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					                          MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
                               FOR THE PERIOD 10/1/07 – 9/30/09




         CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT FUND PLAN

         FOR                             MARYLAND

                                         FFY 2008-2009


This Plan describes the CCDF program to be conducted by the State for the period 10/1/07 –
9/30/09. As provided for in the applicable statutes and regulations, the Lead Agency has the
flexibility to modify this program at any time, including changing the options selected or
described herein.

The official text of the applicable laws and regulations govern, and the Lead Agency
acknowledges its responsibility to adhere to them regardless of the fact that, for purposes of
simplicity and clarity, the specific provisions printed herein are sometimes paraphrases of, or
excerpts and incomplete quotations from, the full text.


Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 165 hours per
response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data
needed, and reviewing the collection of information.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.


          (Form ACF 118 Approved OMB Number: 0970-0114 expires 06/30/2009)




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                  MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
                       FOR THE PERIOD 10/1/07 – 9/30/09



                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

AMENDMENTS LOG

PART 1         ADMINISTRATION
         1.1   Lead Agency Information
         1.2   State Child Care (CCDF) Contact Information
         1.3   Estimated Funding
         1.4   Estimated Administration Cost
         1.5   Administration of the Program
         1.6   Use of Private Donated Funds
         1.7   Use of State Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Expenditures for CCDF-Eligible
               Children
         1.8   Improper Payments

PART 2         DEVELOPING THE CHILD CARE PROGRAM
         2.1   Consultation and Coordination
         2.2   Public Hearing Process
         2.3   Public-Private Partnerships

PART 3         CHILD CARE SERVICES OFFERED
         3.1   Description of Child Care Services
         3.2   Payment Rates for the Provision of Child Care
         3.3   Eligibility Criteria for Child Care
         3.4   Priorities for Serving Children and Families
         3.5   Sliding Fee Scale for Child Care Services

PART 4         PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
         4.1   Application Process / Parental Choice
         4.2   Records of Parental Complaints
         4.3   Unlimited Access to Children in Child Care Settings
         4.4   Criteria or Definitions Applied by TANF Agency to Determine Inability to
               Obtain Child Care

PART 5         ACTIVITIES & SERVICES TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND
               AVAILABILITY OF CHILD CARE
         5.1   Quality Earmarks and Set-Asides
         5.2   Good Start, Grow Smart Planning and Development




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                     MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
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PART 6            HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR PROVIDERS
                  (50 States & District of Columbia only)
            6.1   Health and Safety Requirements for Center-based Providers
            6.2   Health and Safety Requirements for Group Home Providers
            6.3   Health and Safety Requirements for Family Child Care Providers
            6.4   Health and Safety Requirements for In-Home Providers
            6.5   Exemptions to Health and Safety Requirements
            6.6   Enforcement of Health and Safety Requirements
            6.7   Exemptions from Immunization Requirements

PART 7            HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS IN THE TERRITORIES
            7.1   Health and Safety Requirements for Center-based Providers in the
                  Territories
            7.2   Health and Safety Requirements for Group Home Providers in the
                  Territories
            7.3   Health and Safety Requirements for Family Child Care Providers in the
                  Territories
            7.4   Health and Safety Requirements for In-Home Providers in the Territories
            7.5   Exemptions to Territorial Health and Safety Requirements
            7.6   Enforcement of Territorial Health and Safety Requirements
            7.7   Exemptions from Territorial Immunization Requirements

APPENDIX 1 -- PROGRAM ASSURANCES AND CERTIFICATIONS

APPENDIX 2 -- ELIGIBILITY AND PRIORITY TERMINOLOGY

APPENDIX 3 -- ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS (on file - not included here)

REQUIRED ATTACHMENTS




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                         MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
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                                  AMENDMENTS LOG
                        Child Care and Development Services Plan for
                              For the period: 10/1/07 – 9/30/09

 SECTION                 EFFECTIVE/                 DATE                 DATE APPROVED
 AMENDED                 PROPOSED                   SUBMITTED TO         BY ACF
                         EFFECTIVE DATE             ACF




Instructions:
1)      Lead Agency completes the first 3 columns and sends a photocopy of this Log (showing
        the latest amendment sent to ACF) and the amended section(s) to the ACF Regional
        contact. A copy of the Log, showing the latest amendment pending in ACF, is retained in
        the Lead Agency's Plan.
2)      ACF completes column 4 and returns a photocopy of the Log to the grantee.
3)      The Lead Agency replaces this page in the Plan with the copy of the Log received from
        ACF showing the approval date.
Note: This process depends on repeated subsequent use of the same Log page over the life of the
Plan. At any time the Log should reflect all amendments, both approved and pending in ACF.
The Lead Agency is advised to retain those "old" plan pages that are superseded by amendments
in a separate appendix to its Plan.


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                           MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
                                FOR THE PERIOD 10/1/07 – 9/30/09



                                          PART 1
                                      ADMINISTRATION

The agency shown below has been designated by the Chief Executive Officer of the State (or
Territory), to represent the State (or Territory) as the Lead Agency. The Lead Agency agrees to
administer the program in accordance with applicable Federal laws and regulations and the
provisions of this Plan, including the assurances and certifications appended hereto. (658D,
658E)

1.1      Lead Agency Information (as designated by State chief executive officer)

         Name of Lead Agency: Maryland State Department of Education
         Address of Lead Agency: 200 W. Baltimore Street, 7th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201
         Name and Title of the Lead Agency’s Chief Executive Officer: Nancy S. Grasmick
         State Superintendent of Schools
         Phone Number: 410.767.0462
         Fax Number: 410.333.6033
         E-Mail Address: ngrasmick@msde.state.md.us
         Web Address for Lead Agency (if any): www.marylandpublicschools.org

1.2      State Child Care (CCDF) Contact Information (day-to-day contact)

         Name of the State Child Care Contact (CCDF): Elizabeth Kelley
         Title of State Child Care Contact: Director, Office of Child Care
         Address: 200 W. Baltimore Street, 10th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201
         Phone Number: 410.767.7128
         Fax Number: 410.333.8699
         E-Mail Address: Liz.Kelley@msde.state.md.us
         Phone Number for child care subsidy program information (for the public) (if any):
         410.767.7840
         Web Address for child care subsidy program information (for the public) (if any):
         www.marylandpublicschools.org

1.3      Estimated Funding

         The Lead Agency estimates that the following amounts will be available for child care
         services and related activities during the 1-year period: October 1, 2007 through
         September 30, 2008. (§98.13(a))

         CCDF: $80,349,187
         Federal TANF Transfer to CCDF: $10,285,667
         Direct Federal TANF Spending on Child Care: $0.00
         State CCDF Maintenance of Effort Funds: $23,301,407
         State Matching Funds: $31,641,836
         Total Funds Available: $145,578,097




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1.4      Estimated Administration Cost

         The Lead Agency estimates that the following amount (and percentage) of Federal CCDF
         and State Matching Funds will be used to administer the program (not to exceed 5
         percent): $4,157,407 (3.4 %). (658E(c) (3), §§98.13(a), 98.52)
         The estimated administrative cost is based on:
                CCDF: $80,349,187
                Federal TANF Transfer to CCDF: $10,285,667
                State Matching Funds: $31,641,836
                Total Funds Available: $122,276,690
1.5      Administration of the Program

         Does the Lead Agency directly administer and implement all services, programs and
         activities funded under the CCDF Act, including those described in Part 5.1 – Activities
         & Services to Improve the Quality and Availability of Child Care, Quality Earmarks and
         Set-Aside?

                Yes.
                No. If no, use the table below to identify the name and type of agency that
                delivers services and activities. (If the Lead Agency performs the task, mark
                ―n/a‖ in the box under ―Agency.‖ If more than one agency performs the task,
                identify all agencies in the box under ―Agency,‖ and indicate in the box to the
                right whether each is a non-government entity.)

                                                                    Non-Government Entity (see
          Service/Activity               Agency                     Guidance for definition)
          Determines individual
          eligibility:
              a) TANF families           Department of Human           Yes               No
                                         Resources via MOU*
             b) Non-TANF families        Department of Human           Yes               No
                                         Resources via MOU*
          Assists parents in locating    Maryland Committee for        Yes               No
          care                           Children

                                         Maryland Child Care           Yes               No
                                         Network
          Makes the provider payment     Department of Human           Yes               No
                                         Resources

                                         The State                     Yes               No
                                         Comptroller’s Office
          Quality activities             NA                            Yes               No
          Other:                                                       Yes               No
         *Memorandum of Understanding


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         If the Lead Agency uses outside agencies to deliver services and activities, describe how
         the Lead Agency maintains overall control.

         The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) as Lead Agency, has oversight
         responsibility for expenditures incurred by the Department of Human Resources for
         eligibility determination. The agencies have entered into a Memorandum of
         Understanding, that details each entities responsibilities (See Attachment 1.5.A)

         MSDE has contracts with the Maryland Committee for Children (MCC), the State’s
         Resource and Referral agency, to provide location assistance for parents seeking child
         care. This non-profit entity subcontracts with 12 organizations throughout the state to
         assist parents in locating child care. (See Attachment 1.5.B)

1.6      Use of Private Donated Funds

         Will the Lead Agency use private funds to meet a part of the matching requirement of the
         CCDF pursuant to §98.53(e)(2)?

                 Yes. If yes, are those funds:
                            Donated directly to the State?
                            Donated to a separate entity or entities designated to receive private
                                 donated funds?

                           How many entities are designated to receive private donated fund? _____

                           Provide information below for each entity:
                                 Name:
                                 Address:
                                 Contact:
                                 Type:

                 No.

1.7      Use of State Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Expenditures for CCDF-Eligible Children

         1.7.1   During this plan period, will State expenditures for Pre-K programs be used to
                 meet any of the CCDF maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement?

                           Yes, and:

                       (    ) The State assures that its level of effort in full day/full year child care
                       services has not been reduced, pursuant to §98.53(h)(1).

                       (20 %) Estimated percentage of the MOE requirement that will be met with
                       pre-K expenditures.(Not to exceed 20%.)


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                    If the State uses Pre-K expenditures to meet more than 10% of the MOE
                    requirement, the following describes how the State will coordinate its Pre-K
                    and child care services to expand the availability of child care (§98.53(h)(4)):

                    In 2002, the State passed the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act,
                    which requires that all local school systems provide by 2007-08 non-
                    mandatory prekindergarten to all four-year olds from ―economically
                    disadvantaged backgrounds,‖ defined as children eligible for free and reduced
                    priced meals. As the 24 local school systems were scaling up the number of
                    prekindergarten programs, the State established guidance to coordinate its
                    services with child care to provide full-day/full year services for working
                    families. With the expansion of prekindergarten programs, the capacity of
                    child care programs expanded between 2002 and 2006 by 5,900 additional
                    spaces or 3%.

                        No.

         1.7.2   During this plan period, will State expenditures for Pre-K programs be used to
                 meet any of the CCDF Matching Fund requirement? (§98.53(h))

                        Yes, and the State will identify four-year olds in the non-mandatory Pre-K
                 programs from families who are at or below 85% of the State median income.

                    (20%) Estimated percentage of the Matching Fund requirement that will be
                    met with pre-K expenditures. (Not to exceed 30%.)

                    If the State uses Pre-K expenditures to meet more than 10% of the Matching
                    Fund requirement, the following describes how the State will coordinate its
                    Pre-K and child care services to expand the availability of child care
                    (§98.53(h)(4)):

                       See related comment under 1.7.1.

                        No.

