This post is a part of our series on Maryland family child care licensing. For more on licensing in Maryland, see the following posts:

Maryland Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
The Licensing Process
Training Requirements
Home Requirements

If you’re planning to open an in-home preschool, you will have to meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements will differ slightly depending on the type of license you’ll be applying for.

Family Child Care Staff General Requirements

SUITABILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT 
A provider may not employ an individual who has received a conviction, a probation before judgment disposition, a not criminally responsible disposition, or a pending charge for the commission or attempted commission of a crime involving a child, cruelty to animals, domestic violence, or a weapons or firearms violation of federal or state laws, a sex offense, a violent crime classified as a felony, abduction or kidnapping, abuse of a child or an adult, confinement of an unattended child, manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance, perjury, pornography, possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance, or reckless endangerment.

STAFF HEALTH

  • Medical Evaluation: A provider shall obtain a medical evaluation, including a tuberculosis screen, if indicated, on a form supplied or approved by the Office, that has been completed within 6 months before the individual begins work in the child care home, from each prospective staff member and except for a health care professional serving as a consultant, support staff who will be present at the child care home while children are in care. The medical evaluation may transfer directly from one child care home to another, or from a licensed child care center to the child care home if the evaluation was completed within the previous 12 months.
  • Exclusion from Work: Except with the approval of the Office and the health officer, a provider may not permit an individual with a serious transmissible infection or communicable disease listed on a chart supplied by the Office to work at the child care home during the period of exclusion from child care recommended on the chart for that infection or disease.

STAFF ORIENTATION 
On or before the assignment, a provider shall ensure and document that each staff member has been informed in writing about all areas pertinent to the health and safety of the children, including:

  • The location of the telephone and emergency telephone numbers;
  • The location of each child’s emergency form;
  • Emergency and disaster plan contents;
  • The identity of the staff members who:
    • Are currently certified in first aid and CPR; and
    • Have completed approved training in medication administration;
  • The identity of the individuals who are required to be available to provide emergency coverage;
  • Hand washing and diapering procedures approved by the Office;
  • The child care home’s child discipline policy;
  • The requirements and procedures for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect;
  • Signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect in children;
  • The community resources available to a family of a child who may have special needs;

Family Child Care Provider Requirements

Age: You must be 18 years old or older.

Education

You must have one of the following:

  • CDA Credential: The Child Development Associate Credential issued by the Council for Professional Recognition;
  • Associate’s degree: An associate’s degree that includes at least 15 semester hours of early childhood education or elementary education coursework;
  • Bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s or higher degree in early childhood education, elementary education, or other discipline approved by the Office; or
  • Other coursework approved by the Office;

Preservice Training: An individual who applies for an initial registration shall hold a current certificate indicating successful completion of training in approved:

  • First aid: Basic first-aid through the American Red Cross, or a program with equivalent standards;
  • CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) through the American Heart Association, or a program with equivalent standards, appropriate for each age group approved for care in the home.
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): If requesting approval to provide care for children younger than 24 months old, present evidence of having successfully completed, within 5 years before the date of the request, approved training in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS training may not be used to satisfy the continued training requirements.

You must provide documentation of having successfully completed:

  • Infant-Toddler Training: The Office shall not approve a request by an applicant or a provider for an infant toddler capacity of more than two children younger than 2 years old unless the individual has completed 3 semester hours or 45 clock hours of approved training, or the equivalent, related exclusively to the care of children younger than 2 years old.
  • Department of Defense training modules for child care providers;
  • Emergency and Disaster Planning: Complete approved training on emergency and disaster planning. The Office shall not approve an initial registration application unless the applicant has completed approved training on emergency and disaster planning.
  • Breastfeeding Practices: Approved training in supporting breastfeeding practices;
  • Americans with Disabilities Act: 3 clock hours of approved training in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Medical Administration: Approved training in medication administration. The Office may not approve an application for an initial registration or a continuing registration unless the applicant has completed medication administration training approved by the Office and a currently registered provider shall have completed medication administration training approved by the Office.
  • 24 clock hours of approved training: Within 2 years before the application for initial registration is filed, at least 24 clock hours of approved training that includes 4 clock hours in each of the six core of knowledge competencies;
  • 90 clock hour course: The 90 clock hour course, or its approved equivalent, that satisfies the pre-service training requirement for a child care teacher or child care center director;

