Starting Your Family Child Care Home in Maryland is Overwhelming! Where do you even start? - post

Starting Your Family Child Care Home in Maryland is Overwhelming! Where do you even start?

image in article Starting Your Family Child Care Home in Maryland is Overwhelming! Where do you even start?Are you considering opening a family child care #home in Maryland but feeling overwhelmed about where to begin? Rest assured, you're not alone. Starting a family child care home is an exciting journey, but it does require careful planning and adherence to state regulations. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process and address some common concerns:

Where to Start

Begin by reaching out to your Regional Licensing Office, the first point of contact for aspiring family child care home providers in Maryland. They will provide you with essential information and guide you through the licensing process. Anyone who is interested in starting a child care business in a home or center is required to take the orientation training. Contact the Office of Child Care Regional Licensing Office to schedule the Orientation Training.


Required Documentation

During your orientation training you will learn about the following required documents needed to apply to become a family child care home operator:

  • 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 OCC to conduct child abuse and neglect clearances for you and adult residents of your home.

You and each adult resident of your home will also need to complete criminal background checks and be fingerprinted.


Once everything is in place, at least two home inspection visits will be made. First, an OCC licensing specialist will make sure your home meets family child care regulations. The licensing specialist will review the Self Assessment Guide with you and answer any questions you have. Your home will be inspected by the local fire authority. Depending on where your home is located, other inspections by the Health Department or other local government agencies may be required

How Long Will it Take?

The timeline can vary depending on various factors, including completing required trainings, passing inspections, and obtaining necessary certifications. Typically, the process takes several months to complete, so it's essential to start early and be patient.

Training Requirements

Maryland mandates specific pre-service trainings for family child care home providers. These include:

ChildCareEd's Group Admin Program:

ChildCareEd offers valuable resources and training programs to help you achieve qualifications as a family child care home provider. Their group admin program provides significant benefits, including cost-effective training options. You save more in the long run by purchasing group admin hours without any financial risk. When you build a successful #home- #daycare, you will need #staff who will need training. By investing in group admin hours, you can save money in the long run and gain valuable support for managing employee trainings as your business grows.

Understanding Licensing Options

In Maryland, there are two types of family child care #homes: standard and large. Standard homes can care for up to eight children, with no more than two under the age of two, while large homes can care for between nine and 12 children, with certain age restrictions. Your license will specify the hours during which you can operate.

Meeting Safety and Compliance Standards

Before opening your home daycare, you'll need to ensure compliance with #safety regulations. This includes:

  • baby-proofing your home
  • having appropriate equipment, games, and activities such as:
    • Highchairs
    • changing station
    • Strollers
    • Cribs
    • playpens
  • maintaining first aid kits
  • working smoke detectors
  • Pass OCC inspections: unannounced drop-in inspections at least once a year

Additional Resources

  • Maryland Child Care Resource Network is a statewide network of agencies that helps #parents find child care. These agencies also provide training and support services to child care facilities.
  • The Family Day Care Provider Grant Program reimburses registered providers who meet income eligibility requirements for up to $500 in costs related to meeting the requirements of the family child care regulations.
  • LOCATE: Child Care helps families to find child care services including services for children with special needs.
  • Maryland EXCELS is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) that recognizes the accomplishments of #early-childhood and school-age programs.

Starting a family child care home in Maryland is a rewarding endeavor that requires careful planning, dedication, and a commitment to providing quality care for children. By following these steps and utilizing available resources, you can embark on this journey with confidence and create a nurturing environment where children can learn and thrive.


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