The business of child care is regulated differently in every state.  In Maryland, the State Department of Education (MSDE) is responsible for all child care licensing and regulation. These responsibilities include issuing new licenses, inspecting homes and centers for compliance with licensing regulations, providing technical assistance and suspending or revoking licenses when necessary.

As a provider or parent, it is important for you to be aware of the regulations that govern child care and to understand where you can get additional information.  For providers, information is included in many of the licensing documents you will be reviewing. 

It is important to remember that the law and licensing requirements are subject to change. It is your responsibility to be aware of those changes by visiting the Division of Early Childhood website and by reviewing emails and newsletters from MSDE.

The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR)

The following subtitles and chapters of Title 13A Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) govern early childhood programs in Maryland:

  • Prekindergarten Programs
  • Family Child Care 
  • Child Care Centers 
  • Child Care – Letters of Compliance
  • Large Family Child Care Homes 
  • Child Care Scholarship Program (Formerly known as Subsidy Program)
  • Family Child Care Provider Direct Grant Program
  • Child Care Training Approval
  • Maryland Child Care Credential Program
  • Child Care Accreditation Support Fund
  • Child Care Quality Incentive Grant Program
  • Maryland EXCELS

Licensed child care providers may ask their licensing specialist for a copy of the regulations.

How to Access Regulations

13A.15.01 Scope and Definitions
13A.15.02 Registration Application and Maintenance
13A.15.03 Management and Administration
13A.15.04 Operational Requirements
13A.15.05 Home Environment and Equipment
13A.15.06 Provider Requirements
13A.15.07 Child Protection
13A.15.08 Child Supervision
13A.15.09 Program Requirements
13A.15.10 Child Safety
13A.15.11 Health
13A.15.12 Nutrition
13A.15.13 Inspections, Complaints, and Enforcement
13A.15.14 Administrative Hearings
13A.15.15 Public Access to Licensing Records

13A.16.01 Scope and Definitions
13A.16.02 License Application and Maintenance
13A.16.03 Management and Administration
13A.16.04 Operational Requirements
13A.16.05 Physical Plant and Equipment
13A.16.06 Staff Requirements
13A.16.07 Child Protection
13A.16.08 Child Supervision
13A.16.09 Program Requirements
13A.16.10 Safety
13A.16.11 Health
13A.16.12 Nutrition
13A.16.13 Centers for Children with Acute Illness
13A.16.14 Adolescent Centers
13A.16.15 Drop-In Centers
13A.16.16 Educational Programs in Nonpublic Nursery Schools
13A.16.17 Inspections, Complaints, and Enforcement
13A.16.18 Administrative Hearings
13A.16.19 Public Access to Licensing Records

13A.17.01 Scope and Definitions
13A.17.02 Letters of Compliance Application and Maintenance
13A.17.03 Management and Administration
13A.17.04 Operational Requirements
13A.17.05 Physical Plant and Equipment
13A.17.06 Staff Requirements
13A.17.07 Child Protection
13A.17.08 Child Supervision
13A.17.09 Program Requirements
13A.17.10 Safety
13A.17.11 Health
13A.17.12 Nutrition
13A.17.13 Adolescent Facilities
13A.17.14 Educational Programs in Nonpublic Nursery Schools
13A.17.15 Inspections, Complaints, and Enforcement
13A.17.16 Administrative Hearings
13A.17.17 Public Access to Licensing Records

13A.18.01 Scope and Definitions
13A.18.02 Registration Application and Maintenance
13A.18.03 Management and Administration
13A.18.04 Operational Requirements
13A.18.05 Home Environment and Equipment
13A.18.06 Provider and Staff Requirements
13A.18.07 Child Protection
13A.18.08 Child Supervision
13A.18.09 Program Requirements
13A.18.10 Safety
13A.18.11 Health
13A.18.12 Nutrition
13A.18.13 Educational Programs in Nonpublic Nursery Schools
13A.18.14 Inspections, Complaints, and Enforcement
13A.18.15 Administrative Hearings
13A.18.16 Public Access to Licensing Records

Get connected to Maryland Laws and Regulations!

Division of State Documents includes regulations submitted by state agencies for changes. Public comment periods are offered here for the public to provide their input on the proposed regulations.

COMAR online for official versions of state regulations.

MLIS Legislative Internet for lists of upcoming bills. If you know a bill number and it is active, you can request email status updates. 

LexisNexis for access to statutes across Maryland state agencies. Note that a fee or subscription may be required.