         1.7.3   If the State answered yes to 1.7.1 or 1.7.2, the following describes State efforts to
                 ensure that pre-K programs meet the needs of working parents: (§98.53(h)(2))

                 Since 2005, the Office of Child Care, within the Division of Early Childhood
                 Development, is part of the Maryland State Department of Education.
                 Representatives from child care serve on MSDE’s Early Learning Council and
                 work with MSDE to link privately operated child care programs with public
                 schools to expand the full-day/full year services and improve the quality of early
                 childhood education services. In fact, a study conducted in 2004 indicated a
                 measurably larger effect on school readiness skills for those four-year old children


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                           MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
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                 who attend prekindergarten and ―wrap around‖ child care compared to only child
                 care or only prekindergarten.

                 The State also developed a 5-year Action Agenda in 2002 to, among other goals,
                 expand the accessibility to early care and education programs which meet the
                 needs of working families.

1.8      Improper Payments

         1.8.1   How does the Lead Agency define improper payments?
                 Improper payments are payments that the customer or provider received but were
                 not entitled to receive.

         1.8.2   Has your State implemented strategies to prevent, measure, identify, reduce
                 and/or collect improper payments? (§98.60(i), §98.65, §98.67)

                        Yes, and these strategies are:

                 1. Prevent:
                     Documentation requirements to establish eligibility – e.g., pay stubs,
                       activity schedules, proof of child support
                     Inquiries on other available databases – e.g., TANF, food stamps, medical
                       assistance, social security, SSI, child support, wage history, client
                       information for all social service programs in which a client has received
                       service (such as foster care or child protective service, etc.)
                     Data matching with other databases – e.g., comparing files for providers
                       receiving subsidy payment to assure that they are reporting it as income if
                       they are in other social service programs
                     Periodic determination of eligibility to capture changes in circumstances,
                       with shorter determination periods for customers without a stable and
                       well-verified activity. A review must be completed at least once every 12
                       months. Many local departments choose to review cases every six
                       months. If the customer is job searching or working a temporary job, the
                       review can be as frequent as monthly
                     Training of program staff on policy and procedures
                     Outreach and training to providers
                 2. Measure:
                     The child care system calculates eligibility, subsidy level and payment
                       amount for each child based on worker input.
                     Training on calculating amounts of erroneous payments.
                 3. Identify:
                     Quality assurance reviews or audits of case records - POC cases for the 24
                       jurisdictions are reviewed on an 18-month cycle. The number and
                       percentage of cases reviewed depends upon the size of the location's
                       caseload and a sample of that size is reviewed. For example: A county has



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                 a total caseload of 174. The caseload is compared to a formula for
                 selecting the sample size. The percentage of cases that must be reviewed
                 is determined. 84 cases are selected as the sample. (Attachment 1.8.2)
                Investigation of cases in response to public complaints – Fraud Hotlines
                 include:
                  Governor’s Hotline
                  Legislative Auditor’s Hotline
                  Department of Human Resources Hotline
                  Office of the Inspector General’s Website

          4. Reduce and/or Collect Improper Payments:
              The child care automated system calculates eligibility, subsidy level and
                payment amount for each child based on worker input.
              The child care automated system calculates payment adjustments based on
                worker input of adjusted number of absences.
              The child care automated system subtracts a recoupment amount that the
                worker enters to determine the net payment to providers with an
                established overpayment.
              The following disqualification penalties are in place for an intentional
                program violation:
                The parent or provider is ineligible to participate in the subsidy program as
                follows:
                1. First violation: no payment for 6 months or until the individual makes
                    full restitution, whichever is earlier.
                2. Second violation: no payment for 12 months or until the individual
                    makes full restitution, whichever is earlier.
                3. Third violation: parent or provider is permanently barred from the
                    subsidy program and shall pay restitution.
                4. If a parent or provider is convicted of misrepresenting the location of
                    residence to obtain benefits from two or more states, the person is not
                    eligible to receive subsidy payments for 10 years.
              Recovery of Erroneous Payments:
                1. Once the amount of an overpayment is determined, a demand letter is
                    sent stating the amount of the debt and the reason for the claim. The
                    person is allowed the right to negotiate the repayment schedule within
                    limits. The overpayment thresholds are $10 or 10% (whichever is
                    greater) for non-fraud and $20 or 20% for fraud.
                2. A second and third demand letter would be sent at 30 day intervals as
                    needed. The third demand letter advises the debtor of the
                    consequences of failure to respond in a positive manner (i.e.
                    forwarding of the amount to the state Central Collections Unit). After
                    the third letter is sent, the overpayment is sent to Central Collections
                    Unit (CCU) if the party does not respond. Once the account is turned
                    over to collections, the CCU attempts to recover the overpayment
                    using their established procedures for all programs. Customers and



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             MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
                  FOR THE PERIOD 10/1/07 – 9/30/09



             providers repay monies to the CCU through the Department of Budget
             and Management (DBM). DBM sends the received monies along with
             a monthly report to the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) showing
             how much money was collected and from whom.
          3. In no event should the liquidation of the debt by installment payments
             exceed a term of three years.


          No. If no, are there plans underway to determine and implement such
          strategies?

                 Yes, and these planned strategies are:

                 No.




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                            MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR CCDF SERVICES
                                 FOR THE PERIOD 10/1/07 – 9/30/09



                                       PART 2
                         DEVELOPING THE CHILD CARE PROGRAM

2.1       Consultation and Coordination

          2.1.1   Lead Agencies are required to consult with appropriate agencies and coordinate
                  with other Federal, State, local, tribal (if applicable) and private agencies
                  providing child care and early childhood development services (§98.12,
                  §98.14(a),(b), §98.16(d)). Indicate the entities with which the Lead Agency has
                  consulted or coordinated (as defined below), by checking the appropriate box(es)
                  in the following table.

                   Consultation involves the meeting with or otherwise obtaining input from an
                   appropriate agency in the development of the State Plan. At a minimum, Lead
                   Agencies must consult with representatives of general purpose local
                   governments (noted by the asterisk in the chart below).

                   Coordination involves the coordination of child care and early childhood
                   development service delivery, including efforts to coordinate across multiple
                   entities, both public and private (for instance, in connection with a State Early
                   Childhood Comprehensive System (SECCS) grant or infant-toddler initiative).
                   At a minimum, Lead Agencies must coordinate with (1) other Federal, State,
                   local, Tribal (if applicable), and/or private agencies responsible for providing
                   child care and early childhood development services, (2) public health
                   (including the agency responsible for immunizations and programs that promote
                   children’s emotional and mental health), (3) employment services / workforce
                   development, (4) public education, (5) Temporary Assistance for Needy
                   Families (TANF), and (6) any Indian Tribes in the State receiving CCDF funds
                   (noted by the asterisks in the chart below).

                                                                     Consultation
                                                                           in     Coordination
                                                                     Development with Service
                                                                      of the Plan   Delivery
                   Other Federal, State, local, Tribal (if
                   applicable), and private agencies providing
                                                                                                *
                   child care and early childhood development
                   services.
                   Public health                                                                *

                   Employment services / workforce development                                  *

                   Public education                                                             *

                   TANF                                                                         *




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                                                               Consultation
                                                                     in     Coordination
                                                               Development with Service
                                                                of the Plan   Delivery
           Indian Tribes/Tribal Organizations, when such
                                                                     N\A                 N\A
           entities exist within the boundaries of the State
           Representatives of local government                        *

           State/Tribal agency (agencies) responsible for:
                  State pre-kindergarten programs
                  Head Start programs
                  Programs that promote inclusion for
                  children with special needs
                  Emergency preparedness
           Other (See guidance):
                                                                                   * Required.

          For each box checked above, (a) identify the agency providing the service
          and (b) describe the consultation and coordination efforts. Descriptions must
          be provided for any consultation or coordination required by statute or regulation.

          If you have prepared an emergency preparedness plan related to your child care
          and early childhood development services, attach it as Attachment 2.1.1. (NA)

          Staff from the Division of Early Childhood Development (DECD) serve on a
          number of advisory boards and workgroups including the State Interagency
          Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers, the State's Early Childhood
          Mental Health Steering Committee, Inclusive Child Care Workgroup, Head Start
          Collaboration Office Advisory Council, Head Start Early Learning Partnerships
          and Health Subcommittees and the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems
          Grant Core Team. Staff also participates in the State Early Care and Education
          Workgroup which is a multi-agency\advocate\service provider group charged
          with establishing and coordinating services across programs for low income
          families with young children. Some of the services provided include child care,
          physical and mental health needs, early education, inclusion of special needs
          children and other family support needs so that children can enter school ready to
          succeed.

          The Office of Child Care Advisory Council, mandated by State Statute, reviews
          child care regulations for the purpose of ensuring coordination and consistency.
          The Council also looks at other issues related to child care.




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          The Office of Child Care coordinates and consults with the following entities:

             Other Federal, State, local, Tribal (if applicable), and private agencies
              providing child care and early childhood development services – The
              Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE),is the lead agency for the
              administration of CCDF. The Department of Human Resources (DHR) is the
              lead agency for the administration of TANF. Through a Memorandum of
              Understanding (MOU), DHR continues to determine eligibility for child care
              subsidy services. The Maryland State Department of Education collaborates
              with DHR, Governor's Office for Children (GOC), Department of Health and
              Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Department of Business and Economic
              Development, (DBED) as well as, local governments and resource and referral
              agencies for the purpose of promoting common policies and practices for all
              child care related services. This coordination enables the provision of joint
              training to caregivers that enhances their ability to help young children
              develop the thinking, language, numeracy, early literacy, social and physical
              skills necessary for school success.

             Public health – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
              (DHMH), and staff from the Division of Early Childhood Development
              (DECD) serve on the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and
              Toddlers, the State's Early Childhood Mental Health Steering Committee,
              Inclusive Child Care Workgroup, and the Healthy Child Care Maryland
              Workgroup. Representatives from the State’s public health agencies and
              organizations participate in the State’s Early Care and Education Workgroup
              that works to establish and coordinate services across programs for low
              income families with young children. Some of the services provided include
              child care, physical and mental health needs, early education, inclusion of
              special needs children and other family support needs.

             Employment services / workforce development – The Maryland Department
              of Business and Economic Development (DBED) is represented on the Office
              of Child Care Advisory Council, as mandated by statute. The Office works in
              collaboration and coordination with DBED to identify workforce development
              issues and strategies. Such strategies include job fair opportunities and joint
              information sharing sessions.

             Public education – Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE),
              Maryland Higher Education Commission, The Deans and Directors of Two
              and Four Year Colleges, The Maryland Consortium of Two and Four Year
              Colleges. The Office is a regular participant in meetings of the above
              mentioned organizations; they are also represented on the OCC Advisory
              Council. Staff from the Office serve on committees and workgroups with the
              State’s public education agencies and organizations.




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                     TANF – The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) - the
                      responsibility for TANF services is administered through DHR. MSDE and
                      DHR have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that stipulates
                      that DHR continues to determine eligibility for child care subsidy services.

                     Indian Tribes/Tribal Organizations, when such entities exist within the
                      boundaries of the State - NA

                     Representatives of local government – by statutory requirement,
                      representatives of local government participate in the OCC Advisory Council.
                      In addition, through the State’s Early Care and Education Workgroup, a broad
                      range of state stakeholders, including local government, work to establish and
                      coordinate services across programs for low income families with young
                      children. Some of the services provided include child care, physical and
                      mental health needs, early education, inclusion of special needs children and
                      other family support needs.

                     State/Tribal agency (agencies) responsible for:
                       o State pre-kindergarten programs - MSDE
                       o Head Start programs – MSDE, Head Start Collaboration Office Advisory
                           Council, Head Start Early Learning Partnerships and Health
                           Subcommittees
                       o Programs that promote inclusion for children with special needs –
                           MSDE, the Maryland Department of Disabilities, Abilities Network,
                           PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs, State Interagency
                           Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers
                       o Emergency preparedness – The Department is mandated by the State to
                           develop a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) that receives approval
                           by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The COOP
                           must identify essential functions such as processing complaints on child
                           care facilities. The COOP addresses how these essential functions will be
                           performed in the case of catastrophic events.

