For Child Care Providers

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 4:00pm

Revised Child Care Operating Procedures during COVID-19 Pandemic (June 10, 2020)

MSDE is providing this clarification on child care operating procedures in Maryland.  All parents are now eligible to access child care services. All child care providers may reopen, as long as they follow all health department protocols listed on the MSDE website and adhere to class size restrictions.  In order to reopen, providers must contact their licensing specialist and complete a Child Care Verification of Reopening form.

Class sizes in child care centers are now expanded to a maximum of 15 individuals per classroom with a ratio of no more than 1:14 for three and four year-olds. This is a temporary relaxing of the regulations. Family child care programs are limited to the number of children for which they are licensed at one time and no more than 15 persons total including residents. Family child care and large family child care programs may serve different children on different days. If they are licensed for evening care and weekends, they can serve additional children in the evening shift, however they must clean and disinfect thoroughly between shifts.  All child care programs must continue to adhere to group size allowed for by age in licensing regulations.

Please continue to review our FAQs and resources on our website at https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/covid-faqs.

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.  

Organizations wishing to serve as an EPSA site may contact your regional licensing office. https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/child-care-providers/li...


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 6/5/2020)

Providers should use their $800 or $1,600 grants to purchase medical and other emergency supplies through your normal purchasing practices and supply chains. https://marylandmanufacturingnetwork.com/ 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. https://marylandmanufacturingnetwork.com/