Many things can wait…Our children cannot…” The most formative years of a child’s life are from birth to three. However, the long-term effects of exposure to poverty, unemployment, crime, violence, abuse/neglect and drugs can have an adverse effect on a child and lead to major health issues, school related problems and problems in adulthood.  

“National research shows that more than 60 percent of American children have been exposed to crime, abuse and violence—many in their own homes. Ten percent of children in the United States have suffered some form of abuse or neglect and 1 in 16 has been victimized sexually.”  

Little Flowers Early Childhood and Development Center, Inc. (Little Flowers) was established in 2008. The founder is a licensed graduate social worker with over 20 years of providing clinical services to disadvantaged and vulnerable children and adults in the city of Baltimore and over 10 years of experience in early childhood and development. 

Little Flowers is located in the Sandtown Winchester community of west Baltimore City. Sandtown is a community that has been plagued by almost every urban ill (poverty, unemployment, health problems, low student achievement, illiteracy, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and more recently, the Freddie Gray Riots, which set the community back even more.) 50.3% of the families live at or below the poverty limits, 86.8 % of the children live-in single-family households and 20.7% of the families are unemployed. 

Since its inception, Little Flowers has proven to be the pioneers in trauma-informed education, incorporating early intervention and mental health, social emotional development, community and parental support to help build the foundation children need to be successful in school and in life, and families need to be informed advocates for themselves and children. 

The road to where we are today and where we’re going hasn’t been easy. Resources are very limited. Most of the families we service live at or below the poverty limit and rely on childcare subsidy, which on average pays between $15 to $25 per day. While the cost of daily care far exceeds that. In addition, as an accredited center the standards for quality programming is costly. 

The average quality classroom could cost at a minimum $10,000 and then there is maintaining that classroom, staffing, training, program operations, building cost, educational supplies, and administrative cost.   

We cannot do this alone. “It takes a village.”  

Help us by taking a child’s hand. we need financial support from the community to make up for this “quality gap” our children need. 

  1. David Finkelhor et al, “Violence, Abuse, and Crime Exposure in a National Sample of Children and Youth,” Pediatrics 124, no. 5 (2009):