West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning Initiative, Alliance of Childcare Providers Director Profile: Angelique Maury 

By Maria Walker
Project Director
Drexel University
University and Community Partnerships

 

Angelique Maury (or Angie) is gifted at turning challenges into positive opportunities that benefit children and families in the community. As Child Care Director of Youth Service, Inc.’s Baring House, a 24-hour Crisis Nursery, she responds to the needs of the children in her center’s care to ensure they are on the path to education success.

Through her ongoing participation in AFEL’s Alliance of Childcare Provider (the Alliance) trainings, Angie identified several children in her program between the ages of three and five who needed more challenging, age-appropriate interaction to address their education needs. Through her relationship with the Alliance, she reached out to another local high quality Alliance Pre-K program, and made arrangements for the children to attend, with Baring House continuing to provide critical before and after care to support their working families. This allowed the children to develop at their age-appropriate levels and, most importantly, be better prepared for Kindergarten. Today, all of the children have successfully transitioned to kindergarten.

“Our children deserve to have a quality experience,” Angie said. “They need to be able to transition between supportive networks. When these networks are in place, parents’ work or school are not compromised.”

By initiating a connection with another local childcare program, Angie helped promote a spirit of collaboration among AFEL’s Alliance members. Her willingness to work with other providers for the benefit of the children in her care has had a positive impact on the working relationships of all AFEL Alliance members, who now see themselves as colleagues and not competitors.

Since AFEL’s inception in 2014, Angie has stood out as a leader within the Alliance, working closely with AFEL’s Alliance Manager Sherilynn Kimble, who has tapped her to participate in multiple Train-the-Trainer programs, PQAS-certified ECE quality improvement workshops. Her passion for her community and advocacy has resulted in being a member of First Up’s Early Childhood Education Fellowship Cohort 10 and she was recently asked to participate in the Mayor’s  Office of Early Childhood Education’s weekly COVID Re-Opening Task Force.

“Angie is always willing to go the extra mile for our children,” Sherilynn said. “She consistently volunteers for professional development opportunities and workshops that develop new learning strategies and she is always in the vanguard for implementing these new strategies among the children.”

Angie’s emphasis on continuous quality improvement has enabled Baring House to be part of the STARs program. Previous to participation in the AFEL Alliance, Baring House was not part of the STARS System.

“I really appreciate how AFEL has made Baring House part of the ECE community,” Angie said. “Before that, we were our own island.”

Angie’s positive energy is endless and infectious! She always volunteers to participate in Train-the-Trainer workshops, so that she can share the knowledge with her teachers, as well as mentor other directors. She helped AFEL identify the need for increased social emotional and trauma-informed training for teachers and parents, and in 2018 she was invited along with other AFEL teachers and parents to the US Department of Education Family Engagement Summit in Maryland to present AFEL’s Circle of Support Program, a comprehensive approach to social-emotional support for children across the home and provider site.

“I’m passionate about social-emotional support because I’ve seen how my kids have benefitted,” Angie said.

One boy in particular was having difficulty listening and following directions. Angie was able to support the child through responses she learned as a result of her training in FLIP It, a social-emotional resilience-based behavioral strategy designed by the Devereux Foundation. She was able to “flip” the boy’s negative response by working with him to express his feelings and respond verbally. Now, the same boy teaches other children the strategy.

“FLIP It has increased the kids’ emotional vocabulary,” she said. “For example, they would often use the word ‘mad,’ and now they also use ‘frustrated and disappointed.’”

Not satisfied with just referring her teachers to AFEL’s free Child Development Associate Course, she decided to take the course herself, so that she could understand firsthand the material covered in the course. She said the course augmented her knowledge of child development and helped with screening teacher applicants. Even with her Masters Degree in Human Services, she said acquiring the CDA has helped her to be a better administrator.

“Throughout Angie’s work at YSI she has always shown a ‘how can we’ attitude,” said Gwen Baily, Executive Director of Youth Services Inc. “Angie is always looking for opportunities to increase the opportunities for success for children and parents and leads by example.”

The following represents some of the programs that Angie has participated in through AFEL’s Alliance of Childcare Providers.

  • First Up Early Childhood Education Fellowship
  • Mayor’s Office of Early Childhood Education COVID-19 Re-Opening Task Force
  • Child Development Associate Certification Course
  • Train-the-Trainor Programs, including Devereux Center for Resilient Children’s social emotional trainings (DECA – Early Childhood Assessment and FLIP It)
  • Conducted Let’s Move Program – Healthy Snacks Healthy Cooking
  • Piloted Let’s Read Math at Xavier’s Childcare Program
  • Circle of Support – US Dept of Education Family Engagement Conference
  • AFEL Family Science Night
  • Established Baring House as a Book Depot site
  • Childcare Directors Communities of Practice
  • Children’s Literacy Initiative Lending Library Project with Please Touch Museum
  • Created “One Night with a Book” Club for parents in the center