          2.1.2   State Plan for Early Childhood Program Coordination. Good Start, Grow Smart
                  encourages States to develop a plan for coordination across early childhood
                  programs. Indicate which of the following best describes the current status of the
                  State's efforts in this area. Note: Check only ONE.

                         Planning. Indicate whether steps are under way to develop a plan. If so,
                         describe the time frames for completion and/or implementation, the steps
                         anticipated, and how the plan is expected to support early language,
                         literacy, pre-reading and early math concepts.
                         Developing. A plan is being drafted.
                         The draft is included as Attachment 2.1.2.




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                 Developed. A plan has been written but has not yet been implemented.
                 The plan is included as Attachment 2.1.2.
                 Implementing. A plan has been written and is now in the process of
                 being implemented. The plan is included as Attachment 2.1.2.
                 Other (describe):


          Describe the progress made by the State planning for coordination across early
          childhood programs since the date of submission of the 2006-2007 State Plan.

          Maryland continues to broaden the application of the 5-year action agenda
          established by the Sub-Cabinet for Children, Youth and Families for coordination
          of early childhood programs and services statewide. The Sub-Cabinet for
          Children, Youth and Families is comprised of the Secretary of Budget &
          Management, the Secretary of Disabilities, the Secretary of Health and Mental
          Hygiene, the Secretary of Human Resources, the Secretary of Juvenile Services,
          the State Superintendent of Schools, and the Executive Director of the Governor’s
          Office for Children. MSDE, the lead agency, is a member of this group. The
          progress report for the 5-year action plan is included as Attachment 2.1.2.A.


          Indicate whether there is an entity that is responsible for ensuring that such
          coordination occurs. Indicate the four or more early childhood programs and/or
          funding streams that are coordinated and describe the nature of the coordination.

          The Early Care and Education Committee (ECE) membership has representation
          from numerous state agencies, local health departments, local mental health
          organizations, Head Start, Maryland Committee for Children, a county library,
          Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, Friends of the
          Family, Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals, and a number of
          community organizations.

          The Executive Committee of ECE meets with the Sub-Cabinet designee on a
          quarterly basis to review progress, plans, and recommendations.


          Describe the results or expected results of this coordination. Discuss how these
          results relate to the development and implementation of the State's early learning
          guidelines, plans for professional development, and outcomes for children.

          Each year Maryland conducts an assessment of children’s readiness for school
          through the Work Sampling System administered by teachers in each school
          district. The expectation is that through program coordination and training
          opportunities, child care providers and teachers will help children be more fully
          prepared for school. The results over the past five years on school readiness
          indicate that the focus on early learning skills and activities has raised the number


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                 of children who are fully ready for school by 18% statewide. The increase from
                 the 2006 school year to the 2007 school year was 7%. It is anticipated that this
                 number will continue to increase with continued coordination and training.

                 The MMSR Kindergarten assessment using the Work Sampling System (WSS) is
                 a census administration involving 53,000 kindergarten students. The results on 30
                 WSS indicators are aggregated and disaggregated for several subgroups. One of
                 the analyses pertaining to disaggregation involves the kindergarten child’s prior
                 early care experience by types of programs, i.e., prekindergarten, child care
                 center, Head Start, nursery schools, family child care and informal care/home.
                 The disaggregation establishes a relationship between enrollment the year prior to
                 kindergarten and their school readiness results.

                 The impact on child care is significant. The data is used by a number of local and
                 state stakeholders to address the instructional needs of preschoolers in child care.
                 The data reveals over time any progress made by children attending child care
                 centers or family child care homes. The data is also important in terms of
                 transition of children from child care to kindergarten. In an increasing fashion,
                 child care providers receive professional development in the implementation of
                 the MMSR early learning standards for four-year olds, the use of the WSS
                 assessment system which articulates into kindergarten. Thus, kindergarten
                 teachers become aware of the incoming kindergarteners’ learner profiles.


                 Describe how the State's plan supports or will support continued coordination
                 among the programs. Are changes anticipated in the plan?

                 Each Department has dedicated staff to the coordination efforts. The full Early
                 Care and Education (ECE) Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis to review the
                 plan and make adjustments to ensure the State is progressing toward attaining the
                 goal of having all children enter school ready to learn. Sub-committees charged
                 with monitoring the progress of achieving the objectives and benchmarks of the
                 plan convene between ECE meetings. A report is completed on an annual basis
                 on the progress to date, outcomes and recommendations. The ECE uses the
                 progress report information to make recommendations for changes and revisions
                 to the school-readiness plan which is then presented to the Sub-Cabinet for
                 approval.

2.2       Public Hearing Process

          Describe the Statewide public hearing process held to provide the public an opportunity
          to comment on the provision of child care services under this Plan. (658D(b)(1)(C),
          §98.14(c)) At a minimum, the description must provide:

                 Date(s) of statewide notice of public hearing: April 13, 2007 and June 8, 2007




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          Manner of notifying the public about the statewide hearing:
          The first public hearing was publicized at least seventeen days before the hearing
          in the following ways: A notice was printed in the Maryland Register, posted on
          the MSDE website, and e-mailed to contractors, advocates, stakeholders, other
          interested parties and providers in our system. Notification of the hearing was
          distributed at the meeting of the Office of Child Care Advisory Council.
          Advisory Council members attending the meeting were encouraged to share the
          information with their contacts and constituencies.

          The second public hearing was publicized at least twenty days before the hearing
          in the following ways: Posted on the MSDE website, notices e-mailed to
          contractors, advocates, stakeholders and other interested parties and providers in
          our system. Notification of the hearing was distributed at the Office of Child
          Care Advisory Council meeting. Advisory Council members attending the
          meeting were encouraged to share the information with their contacts and
          constituencies.

          Date(s) of public hearing(s): April 30, 2007 and June 29, 2007

          Hearing site(s): Two public hearings were held in separate geographic areas of
          the State to solicit public comments at the following sites:


          April 30, 2007, Abilities Network, 8503 LaSalle Road, Board Room, Towson,
          Maryland 21286.

          June 29, 2007, Maryland State Department of Education, 200 W. Baltimore
          Street, 8th floor, Conference Room 1, Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2595.

          How the content of the plan was made available to the public in advance of the
          public hearing(s):

          A draft copy of the plan was placed on the MSDE website and sent electronically
          to the Office of Child Care Advisory Council, contractors, advocates, providers
          and other interested parties. Draft copies of the State Plan were also distributed at
          the March 15, 2007 and June 14, 2007 Office of Child Care Advisory Council
          meetings for review and comments. Members were encouraged to share the
          summary with their constituents and partners and forward comments to MSDE.

          A brief summary of the public comments from this process is included as
          Attachment 2.2.A.




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2.3       Public-Private Partnerships

          Does the Lead Agency conduct or plan to conduct activities to encourage public-private
          partnerships that promote private-sector involvement in meeting child care needs?

                         Yes. If yes, describe these activities or planned activities, including the
                         results or expected results.

                         No.

          One outstanding example of effective public/private partnerships is the CCDF-funded
          Maryland Earned Income Credit (EIC) Awareness Campaign. The campaign is
          conducted between October and May of each year by a partnership of over 30 non-profit
          organizations, business, state and local public agencies. Its purpose is to educate and
          encourage eligible families to apply for the Federal EIC and the Maryland EIC. The
          campaign uses direct mail, the United Way telephone hotline, public service
          announcements, advertisements, and bus posters to reach as many families as possible.
          The United Way telephone hotline called the ―First Call For Help‖ (FCFH) is a toll-free
          number which is able to provide far superior service than the toll-free IRS number. All
          printed materials are available in both English and Spanish. These flyers provide
          information about eligibility and how to file for the EIC as well as the availability of free
          tax preparation assistance. The flyers also include information about using the Advance
          Payment Option (whereby the EIC augments a worker’s paycheck year round) and about
          filing for back years.

          Also funded through the CCDF was the development of the Employer Tool Kit –
          Implementing Work/Life Programs. The Tool Kit is used to promote private-sector
          involvement in meeting child care needs of employees. Technical assistance is provided
          by the Maryland Child Care Resource Network to promote public/private partnerships
          and to enhance coordination with community partners to ensure they understand the
          importance of child care services for their employees.




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PART 3
                               CHILD CARE SERVICES OFFERED


3.1       Description of Child Care Services

          3.1.1   Certificate Payment System

                  Describe the overall child care certificate process, including, at a minimum:
                  (1) a description of the form of the certificate (98.16(k)):

                     In Maryland, the certificate is called a child care voucher. The voucher is
                     generated by an automated system and completed for each child in care.
                     Eligible parents then receive vouchers.

                  (2) a description of how the certificate program permits parents to choose from a
                      variety of child care settings by explaining how a parent moves from receipt
                      of the certificate to choice of the provider; (658E(c)(2)(A)(iii), 658P(2), 98.2,
                      98.30(c)(4) & (e)(1) & (2)) and

                  Parents may request an application for a voucher from the local department of
                  social services in their area and complete and return it. Local departments attach
                  a list of required verifications to be returned with the application. Parents may
                  drop off or mail the completed application and necessary verifications since a
                  face-to-face interview is not required.

                  Two types of vouchers are produced. The first is for regulated (licensed child
                  care) programs. The second is for unregulated care (informal child care). The
                  voucher lists the following information:

                     Child and family information, including names, address, birthdate of child.
                     Hours and days of care authorized for payment.
                     The subsidy payment and the assigned parental copayment.

                  The parent signs the voucher and takes it to a provider who completes his/her
                  section of the voucher that asks for the provider/center name, address, license
                  number, if applicable, and social security or tax ID number. The provider must
                  record when the child will begin care and sign and return a copy of the voucher to
                  the local department to begin the payment process.

                  Vouchers are issued on the basis of family eligibility for the subsidy program. A
                  separate voucher is issued for each child in need of care and may be used to
                  obtain services from any regulated child care provider or legally operating
                  informal provider (see Section 3.5.5 for definition of legally operating informal
                  providers).




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                    Case managers who determine eligibility discuss child care options with
                    parents and can make referrals to child care resource and referral agencies if
                    parents need assistance with locating a provider.
                  (3) if the Lead Agency is also providing child care services through grants and
                      contracts, estimate the proportion of §98.50 services available through
                      certificates versus grants/contracts, and explain how it ensures that parents
                      offered child care services are given the option of receiving a child care
                      certificate. (98.30(a) & (b)) This may be expressed in terms of dollars,
                      number of slots, or percentages of services.
                      N\A
                     Attach a copy of your eligibility worker’s manual, policy handbook, or other
                     printed guidelines for administering the child care subsidy program as
                     Attachment 3.1.1. If these materials are available on the web, the State may
                     provide the appropriate Web site address in lieu of attaching hard copies to the
                     Plan.
                     Note: Eligibility worker’s manuals, policy handbooks, or other printed
                     guidelines for administering a child care subsidy program will be used for
                     reference purposes only. Documents provided by Lead Agencies pursuant to
                     this section will not be uniformly or comprehensively reviewed and will not
                     be considered part of the Plan. All information required to be part of the Plan
                     must continue to be set forth in the Plan.
          3.1.2   In addition to offering certificates, does the Lead Agency also have grants or
                  contracts for child care slots?
                         Yes, and the following describes the types of child care services, the
                         process for accessing grants or contracts, and the range of providers that
                         will be available through grants or contracts: (658A(b)(1), 658P(4),
                         §§98.16(g)(1), 98.30(a)(1) & (b))
                         No.

