For Child Care Providers

Monday, December 14, 2020 - 4:00pm

Child Care workers are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Find a more information and a vaccination clinic near you.

Build a plan for covid-19

Got 15 Minutes? Develop Maryland's Child Care COVID-19 Plan using The Build-A-Plan Tool here. 

In just 15 minutes, the Build-A-Plan Tool can help overwhelmed center-based and family child care providers develop Maryland’s Child Care COVID-19 Plan to follow state regulations and guidance, use best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19, and make feasible decisions that work best for their individual program.

Learn how to “Stay Open Safely with Confidence” and develop Maryland’s Child Care COVID-19 Plan here.

Registration for the Child Care & COVID-19 Training is now open!

The training is designed to equip child care providers and caregivers with the knowledge they need to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in their child care facilities.

Course information and registration is available on the Training page of our website.

Clarification on Child Care Operating Procedures during COVID-19 Pandemic in Stage Three (Oct 1, 2020)

MSDE is providing this clarification on child care operating procedures with the State of Maryland’s advancement into Stage Three of Governor Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery and in reference to the September 24, 2020 MSDE press release. This aligns with the Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care.

After consultation with leading public health experts, child care providers may now return to their licensed capacity as long they adhere to the health and safety guidance, COVID-19 GUIDANCE for Child Care Facilities, which can be found in both English and Spanish on the Division of Early Childhood website: A return to licensed capacities requires child staff ratios per COMAR regulations. 

As of September 30, 2020, the federal waiver of the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization for the completion of an 8-point background check for all persons before they are approved to work in a child care facility, has expired. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal Office of Child Care has allowed states, including Maryland, to request another 1-year waiver of this requirement. While Maryland awaits approval of this waiver, staff may continue to work in child care with completion of a state or FBI criminal background check and a cleared Maryland Child Protective Service clearance as long as they are “watchdogged”, meaning they are supervised by a person who has completed a full 8-point background check. Once Maryland receives the decision regarding the waiver request, all providers will receive notification.

All child care providers may reopen by contacting their licensing specialist and complete a Child Care Verification of Reopening form

Please note, that child care programs applying for grants from the Division of Early Childhood (e.g., accreditation, quality improvement, etc.) must have completed a Child Care Verification of Reopening form and reopened in order to be eligible to receive funding.

Thank you for your continued service as essential persons providing child care for Maryland’s families.

Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care Outlines Path Forward for Child Care During COVID-19 Pandemic


The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) developed Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care, a plan to continue and expand child care during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  As the State entered the first recovery stage, MSDE announced the immediate start of a transition phase for child care, expanding access to child care to include families returning to work under Governor Hogan’s latest Executive Order. MSDE established a comprehensive stakeholder task force, including family and center-based providers, child care advocates, as well as Maryland Department of Health representatives, to provide recommendations that helped to inform the recovery plan. 

View the full Recovery Plan and the Plan FAQs for Providers.

All licensed child care programs are now able to reopen.  Please fill out the Child Care Reopening Verification form and send it to your licensing specialist or region manager for approval.  

FDA Updates on Hand Sanitizers with Methanol (7/22/2020)

FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.

The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death.

Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects. FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol).

FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. The agency is especially concerned with:

  • The dangers of drinking any hand sanitizer under any conditions. While hand sanitizers with possible methanol contamination are more life-threatening than those that are not contaminated, FDA urges consumers not to drink any of these products. 
  • Certain hand sanitizers that may not contain a sufficient amount of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.
  • Hand sanitizers that are sold or offered for sale with false and misleading, unproven claims that they can prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, including claims that they can provide prolonged protection (e.g., for up to 24-hours).
  • Products that are fraudulently marketed as “FDA-approved” since there are no hand sanitizers approved by FDA.
  • Products packaged to appear as drinks, candy or liquor bottles, as well as products marketed as drinks or cocktails because their appearance could result in accidental ingestion or encourage ingestion. Children are particularly at risk with these products since ingesting only a small amount of hand sanitizer may be lethal in a young child.

Methanol Contaminated Product List

Accessing Bulk Items at​ Grocery Stores (4/22/2020)

The Maryland State Department of Education has worked with several other agencies to connect with many of the large grocery stores and big box stores across Maryland to request assistance with child care providers having access to purchasing above the limits on certain items and to have access to stores during non-peak hours.  Some of the big box stores have also agreed to allow child care providers to use the store without a membership.  Most of the stores contacted are willing to work with child care providers, but in different ways.  Please use this letter to contact the manager of your local store to explain the letter and discuss the options they have for you to purchase needed food and supplies.  You must have your child care license or registration in addition to the letter when going to the store.  

Letter for Grocery Stores and Food Purchases

Medical and Emergency Supplies for Child Care Providers (Updated 11/17/2020)

Providers should purchase medical and other emergency supplies through normal purchasing practices and supply chains. or PPE Supplier List

The federal process for ordering cloth face masks is open for all organizations/facilities. It is not necessary for entities to reach out to local Emergency Management offices as they can go directly to the established website to submit orders without an approval authority. Feel free to widely distribute the link below to those in your jurisdiction looking to order cloth face masks.