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
Eligibility
Training Requirements
Home Requirements

Once you have looked at the different types of family child care you can open in Maryland, you’re ready to get started on the licensing process. Maryland has 13 Regional Licensing Offices across the state. After you turn in your application and other initial documents, licensing staff will be assigned to work with you as you move through the process. Here we break down what that process looks like so you can get started becoming an in-home childcare provider.

Initial Registration

An applicant for an initial registration shall:

Step 1: Orientation

Complete the Family Child Care Home Orientation or Large Family Child Care Home Orientation online. After you work through the required orientation, the appropriate regional office of child care will be notified. You’ll learn about the application process and requirements you’ll need to meet to receive a certificate of registration during orientation. You’ll also learn about the forms you’ll need to complete:

  • An application form asking for your name, address, references, and other information
  • A medical evaluation form for yourself and each resident in your home
  • A written emergency escape plan
  • A substitute form naming a responsible adult to be in temporary charge of your program if you are called away on an emergency
  • Releases of information to permit the Office of Child Care (OCC) to conduct child abuse and neglect clearances for you and any other adult residents of your home

Step 2: Submit complete application for initial registration

Complete the Family Child Care Home Application (OCC 1230) or Large Family Child Care Home Application (OCC 1240) for initial registration. You can access the Family Child Care Home Checklist and Large Family Child Care Home Checklist beforehand. Be sure to submit the application along with:

  • 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: 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;
  • 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 as required by Maryland law;
  • Private Sewage & Water Inspection Results
  • Environmental Health Survey (OCC 1268)
  • Swimming Pool Certificate
  • Rabies Certificate for each animal on premises
  • Emergency Escape Plan: An emergency and disaster plan shall establish procedures evacuating the child care home, including an evacuation route, relocating staff and children to a designated safe site, sheltering in place in the event that evacuation is not feasible, notifying parents of children in care, and addressing the individual needs of children, including children with special needs. The emergency plan must contain the name of, and contact information for the local emergency operations center, assignment of staff responsibilities during an emergency or disaster, a list of local emergency services numbers, and the radio station call sign and frequency for the local Emergency Alert System. The Emergency Escape Plan (OCC 1261) form for family child care home is available at this link.
  • Discipline Policy: A written child discipline policy;
  • Plan of Operation (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.

Additional Requirements for Family Child Care Home

 Additional Requirements for Large Family Child Care Home

  • Floor plans (with architectural detail)
  • Workers Compensation Insurance Information (OCC 1201)
  • Personnel List (OCC 1203) (with all related supporting documentation)
  • Individual Personnel Information (OCC 1205) (with all requested documentation) for the applicant, Child Care Home Director (applicant must also qualify as a Director), Family Child Care Teacher(s), Aide(s), Substitute(s).
  • Staffing Pattern: A complete staffing pattern which specifies by staff name all childcare assignments;
  • Emergency Adult Agreement/On-Call Statement (for LFCCH with children ages 2 or above)

Step 3: Office responds to your application 

Upon receiving the completed application and all required documentation, whether for an initial registration or a continuing registration, the Office shall determine compliance with the requirements of this subtitle by:

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

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

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

The Office may also

  • Deny the certificate of registration if the office determines that the applicant or the home does not meet the requirements; or
  • Issue a provisional certificate of registration

Continuing Registration

You must submit the following before your initial registration expires to obtain a continuing registration:

  • Continuing Registration Request Form: A completed continued registration application for Family Child Care Home or Large Family Child Care Home;
  • Ongoing Training documentation: Documentation that the continued training requirements and the first aid and CPR certification requirements have been met;
  • 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;
  • Release of Information: A completed and notarized release of information form that permits the office to examine records of abuse and neglect of children and adults for the provider, each provider substitute, each resident in the home 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 the approved hours of operation.
  • 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;

Maintenance of Continuing Registration

By the end of each 12-month period after the date of issuance of a continuing registration, the provider shall submit to the Office documentation that the continued training requirements have been met. By the end of each 24-month period after the date of issuance of a continuing registration, the provider shall submit to the Office the items specified above for continuing registration.

Sources: Maryland Department of Education, Early Childhood Development, Family Child Care Providers, Subtitle 15 Family Child Care, Subtitle 18 Large Family Child Care Homes

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