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4 Steps To Get Your Family Child Care License In Maryland

It’s terrific that you’ve taken this important step toward becoming a Maryland licensed family child care director. We understand how difficult it can be to decide where to establish a child care business in Maryland  Here’s a short guide to assist you to figure out how to get your first license and complete your first goals.

If you require additional assistance, please consult our resource library To gain access to all of the materials and people required to launch a successful program join Wonderschool.

Minimum Requirements

  • The applicant provider must be over the age of 18
  • Attend a pre-service orientation training orientation
  • Complete and receive a valid certification for First Aid training
  • Complete and receive a valid certification for CPR – adult, infant, toddler
  • The provider should have 24 hours of valid ECE, and required safety trainings
  • The provider shall have at least one substitute available in short notice should the provider be unable to perform their duties for that day
  • The home shall have an operating telephone (landline)
  • The home shall have proper, heating, water, toilet, and pass inspection prior to licensure
  • If the home was built prior to 1978 and is not certified as lead free, you must test it from the appropriate inspector
  • There shall be ample, accessible space for outdoor activity that is free from conditions that may be dangerous to the health or safety of children in care
  • Any pool on the premises of the facility shall be made inaccessible to children in care and have security features, including but not limited to a: (1) Fence that surrounds the pool at least 4 feet in height; (2) Self-closing and self-latching mechanism on the gate, door, or access to the pool;

Capacity Requirements

  • Family Child Care License (Small): You may care for up to eight children, including your own, but no more than two of the children may be under age two. If you care for more than two infants, you’ll need to hire another provider.
  • Large Family Day Care License (Large): Caring for nine to 12 children is considered a Large Family Day Care, which has additional requirements.

Step 1: Complete an orientation

Your orientation session will fill you in on the application process and requirements you’ll need to meet to receive a certificate of registration. After you work through the required orientation, the appropriate regional office of child care will be notified.

Step 2: Complete application

Review the application packet for guidance, and you can access the Family Child Care Home Checklist and Large Family Child Care Home Checklist beforehand.

Step 3: Assemble accompanying forms

  • Release of Information: Signed and notarized permission to examine records of abuse and neglect of children and adults for information about the applicant, each employee and substitute, each resident who is 18 years old or older, and if required by the office, any other individual with regular access to the child care area during approved hours of operation.
  • Background Check: Effective October 1, 2020, all in-state applicant fingerprints submitted to CJIS for the purpose of licensing and/or employment background checks must be done electronically via approved live scan fingerprinting units. Complete criminal background check forms and fingerprint cards for yourself, each employee including substitutes, and each resident in the home who is 18 years old or older, and send them to the Maryland Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS). There is a fee, payable to CJIS, to process the background check. The fingerprinting fee varies in different parts of the state.
  • Sign up for training either in-person or online for any of your health and safety requirements here. You need to go to an accredited trainer, so it counts for your required trainings
  • Medical Evaluation Report: A medical evaluation for the applicant and each resident in the home completed within 12 months before the date of application for registration and conducted by a practicing physician, certified nurse practitioner, or registered physician’s assistant, and is signed or verified by the individual who conducted the evaluation
  • Fire Inspection Report: Documentation that the family child care home has passed the most recent fire inspection required by the local fire authority having jurisdiction
  • Evidence of Compliance with Local Building and Zoning Codes (U&O Permit)
  • Evidence of Lead Safe Environment (Certificate for Pre 1978 Rental Property): Documentation that the home has met all lead safety requirements
  • Homeowner’s Liability Insurance: If the child care home is located in a condominium or residence which requires homeowners’ association membership, written proof of homeowner’s liability insurance coverage
  • Private Sewage & Water Inspection Results
  • Environmental Health Survey (OCC 1268)
  • Swimming Pool Certificate
  • Rabies Certificate for each animal on premises
  • Emergency Escape Plan
  • Discipline Policy: A written child discipline policy
  • Plan of Operation: A written schedule of activities
  • Menu Plan for 4 weeks (OCC 1218)
  • Education and Preservice training documentation: Submit required education qualifications and completed pre-service training documentation. All pre-service training courses must be approved by the OCC. Before you sign up for a course, check with the Regional Licensing Office to make sure the course has been approved. See the online training calendar and the list of local resource and referral offices for more information.
  • Provider Information and Plan of Operation

Additional Requirements for Large Family Child Care Home:

Step 4: Success!

Mail your completed application to the appropriate district office located in this website. You may also call ahead if you have any prior questions that they can help answer. Upon receiving the completed application and all required documentation, the Office will determine compliance with the requirements based on:

  • Evaluating the application and required documentation
  • Interviewing the applicant
  • Inspecting the home proposed for use as a family child care home
  • Evaluating the results of the background investigations
  • Evaluating the information provided from records of child and adult abuse and neglect.

Upon completing the procedures, the Office will issue a certificate of registration to operate the family child care home within 30 days, if:

  • The application is complete
  • All required documentation has been received
  • The Office is satisfied that the applicant and the home meet the requirements

Pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and get some rest– the real work is just beginning!

Start, run, and grow your child care business with Wonderschool

Join Wonderschool for support throughout the licensing process, setting up your environment, making critical business decisions, and running the day-to-day of your program. You don’t have to do this alone!