Opportunities & Challenges

Being a parent is exciting and full of joyful opportunities. It can also be challenging! And, of course, children don’t come with instructions. While we do not have all the answers, we can assist you and help make the challenging times a little easier.

As your child’s needs change with age, use this website and information in the resources to help you care for your child.

young girl smiling
Pile of toys in a child care center

Licensed Child Care Programs

All child care in Maryland is regulated by the Maryland State Department of Education, Office of Child Care’s (OCC), Licensing Branch. The Maryland Family Network (MFN) helps Maryland’s young children and their families by providing Family Support and Child Care Resource Centers and by doing advocacy work in Annapolis and Washington. MFN also offers LOCATE: Child Care Service, which enables families to find child care either via telephone or online. LOCATE can also be used to find programs specifically geared toward children with special needs and Spanish-speaking families.

African american woman teacher smiling confident writing on document at a child care center

Program Monitoring and Inspections

All regulated and licensed child care programs receive an annual inspection to prove the provider meets Maryland’s requirements for health and safety to help protect your child from injury and illness. Visit the Office of Child Care's online child care licensing inspection results site –! The site offers detailed compliance findings from child care licensing inspections conducted since January 2011. The site may also be used to find licensed child care programs and providers, and to link to a wide variety of information about early care and education in Maryland.

A frustrated mother talks on the phone

File a Complaint

When you choose regulated child care, you have several rights which are protected under Maryland law. You may file a complaint with the Office of Child Care if you believe that the provider or teacher is violating child care regulations. Any complaint you make about the child care facility or the care being provided there (whether it involves your child or not) will be promptly investigated. Your complaint may be filed verbally or in writing with the the Regional Licensing Office covering the county where the program is located.


Healthy Beginnings

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of Early Childhood (DEC) supports the healthy growth and development of children in Maryland throughout their early years, from the prenatal period through age 8.

The Healthy Beginnings calendar is full of helpful information and resources for new parents, including information about developmental milestones, as well as programs and services that support both parents and their young children.

Download the calendar.

Updated Healthy Beginnings Calendar Cover




  • LOCATE: Child Care – A free and confidential referral service that will help you find the best child care for your family.
  • – The Child Care Scholarship (CCS) (formerly known as Child Care Subsidy) Program provides financial assistance with child care costs to eligible working families in Maryland.
  • – A site for fathers looking for tips, hints, and even deals for dads and kids.
  • – promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more.
  • – the nation’s health protection agency, working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic. CDC increases the health security of our nation.
  • – A MSDE site packed with activities and resources for parents and child care providers.


Maryland Messenger

Our monthly e-newsletter provides parenting and child development information for parents and caregivers of Maryland’s youngest learners.

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