrumental in opening the Early Childhood and Family Learning Center at the Cool Spring Elementary School in Adelphi, MD.  The Center offered a full range of services including early childhood education, health, and adult education services, family literacy, and programs for infants and toddlers. Mrs. Hoyer passed away in 1997, but not before reaching, shaping, and touching the lives of thousands of students.

    After her death, her husband Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), in partnership with then-Governor Parris Glendening, led a campaign to bring her model of education to other areas of Maryland.  As a result, the Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Education Enhancement Program was enacted in May 2000 by the Maryland State Legislature.  In 2001, thirteen "Judy Centers" opened in twelve Maryland counties and Baltimore City.  Today, there are 47 Judy Centers which offer benefits to 57 elementary school attendance areas across the State.  If a child, birth through age 5, lives in one of the catchment areas served by a Judy Center, they are eligible for all services and activities offered by the Center.


    What is the goal of the Judy Center? SCHOOL READINESS

    What makes a Judy Center special?  Judy Center services are offered under one roof either at or very close to Title I schools.  

    What is the Judy Center approach?  Judy Centers use a "whole child" approach when addressing the many variables which can impact a child's readiness for kindergarten.  Some of the Judy Center services include early childhood education, family activities, health care, adult education, identification of special needs and early intervention, child care, parenting classes, and family literacy.

    Why does the Judy Center have partnerships?  Strong partnerships make a strong Judy Center.  Judy Centers form partnerships with local agencies, organizations, and businesses in their community, to position themselves so that no matter the issue or challenge, they have a partner who is able to help the family.

    Why are Judy Centers important? Research tells us high quality care and education are critical to a child's future school success.  Particularly when working with children birth to three years of age, Judy Centers can identify developmental delays or other special needs and provide assistance in getting the child the early intervention needed.  This will help to ensure when the child enters school, he/she can develop his/her full potential.