Child Care Scholarship Program

Child Care Scholarship Program

The Child Care Scholarship (CCS) (formerly known as Child Care Subsidy) Program provides financial assistance with child care costs to eligible working families in Maryland. The program is managed through a centralized vendor -- Child Care Scholarship Central 2 (CCS Central 2).

To be eligible for the CCS Program, you must be:

  • A Maryland resident who is working/employed, in an approved training program or attending school. For families where both parents live within the same household, both parents must meet all eligibility requirements. 

  • A recipient of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or within CCS income guidelines (see below).

  • Willing to have your child immunized to Maryland state standards or provide documentation supporting Exemption from Immunization. 

  • Willing to provide proof that each child needing child care is a citizen of the United States or a qualified alien. (Provide a Birth Certificate for each child or documentation that certifies the child's status.) NOTE: Parents ARE NOT required to be citizens of the United States. 

  • Willing to provide proof of identity for all members within the household composition. (Proof of identity for the parent can be any form of a government issued document. The birth certificate or immigration status documentation can serve as proof of identity for each child in the household composition.) 

  • Willing to provide a Photo I.D. (Only required of the head of households.)  

  • An individual who is younger than 13 years old, or an individual younger than 19 years old who is disabled.

Families in the following income categories may be eligible for a Child Care Scholarship: (Updated May 23, 2022)

Maximum Annual Income
  Child Care Scholarship Program  
Family Size

Initial Income Scale*

Maximum Annual Income

Continuation Income Scale**

Maximum Annual Income

  Table used for new applications Table used for Changes/Redeterminations
Family of 2 $61,222 $73,899
Family of 3 $75,627 $91,287
Family of 4 $90,033 $108,675
Family of 5 $104,438 $126,063
Family of 6 $118,843 $143,451
Family of 7 $121,544 $146,712
Family of 8 $124,245 $149,972
Family of 9 $126,946 $153,232
Family of 10 $129,647 $156,492
Family of 11 $132,348  
Family of 12 $135,049  

* Initial Income Scale - families without an active child care scholarship - family income must be below Initial Income Scale

**Continuation Income Scale - families with at least one active child care scholarship - family income must be below Continuation Income Scale

To apply, a family must submit the following to CCS Central 2:

Once the CCS application is approved, the following Scholarship Forms may be needed for continued services and to report changes:Click here to access translated scholarship forms and documents

Additional Scholarship documents

CCS Central 2 processes Child Care Scholarship applications and Provider Payments. Here's how to contact CCS 2 - CLICK HERE!

parent questions about the scholarship program          provider questions about the scholarship program

Child Care Scholarship Invoicing Process

   (Click image to enlarge Invoice Processing Chart) 


Attendance Audit: How to Avoid Having to Pay Back Money


  • How does Child Care Scholarship Program work?

    Eligible families receive payment scholarships from CCS Central 2 to cover part of their child care costs. The scholarship shows:

    • The scholarship rate -- the part of the child care costs that the State is paying for the family
    • The family co-payment -- the amount that the family is required to pay according to State regulation

    Families take the scholarship to a child care provider that participates in the Maryland EXCELS program. The scholarship is a signed agreement between the State, provider and parent. The scholarship is returned to CCS Central 2 for processing. The family is responsible for paying the State assigned co-payment directly to their child care provider. Once the child begins care, the child care provider submits an invoice for payments and is then reimbursed for the scholarship portion of the payment by the State.

  • Application

    When you apply for a Child Care Scholarship, you must submit:

    • A signed application to CCS Central 2
    • Verification of your wages/salary (Proof of income) – the most recent four weeks of pay stubs or a letter from your employer describing your work schedule and gross salary (before taxes and other deductions)
    • Verification of training or school attendance with days and hours of activity
    • Verification of child support payments or an application to agree to pursue child support
    • Proof of identity for all household members -- a valid unexpired U.S. passport, a birth certificate, a valid driver’s license, or a current photo ID card
    • Proof of address -- apartment or house lease; electric, gas, water, or phone bill
    • If you are a student, proof of enrollment
    • Proof that your child or children have met the Maryland State Immunization requirements
    • If you are a single parent, proof that you have met child support requirements by reporting information about the absent parent

    Download additional information here (PDF).

  • Priorities for Service

    The top priorities to receive the Child Care Scholarship are:

    • Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) applicants or recipients who are working, in job training, or in public school.
    • Families who have received TCA at any time during the last six months.
    • Income eligible families who are not receiving TCA, but are in public school, working, or in training to lead to employment.
  • Scholarship System

    PaymentA CCS2 scholarship is valid for up to 12 months from the effective date. The expiration date is listed on the voucher.

    There are two kinds of scholarships:

    • Formal scholarship -- can be used for care provided by a Maryland registered family home or Maryland licensed child care center
    • Informal scholarship -- can be used for care provided by a relative in the relative’s home or child’s home and a non-relative in the child’s home. 
  • Co-Payment

    The family co-payment is the amount that the family pays for child care and is an amount assigned by the State. The amount of the co-payment for each child decreases if families are receiving scholarships for more than one child. Families eligible for Temporary Cash Assistance and Supplemental Security Income have a $0 co-payment. Many child care facilities charge an additional amount to families -- this is called an additional fee and is the difference between the amount they charge any family, the reimbursement amount and the State assigned co-pay. Payment information should be clearly addressed in any provider contract.