          3.1.3   The Lead Agency must allow for in-home care but may limit its use. Does the
                  Lead Agency limit the use of in-home care in any way?
                         Yes, and the limits and the reasons for those limits are: (§§98.16(g)(2),
                         98.30(e)(1)(iv))
                         No.
          3.1.4   Are child care services provided through certificates, grants and/or contracts
                  offered throughout the State? (658E(a), §98.16(g)(3))

                         Yes.




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                         No, and the following are the localities (political subdivisions) and the
                         services that are not offered:
3.2       Payment Rates for the Provision of Child Care
          The statute at 658E(c)(4) and the regulations at §98.43(b)(1) require the Lead Agency to
          establish payment rates for child care services that ensure eligible children equal access
          to comparable care.
          These rates are provided as Attachment 3.2.A.
          The attached payment rates were or will be effective as of January 1, 2002.
          Provide a summary of the facts relied on by the State to determine that the attached rates
          are sufficient to ensure equal access to comparable child care services provided to
          children whose parents are not eligible to receive child care assistance under the CCDF
          and other governmental programs. Include, at a minimum:
                The month and year when the local market rate survey(s) was completed:
                 January 2007 (§98.43(b)(2))
                A copy of the Market Rate Survey instrument and a summary of the results of
                 the survey are provided as Attachment 3.2.B. At a minimum, this summary
                 should include a description of the sample population, data source, the type of
                 methodology used, response rate, description of analyses, and key findings (See
                 Guidance for additional information.)
                Does the Lead Agency use its current Market Rate Survey (a survey completed
                 within the allowable time period –10/1/05 -9/30/07) to set payment rates?
                         Yes.
                         No.
                 At what percentile of the current Market Rate Survey is the State rate ceiling
                 set? If you do not use your current Market Rate Survey to set your rate ceilings or
                 your percentile varies across categories of care (e.g., type of setting, region, age of
                 children), describe and provide the range of variation in relation to your current
                 survey. (See Guidance for additional information.)
                 The state’s rate ceiling corresponds to the 21st percentile of the current market
                 survey. (21% represents a weighted average based on the following chart) In four
                 categories of care, the percentiles of the current market survey are as follows:
               Infant Care:           Infant Care:       Regular Rate Care:      Regular Rate Care:
                 Families               Centers              Families                 Centers
                  14th                   22nd                    17th                    25th




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                How the payment rates are adequate to ensure equal access to the full range of
                 providers based on the results of the above noted local market rate survey (i.e.,
                 describe the relationship between the attached payment rates and the market rates
                 observed in the survey): (§98.43(b))
          Jurisdictions are grouped together into seven regions based on similarity of child care
          market rates and other economic indicators. Rates are established within the seven
          regions for family child care and center-based care, and for children less than 2 years of
          age and over 2 years. The state does not distinguish between group homes and centers.
          All eligible families are currently served. Maryland is planning to raise the payment rates
          beginning October 2007.

                Does the Lead Agency consider any additional facts to determine that its payment
                 rates ensure equal access? (§98.43(d))
                         Yes. If, yes, describe.
                         No.

                Does the State have a tiered reimbursement system (higher rates for child care
                 centers and family child care homes that achieve one or more levels of quality
                 beyond basic licensing requirements)?
                         Yes. If yes, describe:
          Maryland’s tiered reimbursement system has been available to family day care home and
          child care center providers since July 1, 2001. It is a voluntary program and is based on
          four levels. Level One is basic licensing and does not carry any additional subsidy
          payment above the established rate. The components of the program are:

             Program Accreditation – Family child care providers and child care centers must
              actively pursue program accreditation through an approved accreditation
              organization.
             Staff Credentialing – At tiered reimbursement Level 2 or higher, family child care
              providers and at least 60% of lead staff persons in child care centers must have a
              Maryland Child Care Credential at an appropriate level.
             Learning Environment – Participation in the tiered reimbursement program requires
              that child care facilities enhance the learning environment beyond the regulatory
              requirements. Programs must include in daily activities at least 15 minutes of reading
              activities per day for all ages of children served.
             Parent Involvement – Parents are an important component of quality child care
              services. Family child care providers and child care centers participating in the tiered
              reimbursement program must include and involve parents in a variety of ways, such
              as conferences, field trips, open house activities, parent message boards, and
              handbooks.




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             Program Evaluation – Each family child care home and child care center will use
              program evaluation tools to access the strengths and weaknesses of programs. These
              include:
              o Application of an age and program specific environmental rating scale (Level
                  Two – self-assessment, Level Three and Four – independent assessment and
                  minimum score)
              o Staff evaluation (Levels Two, Three and Four)
              o Staff and parent surveys (Level Three and Four)
              o Development of program goals (Level Three)
              o Develop, assess and revise program goals (Level Four)
             Staff Compensation – Child care center applications for tiered reimbursement are
              required to include information on staff compensation. This includes an incremental
              salary scale based on education and experience. Child care centers participating in
              the highest level of tiered reimbursement must also offer a benefits package for staff.
             Continued Training – Continued training is required at each of the tiered
              reimbursement levels based on the position held in the child care facility and must be
              maintained throughout the period of approval at each tiered reimbursement level.
       The requirements for meeting the Tiered Reimbursement Levels are outlined in the
following chart:
      Component        Level One           Level Two                 Level Three                   Level Four

 1. ACCREDITATION                    Accreditation self-       Accreditation self-         Accreditation
      STATUS              NA
                                      study begun                study completed              achieved
     2. STAFF
   CREDENTIALING
                                     Maryland Child Care       Maryland Child Care         Maryland Child Care
 Each family child                    Credential at Level        Credential at Level          Credential at Level
 care provider or     Licensing       Two or higher              Three or higher              Four or higher
 for a child care    Requirements
 center 60% of
 lead staff has a:
    3. LEARNING       Licensing                              Licensing requirements PLUS
   ENVIRONMENT       Requirements                 15 minutes of reading activities per day with children
     4. PARENT        Licensing      Parents are involved in  Parents are involved in  Parents are involved
   INVOLVEMENT       Requirements     at least 2 ways             at least 4 ways              in at least 6 ways
                                    1. Environmental rating    1. Environmental rating      1. Environmental rating
                                       scale self-assessment      scale independent            scale independent
                                       completed                  assessment – average         assessment – average
                                    2. Staff Evaluations          score per group              score per group
                                       developed and              assessed of 4 or             assessed of 5 or
                                       implemented (child         higher                       higher
    5. PROGRAM
                                       care centers only)      2. Staff evaluations used    2. Staff evaluations used
    EVALUATION            NA                                      regularly (center only)      regularly (center
                                                               3. Staff and parent             only)
                                                                  surveys developed         3. Staff and parent
                                                                  and implemented              surveys used
                                                               4. Program goals set            regularly
                                                                                            4. Program goals
                                                                                               evaluated and revised
                                                                                               yearly




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                                             Incremental salary         Incremental salary         Incremental salary
      6. STAFF
   COMPENSATION
                                              scale based on              scale based on              scale based on
 (Required of child care        NA            education and               education and               education and
     centers only)                            experience                  experience                  experience
                                                                                                     Benefits Package

      Component             Level One              Level Two                  Level Three                  Level Four

                                             Family child care          Family child care          Family child care
                                              providers and child         providers and child         providers and child
                                              care center directors       care center directors       care center directors
                                              and child care teachers     and child care teachers     and teachers must
   7. CONTINUED             Licensing         must meet continued         must meet continued         meet continued
      TRAINING             Requirements       training requirement        training requirement        training requirement
                                              for credentialing           for credentialing           for credentialing
                                             Assistants and aides       Assistants and aides       Assistants and aides
                                              must complete 6 clock       must complete 9 clock       must complete 12
                                              hours per year              hours per year              clock hours per year
                                            State Rate +                State Rate +                State Rate +
                                            Child Care Home             Child Care Home             Child Care Home
    DIFFERENTIAL
      PAYMENTS
                                              Child < 2 – 11%            Child < 2 – 22%            Child < 2 – 29%
 -through the Purchase     Set State Rate     Children > 2 – 10%         Children > 2 – 21%         Children > 2 – 28%
 of Child Care Program                      Child Care Center           Child Care Center           Child Care Center
                                              Child < 2 – 22%            Child < 2 – 37%            Child < 2 – 44%
                                              Children > 2 – 10%         Children > 2 – 19%         Children > 2 – 26%

                               No.

3.3       Eligibility Criteria for Child Care

          3.3.1      Age Eligibility

                     Does the Lead Agency allow CCDF-funded child care for children above age 13
                     but below age 19 who are physically and/or mentally incapable of self-care?
                     (Physical and mental incapacity must then be defined in Appendix 2.)
                     (658E(c)(3)(B), 658P(3), §98.20(a)(1)(ii))

                               Yes, and the upper age is through age 18.

                               No.

                     Does the Lead Agency allow CCDF-funded child care for children above age 13
                     but below age 19 who are under court supervision? (658P(3), 658E(c)(3)(B),
                     §98.20(a)(1)(ii))

                               Yes, and the upper age is           .

                               No.




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          3.3.2   Income Eligibility

                  Complete columns (a) and (b) in the matrix below. Complete Columns (c) and
                  (d) ONLY IF the Lead Agency is using income eligibility limits lower than 85%
                  of the SMI.

                                                                         IF APPLICABLE
                              (a)           (b)
                         100% of State 85% of State            Income Level, lower than 85% SMI,
                            Median    Median Income                  if used to limit eligibility
                  Family
                         Income (SMI)     (SMI)                     (c)                  (d)
                   Size
                           ($/month)    ($/month)                $/month             % of SMI
                                      [Multiply (a) by                           [Divide (c) by (a),
                                           0.85]                                  multiply by 100]
                    1     $ 3,094     $ 2,630                  $ 1,547                  50%
                    2     $ 4,046     $ 3,439                  $ 2,023                  50%
                    3     $ 4,998     $ 4,249                  $ 2,499                  50%
                    4     $ 5,950     $ 5,058                  $ 2,975                  50%
                    5     $ 6,902     $ 5,867                  $ 3,451                  50%

                  If the Lead Agency does not use the SMI from the most current year, indicate the
                  year used: Federal Fiscal Year 2001 (FR-3900)

                  If applicable, indicate the date on which the eligibility limits detailed in column
                  (c) became or will become effective:

                  The attached payment rates were effective as of January 1, 2002. The Division of
                  Early Childhood Development plans to increase the provider rates during the
                  2008 fiscal year.

                  How does the Lead Agency define ―income‖ for the purposes of eligibility?
                  Describe and/or include information as Attachment 3.3.2.A (§§98.16(g)(5),
                  98.20(b))

                        Is any income deducted or excluded from total family income (for instance,
                         work or medical expenses; child support paid to, or received from, other
                         households; Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments)?

                            Yes. If yes, describe what type of income is deducted or excluded from
                                total family income.

                         SSI, foster care payments, food stamps, and TANF are excluded from total
                         family income.




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                         The entire child support payment amount the assistance unit pays to
                         another family unit is deducted.

                             No.

                        Is the income of all family members included?

                             Yes.

                             No. If no, describe whose income is excluded for purposes of
                                eligibility determination.

                         Earnings for a child under age 18 and in school are excluded.

          3.3.3   Eligibility Based Upon Receiving or Needing to Receive Protective Services

                  Does the State choose to provide child care to children in protective services, as
                  defined in Appendix 2? (§§98.16(f)(7), 98.20(a)(3)(ii)(A) & (B))

                         Yes.

                         No.

                  Has the Lead Agency elected to waive, on a case-by-case basis, the fee and
                  income eligibility requirements for cases in which children receive, or need to
                  receive, protective services, as defined in Appendix 2? (658E(c)(3)(B),
                  658P(3)(C)(ii), §98.20(a)(3)(ii)(A))

                         Yes.

                         No.

