Child Care Ratios Expanded in Maryland

On October 1, 2020, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced that child care providers in Maryland are now able to return to the full teacher to child ratios and capacities for which they are licensed. Child care centers can now serve up to 20 three- and four-year-olds in a room with a ratio of 1 teacher to 10 students and up to 30 school-age students with a ratio of 1 teacher to 15 students. Providers must continue to follow all appropriate public health and safety guidance.

“We have heard very clearly from many parents and providers who have written and called me, that we return to licensed capacity to meet the needs of working families and prevent the closure of child care centers once it could be done safely,” said Dr. Salmon. “I am hopeful this announcement effectively complements local school system efforts to bring students back into the classroom and provides more working families with access to safe child care programs.”

  • During Stage Two, when the capacity limit for child care programs was increased from 10 to 15 individuals per room, state health officials did not see any adverse impacts.
  • To date, more than 82% of child care providers in Maryland have reopened. Reopened programs will receive a one-time grant of $800 for family child care providers and $1,600 for center-based child care providers. These grants will be available through October 31. Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is also providing $1,000 in start-up grants to eligible, new child care providers in an effort to bolster new small businesses.
  • Licensed child care programs interested in reopening may contact their licensing specialist at MSDE. Parents and guardians in need of child care may contact LOCATE: Child Care, part of the Maryland Family Network, at (877) 261-0060 or through the LOCATE webpage.
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