Embarking on the journey to become a registered family child care provider in Maryland is an exciting venture, filled with the promise of shaping young minds and fostering a nurturing environment. To guide you through this process with clarity and accuracy, here's a step-by-step breakdown of the steps:
- Contact the OCC Regional Licensing Office in Your Area
Your first step is reaching out to the OCC Regional Licensing Office responsible for your area. By calling them, you express your interest in becoming a registered family child care provider. This office will play a crucial role in processing your application, issuing your certificate of registration, inspecting your program to ensure regulatory compliance, and providing necessary technical assistance.
- Attend Family Child Care Orientation Sessions
The Regional Licensing Office will schedule two orientation sessions for you. The first session primarily focuses on the application process and the requirements for receiving a certificate of registration. During this session, you'll receive forms related to your application, including personal information, medical evaluations, #emergency plans, and releases for child abuse and neglect clearances. You will also need to complete criminal background check forms for yourself and each adult resident of your home. A criminal background check includes a review of both federal (FBI) and State records.
The second orientation session, conducted after you submit a completed application, delves into compliance with family child care regulations. OCC licensing specialists provide detailed information on child #health-and-safety, child supervision, and general program operations. At the end of this session, you'll be given a Self-Assessment Guide to test your knowledge and readiness for a pre-registration inspection.
- Complete Pre-Service Training
To qualify for family child care registration, you must complete a minimum of 24 clock hours of approved training related to child #development, program curriculum, child health and safety, care for children with disabilities, or provider professionalism. Additionally, you must obtain skills-based CPR and First Aid Certification, and if caring for children under 2 years old, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) training. Register today for ChildCareEd’s MSDE OCC approved pre-service trainings for family child care providers:
- Make Sure Your Home is Safe and Properly Equipped
Creating a safe physical environment is paramount for child care, especially for young children. Implement safety measures such as using baby gates, covering electrical sockets, and securing harmful items. Equip your home with age-appropriate toys, games, books, cribs, playpens, and outdoor play equipment.
- Pass OCC, Fire Safety, and Other Required Inspections
Two home inspection visits are scheduled. The first, a pre-registration inspection by an OCC licensing specialist, ensures your home meets family child care regulations. The second involves inspection by the local fire authority to confirm compliance with fire codes. Other local government agencies may conduct additional inspections. Once all requirements are met and inspections passed, the OCC Regional Licensing Office issues your certificate of registration.
Registered family day care homes are initially authorized for two years, with the option for a non-expiring registration. Routine inspections, both announced and unannounced, ensure ongoing compliance with child health and safety requirements.
Upon receiving your certificate of registration, you are ready to open your family child care home for business. Use ChildCareEd's Training Course to Renew your qualifications. 18-Hour Family Child Care Renewal Training