PROVIDER SUBSTITUTE 

  • The provider shall designate at least one substitute who is available on short notice to care for the children.
  • Approval by Office
    • An individual designated as a substitute may not be used in that capacity unless the Office has approved the individual.
    • If the information received by the Office indicates that an individual designated as a substitute may present a risk to the health, safety, or welfare of children in care, the Office may disapprove the use of that substitute.
  • Use of Substitutes
    • A provider may use a substitute to:
      • Provide care for children during a temporary absence of the provider; and
      • Assist in providing care while the provider is present.
    • Approval: Unless the Office approves an additional number of days in advance, the use of substitutes to provide care in the provider’s absence is limited to a total of not more than 20 working days in any 12-month period, counting only days on which substitute care is provided for more than 2 hours.
  • A substitute shall
    • Age: Be 18 years old or older;
    • Be familiar with this subtitle;
    • Records of abuse or neglect: Complete, sign, and submit to the Office the required forms for substitutes, which include permission to examine records of abuse and neglect of children and adults;
    • Background check: If paid, apply for a federal and State criminal background check at a designated law enforcement Officer in the State; and
    • Risk-free: Present no risk to the health, safety, or welfare of children.
  • Orientation: Before allowing a substitute to provide or to assist in providing care, the provider shall orient the substitute to child health and safety matters, including, but not limited to:
    • The location of the:
      • Telephone and emergency telephone numbers;
      • First aid supplies; and
      • Child emergency forms;
    • Medication administration information for each child authorized to receive medication;
    • Modified diet information for each child placed on a modified diet;
    • Emergency evacuation procedures;
    • Permissible and appropriate child discipline procedures;
    • Authorized child release procedures; and
    • Procedures for documenting and reporting child injuries and accidents.
  • Provider’s absence: During the provider’s absence, a substitute is responsible for meeting the requirements of this subtitle regarding the:
    • Supervision and protection of each child in care; and
    • Operation of the family child care home.

ADDITIONAL ADULT
Before an individual may be used as an additional adult, the provider shall ensure that the individual:

  • Age: Is 18 years old or older;
  • Information session: Attends an information session presented by the Office concerning the requirements of this subtitle for the care of children younger than 2 years old;
  • Files with the Office:
    • A completed additional adult application form;
    • Signed and notarized release forms giving the Office permission to examine records of abuse and neglect of children and adults for information about the applicant;
    • Completed information, on a form supplied by the Office, for each of the applicant’s substitutes; and
    • A medical report on the applicant based on a medical evaluation conducted within the previous 12 months by a practicing physician, certified nurse practitioner, or registered physician’s assistant, and signed by the individual who conducted the evaluation;
  • Background check: If the individual will be paid, applies for a federal and State criminal background check at a designated Office in the State;
  • First aid and CPR: Holds a current certificate indicating successful completion of approved basic first aid and CPR training applicable to children younger than 2 years old; and
  • SIDS training: Presents evidence of having completed approved Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) training within the previous 5 years.

A provider may not use an individual as an additional adult unless the Office has approved the individual in that capacity.

VOLUNTEERS 

  • Before permitting an individual to begin volunteer duties at the family child care home, the provider shall ensure that the individual presents no risk to the health, safety, or welfare of children and conduct a child health and safety orientation.
  • The provider, substitute, or additional adult shall accompany a volunteer whenever the volunteer is in the presence of an unrelated child in care.
  • A volunteer who is younger than 18 years old may not be permitted to work with a child in care who is younger than 2 years old. 

Requirements for Large Family Child Care Provider and Staff

CHILD CARE HOME PROVIDER AND DIRECTOR
Use of a Director: A provider may designate an individual to serve as the director of the child care home. If an individual is not designated by the provider as the director, the provider shall be the director of the child care home. The provider shall meet the requirements for qualifying as the director of a child care home.

On leave: Except when engaged in occasional childcare home-related activities or away on leave, the director shall be present in the child care home during at least 1/2 of the operating hours of the home each week to:

  • Plan and supervise all aspects of the program for children;
  • Supervise the staff; and
  • Be available to staff, parents, and children.