                         Not applicable. CCDF-funded child care is not provided in cases in which
                         children receive, or need to receive, protective services.

                  Does the State choose to provide CCDF-funded child care to children in foster
                  care whose foster care parents are not working, or who are not in
                  education/training activities? (§§98.20(a)(3)(ii), 98.16(f)(7))

                         Yes. (NOTE: This means that for CCDF purposes the State considers
                         these children to be in protective services.)

                         No.




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          3.3.4   Additional Eligibility Conditions

                  Has the Lead Agency established additional eligibility conditions?
                  (658E(c)(3)(B), §98.16(g)(5), §98.20(b))

                         Yes, and the additional eligibility conditions are: (Terms must be defined
                         in Appendix 2)

                         No.

3.4       Priorities for Serving Children and Families
          3.4.1   Complete the table below regarding eligibility conditions and priority rules. For
                  columns (a) through (d), check box if reply is ―Yes‖. Leave blank if ―No‖.
                  Complete column (e) if you check column (d).
                                                          (b)          (c)
                                                         Give        Same              (d)
                                                       priority    priority as     Is there a       (e)
                                           (a)        over other      other       time limit       How
                                       Guarantee       CCDF-        CCDF-              on        long is
                   Eligibility          subsidy        eligible     eligible      guarantee        time
                   Category            eligibility     families     families     or priority?     limit?
                   Children with
                   special needs
                   Children in
                   families with
                   very low
                   incomes
                   Families
                   receiving
                   Temporary
                   Assistance for
                   Needy Families
                   (TANF)
                   Families
                   transitioning
                   from TANF                                                                     1 year
                   Families at risk
                   of becoming
                   dependent on
                   TANF

          3.4.2   Describe how the State prioritizes service for the following CCDF-eligible
                  children: (a) children with special needs and (b) children in families with very
                  low incomes. Terms must be defined in Appendix 2. (658E(c)(3)(B))



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                  (a) Special needs children receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are
                  given priority for service. Special needs children who do not receive SSI, but
                  have been diagnosed as physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves,
                  are allowed the same priority as other CCDF-eligible families.
                  (b) Children in families with very low income are given priority (after families
                  with TANF and transitioning off of TANF). Within the priority, families are
                  grouped according to income level from the lowest incomes to the highest.
                  When the waiting list is in effect, families will be served in priority order—
                  TANF, transitioning off of TANF and low income families. If necessary they will
                  be removed from the program in decreasing order (from highest to lowest
                  income).

          3.4.3   Describe how CCDF funds will be used to meet the needs of: (a) families
                  receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), (b) those attempting
                  to transition off TANF through work activities, and (c) those at risk of becoming
                  dependent on TANF. (658E(c)(2)(H), Section 418(b)(2) of the Social Security
                  Act, §§98.50(e), 98.16(g)(4))
                  CCDF funds will be used to provide child care services to eligible families.
                  Families will be served in priority order. Priority 1 refers to TANF customers.
                  Priority 2 refers to customers transitioning off TANF. Priority 3 refers to
                  customers at risk of becoming TANF dependent and who are currently non-
                  TANF.
                  The specific child care needs of these families are addressed by each local
                  department of social services through the provision of vouchers that allow eligible
                  families to choose regulated or informal child care. Case managers work with
                  families to coordinate employment related activities and child care, with the
                  assistance of child care resource and referral services.

          3.4.4   Has the Lead Agency established additional priority rules that are not reflected in
                  the table completed for Section 3.4.1? (658E(c)(3)(B), §98.16(g)(5), §98.20(b))
                         Yes, and the additional priority rules are: (Terms must be defined in
                         Appendix 2)
                         No.

          3.4.5   Does the Lead Agency serve all eligible families that apply?
                         Yes.

                         No.




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          3.4.6   Does the Lead Agency maintain a waiting list?

                         Yes. If yes, for what populations? Is the waiting list maintained at the
                         State level? Are certain populations given priority for services, and if so,
                         which populations? What methods are employed to keep the list current?

                         Currently the State does not have a waiting list. When funds are limited,
                         eligible families are served in priority order. Priority 1-TANF customers
                         are served first, Priority 2-transitioning off of TANF customers are served
                         second, and Priority 3-families with very low incomes are served last.
                         Depending upon the availability of funds, priority groups are wait listed in
                         decreasing order (highest income to lowest).

                         When a wait list is in effect, the Child Care Automated Tracking System
                         (CCATS) maintains a list of customers who are not being served. Wait
                         listed customers are requested to report any changes to their local
                         department of social services, which allows the list to be kept current.

                         No.


3.5       Sliding Fee Scale for Child Care Services

          3.5.1   A sliding fee scale, which is used to determine each family's contribution to the
                  cost of child care, must vary based on income and the size of the family. A copy
                  of this sliding fee scale for child care services and an explanation of how it works
                  is provided as Attachment 3.5.1.A.

                  The attached fee scale was or will be effective as of January 1, 2002.

                  Will the Lead Agency use additional factors to determine each family's
                  contribution to the cost of child care? (658E(c)(3)(B), §98.42(b))

                         Yes, and the following describes any additional factors that will be used:

                         The family’s contribution for the youngest child in care is based on family
                         size and income. Any additional co-payments for second and third
                         children are based on a reduced percentage of the cost of care. The fourth
                         and any subsequent children in a family are not assigned a co-payment.

                         Co-payments range from 5 to 50% of the cost of care for the first child in
                         care. They range from 3 to 40% for the second and third child. Fourth
                         and subsequent children require no co-payment. See Attachment 3.5.1.B.

                         No.




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          3.5.2   Is the sliding fee scale provided in the attachment in response to question 3.5.1
                  used in all parts of the State? (658E(c)(3)(B))

                         Yes.

                         No, and other scale(s) and their effective date(s) are provided as
                         Attachment 3.5.2.


          3.5.3   The Lead Agency may waive contributions from families whose incomes are at or
                  below the poverty level for a family of the same size, (§98.42(c)), and the poverty
                  level used by the Lead Agency for a family of 3 is: $16,064. (Federal Poverty
                  Level 2005 – 2/18/05)

                  The Lead Agency must select ONE of these options:

                         ALL families with income at or below the poverty level for a family of the
                         same size ARE NOT required to pay a fee.
                         ALL families, including those with incomes at or below the poverty level
                         for families of the same size, ARE required to pay a fee.
                         SOME families with income at or below the poverty level for a family of
                         the same size ARE NOT required to pay a fee. The following describes
                         these families:

                         Families receiving TANF or SSI do not pay a fee.


          3.5.4   Does the State allow providers to charge parents the difference between the
                  maximum reimbursement rate and their private pay rate?

                         Yes.

                         No.


          3.5.5   The following is an explanation of how the copayments required by the Lead
                  Agency's sliding fee scale(s) were determined to be affordable: (§98.43(b)(3))

                  The State’s co-payments are calculated as a percent of the average cost of care.
                  Co-payments range from 5 to 50% for the youngest child in the family receiving
                  care, and from 3 to 40% for the second and third children receiving care (fourth
                  and subsequent children require no co-pay). When expressed as a percent of total
                  gross income, co-pays range from 1 to 15.9% of annual total gross income for the
                  youngest, and from 1 to 12.4% for second and third children. The average co-
                  payment in November of 2006 (considering only families with co-pays) was


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                 9.68% of a family’s gross income. Following are two examples for a family of
                 three, making $1,544 per month, with 2 children in full time family care, both
                 over age 2:

          Region with the Least Expensive Average Cost of Care (Payment Region V)
                                               First child        Second child   Combined
          Co-pay                                     $105              $82            $187

          Percent Average Cost of Care                  24%                 20%                   22%

          Percent of Income                               7%                  5%                  12%


          Region with the Most Expensive Average Cost of Care (Payment Region X)
                                              First child        Second child    Combined
          Co-pay                                    $194             $151             $345

          Percent Average Cost of Care                  25%                 20%                   22%

          Percent of Income                             12%                 10%                   22%

          Informal Providers
          Maryland also authorizes the following types of informal care:
              a) Relative Care – provided by a person related to the child in either the relative’s
                 home or in the child’s home. Relative care is exempt from licensing under
                 Maryland’s regulations.
              b) In-Home Care – provided to the customer’s children in the customer’s home by a
                  non-relative. In-home care is exempt from licensing as long as all children cared
                  for live in the residence in which care is provided.
              c) ―Babysitting‖ – provided in the babysitter’s home. Under State law, a person who
                  cares for unrelated children for less than 20 hours a month is exempt from
                  regulation. (If care is provided for more than 20 hours per month, the caretaker
                  must be licensed as a family child care provider.)

                 Rates for informal child care were established at 50 percent of the regulated
                 family child care rate in each region, to allow for adequate compensation of
                 informal child care providers, who are not subject to expenses incurred by
                 regulated providers in meeting licensing requirements.




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                                      PART 4
                        PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

4.1       Application Process / Parental Choice

          4.1.1   Describe the process for a family to apply for and receive child care services
                  (658D(b)(1)(A), 658E(c)(2)(D) & (3)(B), §§98.16(k), 98.30(a) through (e)). At
                  minimum, the description should include:

                        How parents are informed of the availability of child care services and
                         about child care options

                         Parents obtain information about Child Care Subsidy from the MSDE
                         website: www.marylandpublicschools.org/divisions/occ.

                         Parents may also obtain information from the regional child care resource
                         and referral centers website - www.mdchildcare.org. Parents may contact
                         child care resource and referral centers if they are looking for child care in
                         their area. Local departments also distribute locally developed
                         information about the program and their specific procedures.

                        Where/how applications are made

                         Parents apply to the local department of social services for subsidized
                         child care service. To apply, a parent must complete an application form
                         that documents the family size, income and employment or activity status
                         of the parent(s). Applications can be obtained from the local department
                         of social services. The form is also available online in both English
                         http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/4BBFF303-
                         3B56-47A0-AE08-4A31D1A265AC/13682/354Application.pdf

                          and Spanish at:
                         http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/4BBFF303-
                         3B56-47A0-AE08-4A31D1A265AC/13683/354SpanishApplication.pdf

                         Parents are informed of the child care options available to them at the time
                         eligibility is determined.

                         Applications, as well as vouchers and other parent and provider forms
                         are available in Spanish from the local department of social services. A
                         number of jurisdictions have bilingual staff onsite to assist applicants if
                         necessary. If a bilingual staff member is not available, a request can be
                         made for an interpreter.



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                         MSDE hopes to make other forms available for families with limited
                         English proficiency.
                        What documentation parents must provide
                         Parents must provide proof of an approved activity, proof of income and
                         proof of address.

                        How parents who receive TANF benefits are informed about the exception
                         to individual penalties as described in 4.4
                         Parents who receive TANF benefits are informed about the exception to
                         individual penalties as described in Section 4.4 by the TANF caseworker.
                         The child care subsidy program is operated by TANF workers in the local
                         departments of social services.
                        Length of eligibility period including variations that relate to the services
                         provided, e.g., through collaborations with Head Start or pre-kindergarten
                         programs
                         The maximum eligibility period is 12 months. However, the case manager
                         may set the eligibility period for less than 12 months if the parent will be
                         in a training or work related activity of shorter duration. The eligibility
                         period can be extended beyond 12 months if the Head Start program’s
                         school year extends beyond the family’s eligibility period.

