Child care facilities in Maryland are not regulated the same way across the board. Instead, these facilities, which are overseen by the Maryland Department of Education, are broken into different categories.
In this state, three categories of child care exist: Family Child Care Homes, Letter of Compliance facilities and Child Care Centers.
Each of these categories is regulated by its own code and has its own set of items that get reviewed during their required inspections.
So you can better understand the state system, here is a breakdown of what defines each type of facility.
FAMILY CHILD CARE HOME
According to the state, family child care homes are programs operated by professional caregivers in private homes.
The regulations say as many as eight children can be cared for at the home at the same time, although no more than two of these children, including the caregiver's own, may be under two years old unless additional staff are present.
And the state says no more than four children under the age of two can be cared for at the same time.
LETTER OF COMPLIANCE FACILITY
According to the state, "A Letter of Compliance (LOC) facility is a center-based child care facility that is operated by a church or church-based organization.
As such, it must meet all the same health and safety requirements that “regular” centers must meet, but it is exempt (under Maryland statute – Family Law 5-574) from any requirements pertaining to professional staff qualifications and curriculum content."
CHILD CARE CENTERS
According to the state, child care centers are "professionally staffed facilities which generally serve large groups of children.
While centers vary greatly in size, each one must remain within the maximum child capacity established for it by OCC.
This means that no more than a specified number of children may be present in a given center at one time. Centers operate for part or all of a day at least twice a week on a regular basis."