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
The Licensing Process
Eligibility
Training Requirements
Home Requirements

As you start your in-home child care program in Maryland, you will have the option to choose between two types of programs: Family Child Care Home and Large Family Child Care Home.

Family child care providers offer care in their own home to one or more children who aren’t related to the provider. To ensure a safe environment, Maryland limits the number of children in a family child care home:

Family Child Care Home

A provider may care for up to 8 children with no more than 2 under the age of 2. The provider’s own children under the age of 6 are counted within the group of 8.

Large Family Child Care Home

A provider may care for between 9 and 12 children with no more than 2 under the age of 2. The provider’s own children under the age of 6 are counted within the group of 9 to 12 children.

Same-Age Groups: In a group of children of the same age, the following staff/child ratio and maximum group size requirements apply:

Child Ages Staff/Child Ratio Maximum Group Size
2 years old 1 to 6 12
3 or 4 years old 1 to 10 12
5 years old or older 1 to 12 12

Groups of Children Younger than 2 Years Old: In a group of children where each child is younger than 2 years old, the following staff/child ratio and maximum group size requirements apply:

Child Ages Staff/Child Ratio Maximum Group Size
Infants 1 to 3 6
Toddlers 1 to 3 9
Infants and toddlers, with 1 to 2 infants in the group 1 to 3 9
Infants and toddlers, with 3 or more infants in the group 1 to 3 6

Mixed-Age Groups with Children Younger than 2 Years Old: In a group where children younger than 2 years old are mixed with children 2 years old or older, the following minimum staffing levels and maximum group size requirements apply:

Group Composition Minimum Staffing Level Maximum Group Size
Includes 1 or 2 children under the age of 2 1 staff member 8
Includes 1 or 2 children under the age of 2 2 staff members 12
Includes 1 or 2 children under the age of 2 2 staff members 8
Includes 1 or 2 children under the age of 2 3 staff members 12

Mixed-Age Groups with Children 2 Years Old or Older: In a mixed age group with children who are 3 years old or older, the staff to child ratio is 1 to 10. In mixed-age groups of varying sizes that include children who are 2 years old, the following minimum staffing levels apply:

Group Composition Group Size Minimum Staffing Level
Includes one to three 2-years old children Up to 10 1 staff member
Includes four or more 2-years old children Up to 12 2 staff members

Group Size and Staffing in Approved Educational Programs: During a school day approved by the Department, a teacher shall be assigned to each class and the following requirements apply:

Child Ages Staff/Child Ratio Maximum Group Size
2 years old 1 to 6 12
3 years old or older 1 to 12 12

A nursery school may not exceed a staff/child ratio or group size requirement in the table above, except a Montessori school that has been approved by the Department of Education. In this exception, the school may only exceed a staff/child ratio or group size requirement by no more than 1/3.

When children who are 2 years old, 3 years old, 4 years old, and 5 years old are grouped together, the average age of all the children in the group as of September 1 of that school year is used to determine the group’s maximum size and staff/child ratio.

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

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