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Maryland family child care licensing: An overview

Dreaming of opening up your own in-home preschool or child care but not sure where to start? Chances are, you will need a license to operate your child care or school and each state has its own licensing process to become an in-home child care provider.


In the State of Maryland, any child care program planning to serve one or more unrelated children for less than 24 hours on a regular basis must obtain a license or registration. The Division of Early Childhood Development at the Maryland State Department of Education provides support for those interested in starting child day care programs in their communities. The Office of Child Care (OCC) is responsible for licensing and inspecting all family child care providers in Maryland. The OCC also administers Maryland’s subsidized child care program for working families and the state’s Child Care Credentialing System.

If you live in Maryland, we’ve put together a blog post series on everything you need to know about getting licensed:

In Maryland, there are two types of licenses for family child care: Family Child Care Home and Large Family Child Care Home. Learn more about the Types of Licenses here.

To apply for a license, you’ll have to go through an orientation. The application will then require certain inspections and safety regulations. Read more about the in-depth Licensing Process here.

To be eligible for a license, you must be at least of a certain age, have a certain number of years of experience depending on the age of the children you’ll care for, pass a background check, and more. Read more about License Eligibility here.

There are certain training requirements you will have to meet before you receive the initial license and beyond whether you want to become a provider, assistant, or substitute teacher. To learn more about Training Requirements for Licensing, click here.

Lastly, your home will have to meet certain requirements for you to receive a child care license in the State of Maryland. These requirements include fire protection requirements and emergency escape plans as well as adequate indoor and outdoor space. Learn more about the Home Requirements for Licensing.

Start your own family child care

Wonderschool has helped over 140 educators and child care providers start and grow their own programs. Learn more about starting your own child care or preschool here.


Wonderschool is a network of quality in-home early childhood programs. Our mission is to ensure that every child has access to a home away from home that helps them realize their full potential. We work with experienced educators and child care providers to help them start their own child care or preschool out of their homes, whether they live in apartments, condos, or homes that they rent or own.