Choose Licensed Care
Child care providers are required to be licensed and registered with Maryland’s Office of Child Care. Those not licensed and registered with the state are operating illegally and offering potentially dangerous child care.
A provider’s license is important, it indicates they are operating in compliance with Maryland state laws regarding health and safety and are visited regularly by Office of Child Care licensing professionals. A parent should always ask if a program they are considering is licensed, registered or exempt and should expect to see the license or registration visibly posted.
Illegal Child Care
The Family Child Care (FCC) home must possess a certificate of registration from the Office of Child Care and the home must meet the requirements for registration. FCC is care provided to a child 13 years or younger at a place other than the child’s residence and the provider is paid in cash or in-kind. FCC does not require a registration if care is provided to children who are related to the provider or if care is provided on a non-regular basis of less than 20 hours a month.
Child Care Centers (CCC) must possess a valid license from the Office of Child Care. CCC means an agency, institution, or establishment that, on a regular schedule for at least 2 days per week and for at least 2 hours per day, offers child care to children who are not related to the operator.
Choosing a registered or licensed child care program means that your child is being cared for by a child care provider who is regulated and monitored by the Office of Child Care. The center or family home child care:
- Submitted an application to the Office of Child Care at MSDE and been approved to provide child care.
- Has a clean criminal background check on file for every employee and, in the case of family home providers, each adult living in the home.
- Receives an annual inspection to prove the provider meets Maryland’s requirements for health and safety to help protect your child from injury and illness.
Unlicensed and unregistered child care programs have not completed any of these steps to safeguard and protect your child.
Step 1: Check to See If Your Child Care Provider is Registered and/or Licensed
CheckCCMD.org is a searchable database of all licensed child care programs in the state of Maryland. On this site, you can search if your provider is licensed and find the results of their inspection reports. Simply go to the facility name input field and enter the name of your child care provider. If your child is cared for in someone’s home you will enter the name of the person caring for your child. If you find your child care provider listed, you can be assured that they are licensed to provide child care in the state of Maryland.
Open your child care provider’s name tab to view the details of their program and inspection results. A summary of their inspection findings and whether any areas of non-compliance have been corrected will be found within. You can also open the entire inspection report.
Perhaps when you search for your provider, you will not have any results. First, confirm that your provider’s name is spelled correctly. You may also search by zip code or by city where the child care provider is located. Find for your child care provider’s name on the list that appears. If after checking for correct spelling and conducting a search by town or zip code, your provider still does not appear on CheckCCMD, it is a possibility that you are not using a licensed child care provider.
How to Search CheckCCMD
My Provider May Not Be Licensed
Talk to your provider and ask if they are registered or licensed through the Office of Child Care.
If your child care provider is not licensed, talk with them about becoming registered or licensed and share Child Care Basics. Encourage them to contact the Office of Child Care.
My Provider is Licensed
Congratulations! You know that your provider has taken the steps to provide legal care in the state of Maryland.
You also need to know that your child has access to quality child care and early education.
Step 2: Make a Decision to Use Legal Child Care
If you learned that you are not using legal child care, you may need to decide on the best course to take for your family. There are many resources to help you find licensed, high quality child care in Maryland.
Legal types of child care are:
- Licensed Child Care Centers
- Registered Family Child Care
- Head Start and Early Head Start Programs
- Preschool Programs
- School-age Programs
- Informal Child Care
MSDE - Child Care Scholarship
Child Care Information
The following links will provide information to guide you in your search for quality child care for your child.
Learn about programs who have committed to going beyond state regulations in providing quality child care and education programs.
Child Care Search
Use the following links to search for child care that meets your family’s needs.
Step 3: Tell Others
Share with other families the dangers of using illegal, unlicensed child care.