                        Any steps the State has taken to reduce barriers to initial and continuing
                         eligibility for child care subsidies

                         Some steps that have been taken to reduce barriers include: encouraging
                         the LDSS to accept mailed or faxed applications to limit the need for a
                         face-to-face visit to the local office and encouraging the LDSS to obtain
                         verifications for customers active in other programs from the case
                         manager rather than requesting the same documentation twice from the
                         customer. The Office of Child Care Automated Tracking System
                         (CCATS), with the implementation of the public portal, will allow the
                         customer to complete the application online and electronically submit it,
                         print it out, or complete and return it.
                  Attach a copy of your parent application for the child care subsidy program.
                  Attachment 4.1.1.A If the application is available on the web, provide the
                  appropriate Web site address (application must still be attached to Plan):
          4.1.2   Is the application process different for families receiving TANF?
                         Yes. If yes, describe how the process is different:
                         TANF families are entitled to a 30-day voucher so that they may begin
                         their activity prior to an eligibility determination.




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                         Expand – what is the difference
                         No.


          4.1.3   The following is a detailed description of how the State ensures parental choice
                  by making sure that parents are informed about their ability to choose from
                  among family and group home care, center-based care and in-home care including
                  faith-based providers in each of these categories.

                  Our consumer information includes: (a) information and counseling available
                  from the resource and referral agencies, (b) local department of social services'
                  customized information packets, and (c) a consumer education brochure from
                  child care licensing. The parent may take the voucher(s) to the provider(s) of
                  his/her choice.

                  Child Care Subsidy does not track the amount of information that goes out to
                  parents. We only ensure that it is readily available to anyone who requests it.
                  Every parent that applies receives a packet from the LDSS. The packets vary
                  from department to department. Regulated child care providers verify that parents
                  receive a copy of ―A Parent’s Guide to Regulated Child Care‖ and retain it in the
                  facility’s files. This is required for Child Care Subsidy and non- Child Care
                  Subsidy parents and is tracked by the Office of Child Care – Licensing Branch.

          4.1.4   Does the State conduct activities aimed at families with limited English
                  proficiency to promote access to child care subsidies and reduce barriers to
                  receiving subsidies and accessing child care services?

                         Yes. If yes, describe these activities, including how the State overcomes
                         language barriers with families and providers.


                         No.

4.2       Records of Parental Complaints

          The following is a detailed description of how the State maintains a record of
          substantiated parental complaints and how it makes the information regarding such
          parental complaints available to the public on request. (658E(c)(2)(C), §98.32))

          Each complaint, whether a parental complaint or anonymous complaint received by the
          Office of Child Care, is logged into the child care facility’s permanent file. All
          documentation pertaining to the subsequent investigation and disposition of the complaint
          is also placed in the facility’s file. At the conclusion of each investigation, the
          investigation findings are summarized on a record of complaint form and the complaint is
          categorized as confirmed (substantiated), ruled out, or uncertain. Any and all complaints,



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          both written and oral, that relate to a potential violation of a regulation or
          unregistered/unlicensed care are investigated.

          The extent and method of public access to records of substantiated complaints involving
          child care facilities are specified under Maryland’s child care center and family day care
          home regulations. All requests for inspection of licensing records, including records of
          substantiated complaints, must be made in writing to the Office of Child Care.
          Information about a substantiated complaint (s) involving a specific child care facility
          may be released to:

             A parent whose child is enrolled in that facility;
             A parent who is considering enrolling a child in that facility;
             A business which is considering securing or is securing child care services for its
              employees at that facility;
             An employer who is considering contracting, or who has contracted the services of
              that facility;
             The person or entity who filed the complaint against that facility;
             A duly authorized law enforcement agency; or
             Any other person or entity deemed by the Office of Child Care to have a compelling
              public purpose in obtaining information about that facility.

          Complaints are investigated by the Office of Child Care’s Regional Licensing Offices.
          Complaints are made to the Regional Licensing Office for the jurisdiction in which the
          provider resides. Contacts for the thirteen Regional Offices are as follows:

                 Region I – Anne Arundel County                  Region VIII – Upper Shore
                 410-514-7850                                    410-819-5801

                 Region II – Baltimore City                      Region IX – Lower Shore
                 410-554-8300                                    410-713-3430

                 Region III – Baltimore County                   Region X – Southern Tri-County
                 410-583-6200                                    301-475-3770

                 Region IV – Prince George’s Co.                 Region XI – North Central
                 301-333-6940                                    410-272-5358

                 Region V – Montgomery County                    Region XII – Frederick County
                 240-314-1401                                    301-696-9766

                 Region VI – Howard County                       Region XIII – Carroll County
                 410-750-8770                                    410-751-5438

                 Region VII – Western Maryland
                 301-791-4585



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          Every complaint of unlicensed (illegal) child care, regardless of the source of the
          complaint or method received, is investigated by regional licensing office staff according
          to a written protocol (see Attachment 4.2.A for copy of protocol).

          Since November 2002, the agency has maintained a secure Internet-based provider
          complaint reporting and tracking system that is utilized by regional licensing office staff
          to conduct all complaint intakes and record all complaint investigation outcomes. This
          computerized system is specifically designed to track the progress of each complaint
          investigation through to its conclusion and to report statistical complaint data for analysis
          and evaluation.

4.3       Unlimited Access to Children in Child Care Settings

          The following is a detailed description of the procedures in effect in the State for
          affording parents unlimited access to their children whenever their children are in the
          care of a provider who receives CCDF funds. (658E(c)(2)(B), §98.31))

          Under State child care licensing regulations, each family day care home and child care
          center must permit the parent of a child care in care to have access, without prior notice,
          to the child at any time during the program's operating hours and to freely observe all
          areas of the facility that are used for child care.

          State child care licensing law requires the agency to publish an informational pamphlet
          for parents of children in care that outlines child care licensing regulations, describes
          parental rights and responsibilities, describes the process for submitting provider
          complaints, and provides contact information for regional licensing offices. The law also
          requires the agency to make this pamphlet available to child care providers for their
          distribution to the parents of the children they serve. During inspections of licensed child
          care programs, the agency assesses provider compliance with this requirement by
          verifying that a special receipt for the brochure is signed and dated by the parent of each
          child in care and present in the child's program record.

          As a condition of receiving payment from the child care subsidy program a legally
          operating informal provider agrees to allow the same access to the child in care and to the
          facility as required of regulated programs. Information about the right of access is
          explained in informational material given to all parents who choose to use informal care.

4.4       Criteria or Definitions Applied by TANF Agency to Determine Inability to Obtain
          Child Care

          The regulations at §98.33(b) require the Lead Agency to inform parents who receive
          TANF benefits about the exception to the individual penalties associated with the work
          requirement for any single custodial parent who has a demonstrated inability to obtain
          needed child care for a child under 6 years of age.




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          In fulfilling this requirement, the following criteria or definitions are applied by the
          TANF agency to determine whether the parent has a demonstrated inability to obtain
          needed child care:

          NOTE: The TANF agency, not the Child Care Lead Agency, is responsible for
          establishing the following criteria or definitions. These criteria or definitions are offered
          in this Plan as a matter of public record. The TANF agency that established these criteria
          or definitions is: The Department of Human Resources.

             "appropriate child care": Child care that meets the parent’s needs in terms of hours
              and location, meets the child’s needs in terms of health and safety, and is geared
              toward the healthy development of the child.

             "reasonable distance": Based on available transportation, a parent would be expected
              to travel to the child care provider no more than one hour each way.

             "unsuitability of informal child care": Informal care that does not meet the standards
              as stated in Section 6.3.3 of this Plan, state law and Code of Maryland Regulations
              governing the child care subsidy program, including not posing a risk to the health
              and safety of the child.

             "affordable child care arrangements": Those arrangements for which the parent fee
              charged by the provider is less than or equal to the assigned copayment for a non-
              TANF family of the same size and income level who receives a subsidy




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                               PART 5
 ACTIVITIES & SERVICES TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND AVAILABILITY OF
                             CHILD CARE


5.1       Quality Earmarks and Set-Asides

          5.1.1   The Child Care and Development Fund provides earmarks for infant and toddler
                  care and school-age care and resource and referral services as well as the special
                  earmark for quality activities. The following describes the activities; identifies
                  the entities providing the activities; describes the expected results of the activities
                  and, if the activities have been ongoing, the actual results of the activities. For
                  the infant and toddler earmark, the State must note in its description of the
                  activities, what is the maximum age of a child who may be served with such
                  earmarked funds (not to exceed 36 months).

                  Infants and toddlers:
                  The Department provided funds to the Resource and Referral Network, non-profit
                  organizations, colleges and university, and governmental agencies for training,
                  mentoring, technical assistance and/or other incentives to child care providers
                  caring for infants and toddlers. The purpose is to increase the number of
                  providers with specific training in the care and nurturing of children 36 months
                  and younger, improve the quality of programs, and encourage the continuity of
                  services to infants and toddlers in those programs, and prepare children to enter
                  pre-kindergarten ready to succeed. In 2006, 317 providers received training
                  through colleges and universities and 913 through the Resource and Referral
                  Network.

                  The Department will fund initiatives for children birth to three that provide
                  support to family child care homes and centers to increase the availability of
                  quality licensed infant and toddler placements in targeted underserved areas. In
                  2006, 56 new placements were developed.

                  The Department will fund infant and toddler (birth to three) pre-service training
                  for caregivers and potential caregivers at five community colleges throughout the
                  State. The pre-service training will include funding for tuition, fees, and books
                  for students that work or live and work in Maryland.

                  Resource and referral services:
                  The state continues to fund the Maryland Child Care Resource Network. The
                  Network is comprised of a statewide coordinating entity and twelve regional
                  centers throughout the state that provide core functions of resource and referral
                  services. A summary of the services provided in 2006 is presented below.

                  Services provided by the network include helping parents locate child care,
                  providing technical assistance to current and prospective child care providers,


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                  offering training to child care providers and consumer education to parents,
                  providing technical assistance to employers to help them meet the child care
                  needs of their employees, collecting data on the child care needs of families and
                  employers, and collecting and reporting on the status of child care programs. The
                  Network conducts the child care market rate survey data that is used to determine
                  the Child Care Subsidy rates.

                  During 2006, the Resource and Referral Network referred over 30,000 children to
                  child care facilities through their LOCATE service. Training was provided to 239
                  parents, 294 family child care providers, 619 child care center staff, and 838 other
                  participants. In addition, telephone technical assistance was provided to
                  approximately 2,000 callers.

                  School-age child care:
                  Through a competitive bid process, OCC contracts with a non-profit organization
                  to train child care providers operating before and after-school programs for
                  school-age children. The contract includes the development and provision of 36
                  clock hours of training and mentoring services for 2,160 providers over a two-
                  year period, in accordance with the Core of Knowledge Curriculum approved by
                  the OCC Credentialing Branch. To date, the training modules have been
                  developed and provider training has begun.

