What is a Family Child Care Provider?
Family child care providers offer care in their own home to one or more children who aren’t related to the provider. To ensure a safe environment, Maryland limits the number of children in a family child care home:
Family Child Care Home – A provider may care for up to eight children with no more than two under the age of two. The provider’s own children under the age of six are counted within the group of eight.
Large Family Child Care Home – A provider may care for between nine and 12 children with no more than four under the age of two. The provider’s own children under the age of six are counted within the group of nine to 12.
Family child care is regulated under the Code of Maryland Regulations COMAR 13A.15, which require that you obtain a "certificate of registration" (which is a form of license) before you operate a family child care program. Being registered means your program meets the child health and safety requirements established by the state. It also makes you eligible for tax deductions, certain food subsidies, and liability insurance. These benefits make your family child care home more appealing to parents, which is also good for your business.
What about before and after school care?
As a licensed provider, you are eligible to provide care for children during the hours you have been approved for -- including before they attend school and in the hours after school before their parents get of work.
Do you want to become a family child care provider?
Watch our slideshow “How to become a family child care provider” to learn about the step-by-step process of becoming a family child care provider in Maryland.
Is this the career for you?
Being a family child care provider is both rewarding and challenging. Before you set out on this path, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I enjoy working with children?
- Am I knowledgeable about child development or willing to learn?
- Am I interested in running a competitive business in my own home?
- Would I like to be able to set my own hours and/or wages?
- Can I afford to lose income and/or benefits while my business grows?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you may have the interests and skills needed to start a family child care business. Read on.
Connect with your Regional Licensing Office to learn about the licensing process and find out when the next Orientation sessions will be scheduled.