Qualifications: To qualify as a director in a large family child care home, an individual shall:

  • Age: Be 21 years old or older;
  • Education
    • High School Diploma: Hold a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalence, or have successfully completed at least 6 credits from an accredited college or university;
    • CDA Credential: Have successfully completed 6 semester hours or 90 clock hours, or their equivalent, of approved preservice training, or hold the Child Development Associate National Credential that is issued by the Council for Professional Recognition;
  • An individual is considered qualified as a director when that individual has:
    • Received either:
      • Approval by the Department as a teacher for early childhood education, including nursery school through third grade, and has 6 semester hours in early childhood education; or
      • Certification by the Department or by any other state for early childhood education, including nursery school through third grade; and
    • Completed 3 semester hours of approved training, or the equivalent, related exclusively to the care of children younger than 2 years old.
  • Training: Have successfully completed:
    • Preservice training: 9 clock hours of approved preservice training in communicating with staff, parents, and the public, or at least one academic college course for credit;
    • Administrative training: 3 semester hours or their equivalent of approved administrative training;
    • American’s with Disability Act (ADA): 3 clock hours of approved training in ADA compliance;
    • Breastfeeding Practices: Approved training in supporting breastfeeding practices.
    • Children younger than 2 years: Unless previously approved by the Office to direct a child care program serving children younger than 2 years old, have completed 3 semester hours of approved training, or the equivalent, related exclusively to the care of children younger than 2 years old; and
    • 1-year experience: Have completed 1 year of experience working directly with children in a registered child care home, licensed child care center, nursery school, church-operated school, or similar setting.
  • Professional Development Plan: A director shall:
    • Maintain the professional development plan received from the Office;
    • According to the professional development plan, complete approved continued training, at the rate of at least 12 clock hours per full year of service as a director, that consists of a:
      • Minimum of 6 clock hours of core of knowledge training; and
      • Maximum of 6 clock hours of elective training; and
    • Document completion of the continued training on the professional development plan.

 FAMILY CHILD CARE TEACHERS

  • Age: A family child care teacher in a child care home shall be 19 years old or older.
  • To qualify as a family child care teacher, an individual:
    • Shall hold or have successfully completed:
      • High school diploma: A high school diploma, a certificate of high school equivalence, or courses for credit from an accredited college or university;
      • 9 clock hours training: Either 9 clock hours of approved pre-service training in communicating with staff, parents, and the public or at least one academic college course for credit; and
      • Either:
        • 6 semester hours or 90 clock hours or their equivalent of approved pre-service training;
        • The Child Development Associate Credential issued by the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program; or
        • Accreditation by the National Association for Family Child Care as a family child care provider; and
      • Have completed at least one of the following:
        • 1 year of experience working under supervision with children in licensed child care center, nursery school, church-operated school, or similar setting;
        • 1 year of experience as a registered family child care provider; or
        • 1 year of college, or a combination of experience and college that together are equivalent to 1 year;
      • Qualifications: An individual shall qualify as a family child care teacher if the individual:
        • Holds an associate’s or higher degree with approved courses in early childhood education;
        • Qualified before July 1, 2008, as a child care teacher in a licensed child care center and has been continuously employed since that time at the same or another licensed child care center;
        • Has been approved as a teacher by the Department for early childhood in nursery school through third grade; or
        • Is certified by the Department or by any other state for early childhood in nursery school through third grade.

AIDES

  • An aide shall:
    • Age: Be 16 years old or older;
    • Supervision: Work under the direct supervision of the provider or the family child care teacher in charge of the group of children to which the aide is assigned;
    • Professional Development Plan: According to the individual’s professional development plan, complete approved continued training, at the rate of at least 6 clock hours per full year of employment as a child care aide, that consists of a:
      • Minimum of 3 clock hours of core of knowledge training; and
      • Maximum of 3 clock hours of elective training; and
    • Document completion of the continued training on the professional development plan.
  • 90 clock hours: Unless an individual has completed 90 clock hours or the equivalent in early childhood education preservice training, an individual hired to work as an aide shall complete, within 6 months after the date of hire, an orientation session that follows guidelines established by the Office and includes, but is not limited to proper child supervision, workplace professionalism, and interacting with parents.
  • Orientation: The requirement to complete an orientation session does not apply to an individual hired to work as an aide before January 1, 2009.

 SUPPORT PERSONNEL

  • The provider shall provide additional personnel for all duties not involving direct supervision of children, such as personnel for food preparation and service, housekeeping, transportation, clerical, and other duties, if necessary to maintain the correct staff/child ratios at all times.
  • Additional staff need not be provided if children are involved in appropriate activities and supervised at all times while necessary duties, such as food preparation, are performed.
  • A child care home that provides a regular service involving the use of specialized health care procedures or equipment shall use as a consultant in providing the service a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, physician, or other registered or certified service professional as appropriate.

Sources: Subtitle 15 Family Child Care, Subtitle 18 Large Family Child Care Homes

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