Child Care Scholarship Program

Registration in the Child Care Scholarship (CCS) Family Portal is required for all new or existing families. Click here to register at

Child Care Scholarship Program

Applying for a Child Care Scholarship is quicker and easier than ever!

The Child Care Scholarship (CCS) (formerly known as Child Care Subsidy) program helps eligible families in Maryland pay for high-quality child care and early education programs. The program is managed through a centralized vendor -- Child Care Scholarship Central 2 (CCS Central 2).

The new Fast Track Child Care Scholarship application process shortens your wait to three (3) business days to get help with child care expenses and 60 days of child care assistance while your Child Care Scholarship application is processed, if you are eligible!

If eligible, Scholarships are available for:

  • a child who is younger than 13, or
  • an individual 13-19 years old who has a qualifying disability.​

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.)  

Eligibility Checklist      Scholarship FAQs     Fast Track Frequently Asked Questions     Brochure     Customer Service

How to Apply

To apply for a Child Care Scholarship, you must submit an application through the Child Care Scholarship Family Portal as described below.

Step 1: Go to the Child Care Scholarship Family Portal and create an account. Click on “Register for a New Account” and enter your information. (If you need help with the registration process, view the Learn How to Register instructions.)

Step 2: Fill out and complete the short, fast-track online Scholarship application and submit your two (2) documents:

  1. Proof of employment or enrollment in training/school
  2. Proof of residency (i.e. utility bill, lease, etc.)

Step 3: Your fast track application will be processed within three (3) business days by CCS Central 2.

Step 4: If you are eligible, a temporary, 60-day Scholarship will be issued to assist with the cost of child care while we process your full application. We will ask for additional information and documentation to see if you are eligible for a 52-week Scholarship. If you provide the additional information and documentation within 15 days of submitting your fast track application, we will let you know if you are eligible for a 52-week Scholarship before your temporary Scholarship expires.

Create your account and apply now!

Families in the following income categories may be eligible for a Child Care Scholarship

Maximum Annual Income
Child Care Scholarship Program
Family Size

Initial Income Scale*

Maximum Annual Income

Effective 5.23.2022

Continuation Income Scale**

Maximum Annual Income

Effective  4.22.2024

  Table used for new applications Table used for Changes/Redeterminations
Family of 2 $61,222 $86,266
Family of 3 $75,627 $106,563   
Family of 4 $90,033 $126,861
Family of 5 $104,438 $147,159
Family of 6 $118,843 $167,457
Family of 7 $121,544 $171,262
Family of 8 $124,245 $175,068
Family of 9 $126,946 $178,874
Family of 10 $129,647 $182,680
Family of 11 $132,348 $186,486
Family of 12 $135,049 $190,292

* Initial Income Scale – applies to families without an active child care scholarship,  customers submitting a Fast-Track initial application for a 60-Day Scholarship and customers submitting a Fast-Track Full “Redetermination Application” along with all documents for an “initial” full evaluation of all documents required for continued child care scholarship services beyond the 60-Day fast-track eligibility - family income must be below Initial Income Scale

**Continuation Income Scale – families that have already received at least 52-weeks to 24 months of child care services, they have at least one active child care scholarship that has not expired at the time of submitting a new Child Care Scholarship Application for continued services - family income must be below Continuation Income Scale

How to use a Scholarship

To apply, full a full, 52-week Scholarship, a family must submit the following to CCS Central 2 within 15 days of approval for a fast-track application:

  • The Child Care Scholarship (CCS) application
  • Verification of income
  • To complete the application you MUST send in the information listed for all household members. This includes you, and your spouse or your child’s other parent living in your household. Most recent four (4) weeks of consecutive pay stubs.
    • Proof of identity (i.e. driver’s license, birth certificate, government issued identification, etc.) 
    • Proof of approved activity (i.e. work, school or job training) 
    • Proof of all other income 
    • Proof of address (i.e. utility bill, lease, etc.)

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


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 and any amount not covered by the Scholarship 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:

    • Submit an application to CCS Central 2 using the Child Care Family Portal
    • 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
    • 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

    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

    PaymentThere are three kinds of scholarships:

    • Temporary scholarship -- a 60-day scholarship that can be used for care provided by a Maryland registered family home or Maryland licensed child care center
    • Full, 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.