Nancy ​​​​Kramer

Nancy L. Kramer, co-founder and first director of Downtown Baltimore Child Care, died Wednesday June 17th. She was 83. Here are a few remembrances from
DBCC staff who knew Nancy and relatives. For more information, see the full Baltimore Sun obituary​.

Nancy brought a love of children to her work and wanted to develop and provide high-quality care and environment for children. She was a strong advocate of play-based and child-centered learning. All of her advocacy was for the children.

She also focused on compensation, benefits, a quality work environment as well as the curriculum and developing a deep relationship between the staff, families and the children.

I was working at Head Start and was a parent when my daughter enrolled at the DBCC the first year it opened. The program was so phenomenal that I felt I needed to be a part of it and started working there in 1985 as a classroom teacher.

[Her] office door was always open to staff, children and families. Children would just go in her office and sit and chat with her.

– Margo Sipes

Nancy’s background was in nursery schools, and she wanted quality all-day child care and not just for 2 1/2 hours. She also had a knack for hiring good and talented people.

She trusted her teachers and let them do what they wanted to do, and loved letting them create what they wanted to do. She wanted a cultural environment and had high expectations for her teachers. The more creative they were, the more she celebrated it.

As an administrator, she was really good at drafting people to help move the organization along. She was a perfectionist and paid great attention to detail. This was very important to her and she taught me so much.

Even her clothes were perfect. Color was very important to her. And she had these little flourishes like putting fresh flowers all over the center.

Sometimes the kids would go in and sing to her.

– Susan Sandstrom​


It drew national attention as a model for early child care and education. Through scholarships, DBCC ensured that all children had access to the opportunities that they provided.

– Cindy Sweigard​, daughter-in-law

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to DBCC, which was my mother’s passion.

– David Kramer, son