Licensing Branch News during COVID-19

In response to the Governor's recent mandate for state employees to telework, the Office of Child Care (OCC) regional offices will be open to the public by appointment only, beginning March 16, 2020 until further notice.

Essential Persons School Age (EPSA): Effective July 20, 2020, any remaining EPSA approved sites will no longer be permitted to operate.  The state will return to allowing only licensed child care programs to serve families. Sites that want to continue to provide child care services should contact the regional licensing office. Information on licensing can be found here:

Family and Friend Care: Effective July 20, 2020, unlicensed Family and Friend Care will no longer be allowed. A family child care home is not required to be registered if the provider: (a) is a relative of each child; (b) is a friend of each child's parent or legal guardian and the care is provided on a non-regular basis of less than 20 hours a month (COMAR 13A.15.02). Family and friend providers wishing to continue to provide child care services should contact their regional licensing office to become a licensed family child care provider. Information on licensing can be found here:

Family Child Care Start-up Grants Increased to $1,000: The One-time Family Child Care Provider Direct grants for new providers starting their small business have been doubled from $500 to $1000 as part of Maryland’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Age Five award and are to help registered family child care providers offset some of the costs of opening their child care programs. Eligibility is based upon certain income levels and family size. More information can be found here:

Room size limits and ratios: Group size in child care centers is expanded to a maximum of 15 individuals at a time per classroom with a ratio of no more than 1 teacher for 14 children ages three and above and the teacher must be qualified. Family child care and large 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.  All child care programs must continue to adhere to the allowable group size by age in licensing regulations.

Reopening of child care programs: Licensed child care programs interested in reopening may contact their licensing specialist and complete a Child Care Verification of Reopening form.