Support for children of emergency personnel

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 11:45am

The Office of Child Care (OCC) is providing this guidance and companion document so child care providers can begin to evaluate their program and make decisions on how you can support children of emergency personnel school-aged children only.  More guidance will come as we work to gain more information over the next several days.  The modified documents outlined in this guidance are available on the website under the yellow banner labeled COVID-19 Updates.


  1. Guidance for the Executive Order of the Governor of the State Of Maryland: Expanding Child Care Access
  2. Official Guidance Companion
  3. Emergency Form Package

To support of first responders, medical, and other essential personal responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Family Network’s (MFN) LOCATE: Child Care remains operational. LOCATE: Child Care is a free, telephone and online referral service with detailed information on all regulated child care in the state. In partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), MFN’s trained referral specialists stand ready to help emergency personnel and others identify care based upon their individual needs including program type, hours, location, and cost. The referral specialists will also educate parents in how to identify quality, safety, and other crucial elements of care.

LOCATE: Child Care is available by phone Monday – Friday at 877.261.0060 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM starting March 18th. Our real time chat function is available Monday – Friday between 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. A self-guided web version of LOCATE: Child Care is available 24/7 at Specialized services for parents of children with special needs as well as Spanish language LOCATE: Child Care are also available on these platforms.

On Sunday Governor Hogan enacted an emergency order to expand child care access for critical personnel during this State of Emergency. This is to help ensure that child care services are available for providers of health care, emergency medical services, and law enforcement personnel while schools are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Of course we want to be there for the heroes who are heading out everyday to help stem the spread of and eventually find a cure for this pandemic,” Laura Weeldreyer, Executive Director, Maryland Family Network said. “Equally as heroic to us are the early childhood professionals who are dedicated to educating and caring for the next generation of doctors, scientists, and first responders that keep us safe and healthy.”

MARYLAND FAMILY NETWORK works to ensure that young children and their families have strong families, quality early learning environments, and a champion for their interests. To learn more visit or Tweet us @mdfamilynetwork.