Maryland Expands Child Care Scholarship Program to Provide Affordable Child Care to More Families

New Rate Changes and Reimbursement Rates Benefit Families and Providers

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced today the expansion of its Child Care Scholarship Program’s eligibility requirements and value to support more parents in paying for the high cost of child care.

MSDE has raised the income requirements for families from 65 percent of State Median Income (SMI) to 75 percent of SMI in the Child Care Scholarship (CCS) program. Prior to this change, a family of four could have an income up to $71,525 per year. Now a family of four can earn up to $90,033 per year and still qualify for assistance. A complete list of eligibility levels can be found here. The value of the scholarships has also been increased – from the 60th percentile of the average tuition rates based on the latest market rate survey to the 70th percentile. Additionally, most parents will have no required co-payment, and those who do have a co-payment will have it severely reduced. Parents may find information about the program, as well as a video on how to complete the CCS application here. The application is available in English and 11 additional languages.

“It is critical that we ensure as many families as possible, especially those that have been historically undeserved, have access to excellent early learning programs. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future emphasizes equitable early education opportunities that prepare all children for school and success,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “In leading the implementation of the Blueprint, MSDE is expanding the State’s Child Care Scholarship Program, so that more families and children have access to affordable, high-quality child care programs. By increasing the scholarship’s value and expanding the number of eligible stakeholders, we are one step closer to realizing our mission and securing a bright future for every Maryland child.”

The Child Care Resource Center Network has sites located across the State. These Resource Centers help families identify high-quality care, provide adults with educational opportunities such as parenting classes, and connect families with resources in their community. Family Resource Specialists, located at each Resource Center, can assist parents in applying for child care scholarships, including gathering the correct documentation that is needed. The Maryland Child Care Resource Network, a program of Maryland Family Network, is funded in part by MSDE. Parents can find their Resource Center here or by calling (877) 261-0060 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

For free, personalized assistance in finding child care in Maryland, contact a LOCATE: Child Care referral specialist by calling (877) 261-0060 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A referral specialist will help you to identify child care options based on your family’s specific needs. The LOCATE: Child Care Special Needs Service is also available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (800) 261-0060 or learn more about finding care for children with special needs here. Spanish speaking assistance is also available at (800) 999-0120 or españ

The CCS program is funded through a combination of state and federal sources and provides child care financial assistance to families who meet the program’s income eligibility requirements and are working, in an approved training program, or attending school. Participating licensed and registered child care programs must participate in Maryland EXCELS, the state quality rating and improvement system, to participate in the CCS program. To find child care programs participating in Maryland EXCELS, please visit:

Maryland has approximately 7,200 licensed and regulated child care centers and family home providers eligible to participate in the CCS Program, with approximately 2,100 providers currently accepting scholarship recipients. Nearly 15,000 children receive child care scholarships in Maryland. For more information about the Child Care Scholarship Program, visit