Licensing and Compliance
Individuals, corporations, schools, and other organizations operating family or center-based child care programs must meet the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 13A: chapter 1 for family child care homes and chapter 2 for child care centers. In addition to the initial inspections prior to obtaining a license or certificate, Maryland’s Office of Child Care conducts site visits and performs program inspections periodically, announced and unannounced, to ensure that once a program is in operation it continues to maintain the standards of child care that are expected of all providers in the state of Maryland.
Part of Maryland Family Network’s mission is to keep existing programs in business and to enhance the quality of care that is offered in our communities. There are two types of licensing and compliance referrals: formal and informal. The purpose of licensing referrals is to be able to provide technical assistance to child care providers for the purpose of achieving compliance in advance of or after issuance of a compliance agreement.
- Formal Referrals
Formal referrals are referrals that come directly from OCC. Licensing specialists perform periodic inspections of the child care programs throughout their particular region. During the course of these inspections, the specialist may find a program out of compliance in some area(s). At that point the specialist may issue the provider a compliance agreement in which they have the option to accept or decline receiving technical assistance. If the provider chooses to receive technical assistance, the specialist will then give the local CCR&R (child care resource and referral center) a “formal” referral.
- Informal Referrals
A provider may make what is called a “self referral”. A provider may notice that they have a compliance issue within their program and decide on their own that they need assistance. A licensing specialist from OCC may also make the provider aware of a compliance violation in their program and “informally” refer them to receive technical assistance.