Child Care Scholarship

Child Care Scholarship

The Child Care Scholarship (CCS) helps eligible families in Maryland pay for high-quality child care and early education programs.

Applying for a Child Care Scholarship is quicker and easier than ever!

The new Fast-Track Child Care Scholarship process shortens your wait to three (3) business days to get help with child care expenses and 60 days of child care assistance while your Child Care Scholarship application is processed, if you are eligible!

If eligible, Scholarships are available for:

  • a child who is younger than 13, or
  • an individual 13-19 years old who has a qualifying disability.“Child with a disability” means a child who has been diagnosed as being physically or mentally incapable of self-care appropriate to the age of the child, as verified by the State, based on a determination by a physician, a licensed or certified psychologist, or a licensed social worker.

To be eligible to fast-track your Child Care Scholarship application, you must:

✔ be a Maryland resident
✔ be employed or enrolled in school or a training program
✔ meet the income requirements (Click here to view the income level chart)

If you meet the above criteria, learn how to apply below!

young kids doing art in child care

How to Apply

To apply for a Child Care Scholarship, you must submit an application through the Child Care Scholarship Family Portal as described below.

Step 1: Go to the Child Care Scholarship Family Portal and create an account. Click on “Register for a New Account” and enter your information. (If you need help with the registration process, view the Learn How to Register instructions.)

Step 2: Fill out and complete the short, fast-track online Scholarship application and submit your two (2) documents:

  • Proof of employment or enrollment in training/school
  • Proof of residency (i.e. utility bill, lease, etc.)

Step 3: Your fast-track application will be processed within three (3) business days by Child Care Scholarship Central 2 (CCS Central 2).

Step 4: If you are eligible, a temporary, 60-day Scholarship will be issued to assist with the cost of child care while we process your full application. We will ask for additional information and documentation to see if you are eligible for a 52-week Scholarship. If you provide the additional information and documentation within 15 days of submitting your fast-track application, we will let you know if you are eligible for a 52-week Scholarship before your temporary Scholarship expires.

Create your account and apply now!







How to use a Scholarship

Eligible families receive Scholarships from CCS Central 2 to cover all or part of their child care costs. The Scholarship shows:

  • The Scholarship Rate – the part of the child care costs that the State is paying for the family
  • The Family Co-Payment – the amount that the family is required to pay according to State regulation

Families take the Scholarship to a child care provider that participates in the Maryland EXCELS program. The Scholarship is a signed agreement between the State, provider and parent. The Scholarship is returned to CCS Central 2 for processing. The family is responsible for paying the State assigned co-payment and any amount not covered by the Scholarship directly to their child care provider. Once the child begins care, the child care provider submits an invoice for payments and is then reimbursed for the scholarship portion of the payment by the State.

Providers that accept Scholarships

To use a Scholarship, families must enroll their children in programs participating in Maryland EXCELS.

Maryland EXCELS awards quality ratings to child care and public prekindergarten programs. Maryland EXCELS also helps families find child care and early learning programs that provide high-quality environments that welcome children of all abilities and cultures and support the development of each and every child.

If you don’t see your program/provider listed on the Find a Program page, contact: LOCATE: Child Care or call 1-877-261-0060.

Find a Program


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Child Care Scholarship Outreach Toolkit

Help us communicate clearly and consistently! Partner agencies and community organizations are encouraged to use these resources to help Marylanders learn about the availability, application process, eligibility requirements, and benefits of the Child Care Scholarship program. The toolkit includes email/newsletter templates, flyers, sample social media posts, and graphics.

Learn more