          5.1.2   The law requires that not less than 4% of the CCDF be set aside for quality
                  activities. (658E(c)(3)(B), 658G, §§98.13(a), 98.16(h), 98.51) The Lead Agency
                  estimates that the following amount and percentage will be used for the quality
                  activities (not including earmarked funds) during the 1-year period: October 1,
                  2007 through September 30, 2008:

                  $ __4,242,608_(4 %)

          5.1.3   Check each activity the Lead Agency will undertake to improve the availability
                  and quality of child care (include activities funded through the 4% quality set-
                  aside as well as the special earmark for quality activities). (658D(b)(1)(D),
                  658E(c)(3)(B), §§98.13(a), 98.16(h))




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                                                                                Check if this
                           Check if                                               entity is a
                         undertaking                                                non-
                            /will        Name and type of entity providing      governmental
          Activity        undertake                    activity                    entity?
Comprehensive                           Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium
consumer education                      Resource and referral Centers:
                                          o Apples for Children (n/p)
                                          o Arundel Child Care Connections
                                            (n/p)
                                          o Chesapeake College
                                          o Child Care Choices (n/p)
                                          o Child Care Links (n/p)
                                          o Mental Health Assoc. of
                                            Frederick County
                            √             o Howard County CCRC (n/p)
                                          o Maryland Committee for Children
                                            – Baltimore City CCRC (n/p)
                                          o Montgomery Co. Dept. of Health
                                            & Human Services
                                          o Prince George’s Co. CCRC (n/p)
                                          o Salisbury University
                                          o Southern Maryland CCRC
                                        MSDE


Grants or loans to                      MSDE:
providers to assist in                   o Family Child Care Provider Grant
                             √             Program
meeting State and
local standards                          o Quality Incentive Grant Program
Monitoring                              MSDE
compliance with
licensing and                √
regulatory
requirements




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                                                                                Check if this
                           Check if                                               entity is a
                         undertaking                                                non-
                            /will        Name and type of entity providing      governmental
          Activity        undertake                    activity                    entity?
Professional                            Abilities Network (non/profit)
development,                            Anne Arundel Comm. College
including training,                     Chesapeake College
education, and                          Hagerstown Community College
technical assistance                    Howard Community College
                             √          Loyola University
                                        Prince George’s Comm. College
                                        Salisbury University
                                        MSDE
                                        R&Rs (see Comprehensive
                                         Consumer Education above)
Improving salaries and                  MSDE
other compensation
                             √
for child care
providers
Activities in support                   Maryland Committee for Children
of early language,                       (n/p)
literacy, pre-reading,                  MSDE
                             √          Prince George’s Memorial Library
and early math
concepts development                    R&Rs (see Comprehensive
                                         Consumer Education above)
Activities to promote                   Abilities Network (n/p)
inclusive child care                    ARC of Montgomery County (n/p)
                                        ARC of Prince George’s Co. (n/p)
                                        Bowie Therapeutic Nursery Center
                                         (n/p)
                             √          Maryland Public Television
                                        MSDE
                                        PACT: Helping Children with
                                         Special Needs (n/p)
                                        R&Rs (see Comprehensive
                                         Consumer Education above)




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                                                                                  Check if this
                             Check if                                               entity is a
                           undertaking                                                non-
                              /will        Name and type of entity providing      governmental
          Activity          undertake                    activity                    entity?
Healthy Child Care                        Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene
America and other
health activities
including those
designed to promote            √
the social and
emotional
development of
children
Activities that increase                  MSDE
parental choice                √          R&Rs (see Comprehensive
                                           Consumer Education above)
Other activities that                     MSDE
improve the quality of                    R&Rs (see Comprehensive
                               √
child care (describe                       Consumer Education above)
below).




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                                                                                Check if this
                           Check if                                               entity is a
                         undertaking                                                non-
                            /will        Name and type of entity providing      governmental
          Activity        undertake                  activity                      entity?
Other activities that                   Head Start Agencies:
improve the                              o Allegany County Human
availability of child                      Resources Dev. Commission
care (describe below).                   o Anne Arundel County Economic
                                           Opportunity Committee
                                         o Associated Catholic Charities
                                         o Caroline County
                                         o Community Action Council of
                                           Howard County
                                         o Family Services Agency
                                         o Frederick County Commissioners
                                         o Friends of the Family, Inc.
                                         o Garrett County Community Action
                                           Commission, Inc.
                                         o Head Start of Washington County,
                                           Inc.
                                         o Human Resources Development
                             √             Corporation
                                         o Lourie Center Early Head Start
                                         o Maryland Rural Development
                                           Corporation
                                         o Mayor & City Council/Dept. of
                                           Housing and Community Dev.
                                         o Montgomery County
                                         o Maryland Division of Community
                                           Action/Head Start
                                         o Prince George’s County Board of
                                           Education
                                         o Shore Up, Inc.
                                         o Southern Mid Tri-County
                                           Community Action Council
                                         o YMCA of Central Maryland, Inc.
                                        MSDE
                                        R&Rs (see Comprehensive
                                         Consumer Education above)
(§98.51(a)(1) and (2))




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          5.1.4   For each activity checked, describe the expected results of the activity. If you
                  have conducted an evaluation of this activity, describe the results. If you have
                  not conducted an evaluation, describe how you will evaluate the activities.

                  The above services are provided primarily through grants, contracts, and
                  interagency agreements with non-profit, for profit, and governmental entities.
                  Only the Family Child Care Provider Grant, the Quality Incentive Grant Program,
                  the Professional Development Fund, and the salary compensation programs are
                  directly managed by the Office of Child Care.

                  All grants, contracts, and interagency agreements are monitored by an assigned
                  Office of Child Care Program Development Branch staff person. Monitoring
                  includes review of:
                   Quarterly or monthly program progress reports;
                   Statistical data to include number of training sessions held, attendance records
                      for training sessions, satisfaction survey results, and pre and post-testing
                      results, child and/or program improvement documentation, as applicable; and
                   Site visits to review documentation and visual inspection of the facility. The
                      site visit includes completion of an on-site monitoring tool designed to
                      determine success based upon general program standards and items
                      determined by specific contract requirements.

                  The following priority areas have been established in accordance with the
                  Division of Early Childhood Development’s Strategic Plan. The areas include
                  activities to support inclusive child care, healthy social emotional development,
                  and enabling all children to enter school ready to achieve as well as improving the
                  availability and quality of child care services. In alignment with the strategic
                  plan, the priority areas also support implementation of a professional development
                  plan for child care providers and State staff through comprehensive education and
                  training, technical assistance, and mentoring.

                  Activities in each priority area will foster the creation or expansion of public/
                  private partnerships and community collaborations such as with Head Start,
                  special education, and pre-kindergarten to utilize and maximize all available
                  resources for children. Programs and projects funded will be based on
                  demonstrated community need. Activities and programs developed in each
                  priority area will be developmentally appropriate, incorporate new developments
                  in early childhood mental health and other early care and education areas, and
                  recognize the cultural diversity of the families served.

                  The effectiveness of each effort will be measured through the use of survey
                  instruments, pre and post testing, and improvement in children’s performance on
                  the kindergarten assessment test, and the Maryland Model for School Readiness.




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          Activities and materials for consumer education and public awareness will
          increase the level of understanding about the components and importance of
          quality regulated child care. These efforts will be implemented through
          agreements with Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Maryland Public Television,
          Maryland Committee for Children, and the resource and referral network, as well
          as coordinated with similar programs and initiatives implemented within the
          State. A variety of customer and provider surveys will be used to measure the
          effectiveness of the services. Consumer Education projects include:

             Information and training for non-English speaking or English as a second
              language populations to assist them to understand and obtain quality care for
              their children, and assist interested persons in becoming licensed caregivers.
             Informal provider outreach to provide information and training to parents and
              others, who are not licensed or registered providers, on a wide variety of
              topics including, early literacy, safety and health, and assistance in becoming
              licensed or registered.
             Production and distribution of the Choosing Quality Child Care brochure.
             Recognition of the diversity of Maryland families and addressing multi-
              cultural and multi-generational needs.
             Referral of parents and providers to relevant resources, including child care
              resource and referral centers and the child care subsidy program in the local
              departments of social services.
             Lead paint and referral information for tenants living in pre-1950 rental
              dwellings.
             Credentialing and Tiered Reimbursement publicity to the child care
              community through written publications such as the OCC provider newsletter
              and the Statewide Training Calendar. Information is also disseminated
              through local and state child care associations, the R&R Network, workshops,
              conferences, and seminars, Judith P. Hoyer Centers, and individual workgroup
              sessions conducted by OCC licensing staff for people interested in becoming
              child care providers.
             Inclusive child care as it relates to children with disabilities.
             Resource information to providers who care for children with disabilities.
             Maryland Department of Disabilities, Maryland Developmental Disability
              Council, and the R&R Network disseminate information such as the Choosing
              Quality Child Care for a Child with Special Needs brochure.

          Consumer Education

          The R&R Network has designated counselors to work with parents who are
          looking for child care for children with disabilities. Finally, the Maryland
          Department of Disabilities Task Force on Inclusive Child Care and After-School
          Care for children with disabilities will be developing a resource guide and/or
          pamphlet for caregivers and parents.




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          The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium project has not yet been evaluated. The
          project will be evaluated through the use of satisfaction surveys and statistical
          data regarding training sessions held, materials distributed, numbers of children
          referred/enrolled in licensed or regulated programs.

          Grants or Loans to Providers
          The State will continue to assist providers in meeting State and local standards by
          funding the Family Provider Grant reimbursement program and the Quality
          Incentive Grant program administered by the OCC.

          Family Provider Grant – The program reimburses newly registered family child
          care providers for costs incurred in meeting regulatory requirements. Since the
          program's inception in 1991, between 3,700 and 3,900 grants have been awarded.
          Over the last two years, the number of grants has declined from an average of 200
          per year to 135 in SFY 2005 and 101 in SFY 2006. Each year fewer providers are
          submitting applications. It is important to note that, despite the budget reductions
          of recent years, every eligible applicant has received a grant.

          Compliance with program requirements is determined through a review of
          receipts submitted and verification by the licensing staff regarding compliance
          with regulations and achievement of registration requirements.

          Quality Incentive Grant – The State provides quality incentive grants to providers
          who have successfully completed training and need materials to implement the
          training in their facilities. As providers gain new knowledge about age-
          appropriate activities and experiences, incentive grants can help them acquire
          supplies and equipment to create stimulating learning environments.

          The applicant must be:
           A registered family child care provider or child care center staff.
           In good standing. That is, an applicant cannot currently have an unresolved
             enforcement action in progress.
           Currently participating in the credentialing program and/or seeking
             accreditation.
           Eligible based on a sliding income scale, dependent upon family size.
           Willing to provide care for at least one child from a priority group (special
             needs, POC, infants, or school age) for at least one year after receiving the
             grant.
           Requesting funds to implement training already received.

          Incentive grant recipients compliance with grant requirements is determined by a
          review of receipts for the requested equipment and materials. This program was
          reopened in January 2007 and the first grants awarded in July 2007. No data is
          currently available on results.




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          Monitoring of Compliance with Licensing and Regulatory Requirements
          The State will continue to fund positions in the Office of Child Care – Licensing
          Branch. These positions will continue to perform mandated licensing and
          regulatory functions in a timely and thorough manner. Additional staff may be
          added to improve the licensing staff/facility ratio and meet demands generated by
          new initiatives as funds are available. All staff performance is measured through
          an annual performance evaluation. Child care center and family child care
          provider performance is measured using compliance checklists regarding State
          regulatory requirements.

          Professional Development
          In implementing the Federal No Child Left Behind Initiative and the State
          kindergarten readiness objectives, training will be provided to the child care
          community. Training will be provided to meet the needs of child care providers
          to help them attain the highest level of professionalism and skill development.

          The OCC Credentialing Branch is responsible for approving all trainers,
          individuals and organizations, and training proposals, based upon COMAR
          13A.14.08 Training Approval, for use with the child care community. Through
          the competitive bid process, individuals or organizations may submit a proposal
          for consideration. Colleges and university degree programs are approved by the
          Higher Education Commission. Articulation agreements are used to enable
          students to transfer credits from one institution to another.

          Maryland uses CCDF funds to support approved training activities in the
          following priority areas:

             Core of Knowledge requirements
             Provider Association support and leadership training for child care providers
             Maryland Credential, tiered reimbursement, program evaluation and quality
              indicators for providers and OCC licensing staff
             National accreditation of programs and nationally recognized rating scales for
              evaluators
             Transition supports from child care to school so children enter school ready to
              succeed
             Early language, literacy, and numeracy development
             Multicultural and anti-bias issues, basic and advanced health and safety topics,
              caring for children with disabilities, program administration, and mental
              health topics
             Inclusive Child Care
             Technical assistance to improve and maintain the quality of child care
              programs

          The professional development vehicles include the following:
          Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund – Students enrolled in
          colleges and universities may receive scholarships to pursue degrees in early


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          childhood education or a related field. The fund will provide funding for tuition,
          fees, and books. Upon completion of the degree program, the student is required
          to work in the child care field in Maryland based upon the amount of funding
          received.

