Provide Child Care

To become a child care provider you first need to decide if you want to open a business in your home or if you want to create a center-based business.  Below is a definition of each type of business:

  • Family Child Care – You may provide care for up to 8 children in your home
  • Large Family Child Care – You may care for up to 12 children in your home
  • Child Care Center – You may provide care in a facility outside of your home that is zoned to be used as a child care center.  The number of children you serve is dependent upon the square footage of the building.

Anyone who is interested in starting a child care business in a home or center is required to take the face-to-face orientation training. Please contact the Office of Child Care Regional Licensing Office to schedule the Orientation Training.

To prepare for your orientation session, you may wish to view the online orientation preview. This does not replace the face-to-face orientation session you are required to attend at your Regional Office of Child Care.

Health & Safety

Maryland Child Care Credential Program

The Maryland Child Care Credential Program encourages and rewards child care providers for continuously improving their skills and knowledge to provide the best possible care for the children in their programs.

The Maryland Child Care Credential Program provides financial incentives to child care providers for going above and beyond the state’s licensing requirements. It’s like a career ladder that helps providers build their knowledge and skills step-by-step, from basic training to advanced education. The program is based on research and best practices to meet the needs of children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to preschoolers and school-age kids. It focuses on developing the key skills and knowledge that providers need to deliver high-quality care and support children’s development in all areas, including:

Key Features of the Credential:

  • Providers must complete training in areas that cover child development across all learning domains.
  • Training also covers cultural competencies, helping providers better understand and serve children from diverse backgrounds.
  • The credential program is designed to improve the overall quality and stability of the child care workforce.




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Preschool teaching working with two small female children