          The Expected outcomes of the career and professional development fund are to:
           Enable more students to gain access to higher education and obtain degrees in
             early care and education
           Decrease turnover in the child care field
           Increase the knowledge and skills of staff working in child care settings
           Increase the number of children entering school ready to succeed

          Maryland Credential - The Maryland Child Care Credential program is operated
          by OCC. It is a voluntary program that recognizes regulated child care providers
          who exceed State training requirements. Participating providers are required to
          complete training in a broad range of Core of Knowledge topics. The training and
          professional development activities help providers enhance their skills and
          knowledge. As funds are available, support for providers is offered through
          vouchers to pay for training, bonuses paid for completing training, and financial
          assistance with accreditation application costs.

          Expected outcomes are to:
           Produce a well qualified workforce
           Increase the overall quality of child care programs ensuring that all children
             enter school ready to succeed
           Improve the status of and increase compensation for child care providers
           Recognize for-credit and non-credit career preparation
           Provide a structure for professional growth through professional competencies

          Training Activities – The State will support the professional growth of child care
          providers and State staff through a comprehensive training, technical assistance
          and mentoring plan that coordinates State licensing requirements, Maryland
          Credential Program requirements, existing training opportunities, and State and
          local resources. All training for providers will:

             Be designed for adult learners at all levels of knowledge, experience, and
              training
             Incorporate research on infant and toddler brain development
             Address community involvement and partnering to improve services targeting
              providers caring for children in low-income areas
             Include an evaluation component

          Expected results are to:
           Provide the child care community with qualified trainers and training
           Ensure the training needs of the child care community are met
           Ensure the child care community has access to a variety of quality training


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             Create a well-trained child care community, thus increasing the quality of
              child care programs that will ensure children will have the skills necessary to
              enter school ready to succeed

          Provider Compensation
          OCC staff participated on the Judith P. Hoyer Blue Ribbon Commission on the
          financing of early care and education. Recommendations concerning provider
          compensation were developed. Since the recommendations relating to provider
          compensation involve substantial budgetary allocations and could involve other
          legislation, they can be implemented only as financial resources and legislative
          authorization permits. The State has implemented Tiered Reimbursement to pay
          providers at a higher rate for meeting specified quality enhancement criteria. The
          OCC may reinstate the compensation subcommittee to take a new look at the
          recommendations both from the Judith P. Hoyer Blue Ribbon Commission and
          the Office of Child Care Advisory Council regarding provider compensation. It
          has not been determined, at this point, who will do this.

          Early Language, Literacy, and Numeracy Development
          These trainings will ensure that providers include language development in their
          curriculum by engaging children in activities that foster literacy. As funding
          permits, training opportunities will be offered that enhance and increase the skills
          of child care providers in the areas of early literacy, language, numeracy
          development, and English language learners to ensure young children are
          equipped with the skills needed to enter school ready to succeed. Learning will
          be assessed through the administration of pre and post tests.

          Currently, this training is provided through the Resource and Referral Network.
          Training sessions are held throughout the State. The effectiveness of the training
          is measured using pre and post-testing and satisfaction surveys. Technical
          assistance is provided to all participants that do not achieve at least a post-test
          score of 80%.

          Inclusive Child Care
          The State will support programs that offer direct services to children with special
          needs and through the provision of training and technical assistance to child care
          providers. As funds permit, the State will support the expansion of child care
          programs to serve children with disabilities. A variety of appropriate
          measurement tools will be used to assess student improvement, including input
          from medical doctors, sociologists, and psychologists. Specific statistical data
          will be collected regarding number of children enrolled, attendance, and types of
          special needs. Current data indicate that existing slots are filled more than 90% of
          the time. As a result of reviewing data regarding the numbers of children birth to
          three needing specialized care, four new grants have been awarded to provide care
          to 54 additional children in more areas of the State and provide extended day care
          to 20 children currently participating in half-day programs.




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          Training in working with children with special needs is provided to early care and
          education staff through a contract with Abilities Network, Inc. They provide on-
          site training to family day care providers and center-based programs, in
          partnership with PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs. Pre and post-
          testing is used to measure participant knowledge gains. Technical assistance is
          provided to participants who score less than 80% on the post-test or at the
          participant’s request.

          In addition, an Inclusive Child Care Workgroup has been established to
          implement the recommendations regarding barriers to inclusive child care
          previously developed by a Task Force. The Department may use CCDF to support
          implementation.

          Healthy Child Care America & Other Health Activities
          The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is the lead agency for
          Maryland, in promoting children's health issues. The OCC is working with
          DHMH to determine future needs and funding options for continuing this
          important collaboration. Health, nutrition, and obesity are topics taught in
          training offered to all child care providers to meet Core of Knowledge
          requirements. Monitoring and evaluation are handled by DHMH.

          Activities That Increase Parental Choice
          The State plans to conduct activities that will reach bilingual and non-English
          speaking families, assisting them in understanding the benefits and availability of
          quality child care in their local communities. Providing this information will
          better equip them to identify and select the best type of child care for their
          child(ren).

          Improvement will be measured by increases in the number of families choosing
          licensed care, those seeking licensure, and survey results. The contractor, Mid-
          Atlantic Equity Consortium, will collect data and evaluate the project through
          surveys completed by the parents. The Office of Child Care will monitor progress
          through ongoing desk monitoring, site visits, and the submission of statistical data
          regarding materials distributed, training sessions held, and attendance at trainings.

          Other Activities That Improve The Quality Of Child Care
          The State plans to continue to fund the expansion of existing child care programs
          to increase the number of child care slots available to children with special needs
          and those who are medically fragile, school-aged children, and full-day services
          for Head Start and public pre-kindergarten programs. Existing child care, Head
          Start, and pre-kindergarten programs will be considered for funding through a
          competitive procurement process.

          Grants are provided to Head Start and Early Head Start programs to improve care
          through the provision of extended day, extended year services to currently
          enrolled students. The effectiveness of these services is measured through desk


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          monitoring, on-site visits, and review of statistical data. The results to date are
          very positive. Part-time programs have added hours of care. Both full and part-
          time programs have added summer hours or additional weeks of services.
          Attendance rates vary; however, overall attendance exceeds 70%.

          Children’s Mental Health Consultation Project – There is growing evidence
          that mental health consultation reduces the risks of expulsion, by addressing the
          social and emotional regulation in young children within the context of a
          developmentally appropriate setting. The successful Early Childhood Mental
          Health Consultation Pilot project, previously funded through CCDF quality
          earmark funds, was expanded to every jurisdiction in Maryland in collaboration
          with the statewide Early Childhood Mental Health Steering Committee.

          The program design:
           Maximizes existing resources and fully funds those services and supports
           Creates a full continuum of integrated, community-based, culturally
             competent, accessible, high quality health, mental health, and behavioral
             services and supports
           Provides mental health supports and services through partnerships and well
             trained staff to providers in everyday child care settings

          The target populations:
           Children birth through age five and their families receive diagnostic and
             intervention services
           Providers receive consultation and mentoring services regarding how to
             identify and respond to children in their care who have emotional and
             behavioral problems
           Child care programs receive evaluative environment and child-caregiver
             interaction services and strategies for improvement in both areas

          The expected outcomes are to:
           Maintain children in their child care placements longer
           Parents and caregivers will be able to work with children to lessen behavioral
             and emotional problems through utilizing appropriate intervention strategies
           Improve children’s behaviors by teaching them how to interact with others
             and express themselves in more appropriate ways
           Children will cope and perform better as a result of implementing program
             and environmental interventions

          An independent evaluator will conduct an evaluation of the statewide project. A
          report will be issued to legislators and made available to the public. The purpose
          of the evaluation is to provide empirical data regarding intervention outcomes for
          children and child care professionals. A copy of the report will be made available
          after the evaluation is completed. The pilot evaluation showed very favorable
          results in improving child behaviors, child caregiver interaction, and enabling
          children to remain in child care.


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                  Early Childhood Professional Development Pilot – Maryland, through the
                  Early Childhood Mental Health Steering Committee, will participate in a Federal
                  project funded by the Office of Head Start and the Child Care Bureau with
                  Georgetown University and the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations
                  for Early Learning (CSEFEL). The purpose of the pilot is to foster professional
                  development of the early care and education workforce using the Pyramid Model
                  for Supporting Social Emotional Competence. The CSEFEL model uses
                  evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s social emotional
                  competence and preventing and addressing challenging behavior.

                  The project will kick-off on September 28, 2007. To date, the specific outcomes
                  and the evaluation methods have not been determined.

                  Outreach and Support to Informal Child Care Providers – The State plans to
                  continue to fund outreach services and technical assistance to informal child care
                  providers, who care for subsidized children, and minority and low income parents.
                  The goal of the initiative is to improve the quality of care through provider
                  training, networking, technical assistance, mentoring and linkages with
                  community resources.

                  Assessment is performed through pre and post-tests conducted at each workshop
                  to ensure knowledge gains by participants. The post-test knowledge section is
                  discussed with participants to cover any areas that may not have been well
                  understood by the participants. To date, the workshops have been very successful
                  in terms of meeting the number of sessions to be held, attendance, and knowledge
                  gains of participants. To support the knowledge gains, educational items and
                  information regarding health issues are distributed to participants.

5.2       Good Start, Grow Smart Planning and Development

          This section of the Plan relates to the President's Good Start, Grow Smart initiative which
          is envisioned as a Federal-State partnership that creates linkages between CCDF,
          including funds set-aside for quality, and State public and private efforts to promote early
          learning. In this section, each Lead Agency is asked to assess its State's progress toward
          developing voluntary guidelines on language, literacy, pre-reading, and early math
          concepts and a plan for the education and training of child care providers. The third
          component of the President’s Good Start, Grow Smart initiative, planning for
          coordination across at least four early childhood programs and funding streams, was
          addressed in Section 2.1.2.

          5.2.1   Status of Voluntary Early Learning Guidelines. Indicate which of the
                  following best describes the current status of the State's efforts to develop,
                  implement, or revise research-based early learning guidelines (content standards)
                  for three to five year-olds. NOTE: Check only one box to best describe the
                  status of your State’s three-to-five-year-old guidelines.


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                 Planning. The State is planning for the development of early learning
                 guidelines. Expected date of plan completion: __________
                 Developing. The State is in the process of developing early learning
                 guidelines. Expected date of completion: __________
                 Developed. The State has approved the early learning guidelines, but has
                 not yet developed or initiated an implementation plan. The early learning
                 guidelines are included as Attachment 5.2.1.
                 Implementing. In addition to having developed early learning guidelines,
                 the State has embarked on implementation efforts which may include
                 dissemination, training or embedding guidelines in the professional
                 development system. The guidelines are included as Attachment 5.2.1.
                 Revising. The State has previously developed early learning guidelines
                 and is now revising those guidelines. The guidelines are included as
                 Attachment 5.2.1.
                 Other (describe):

          Describe the progress made by the State in developing, implementing, or revising
          early learning guidelines since the date of submission of the 2006-2007 State
          Plan.

          The Guidelines are used by State approved trainers when offering the preparatory
          courses for child care staff. Grants require that the Guidelines be used in the
          development of training for child care personnel.

          If developed, are the guidelines aligned with K-12 content standards or other
          standards (e.g., Head Start Child Outcomes, State Performance Standards)?

                 Yes. If yes, name standards.

          The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has developed content
          standards for English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social
          studies for pre-kindergarten to grade 12. These content standards serve as the
          public school system’s framework for curriculum development and
          implementation. The Maryland Model for School Readiness outcomes and
          indicators are designed to frame the alignment of curriculum, assessment, and
          early education pedagogy for the early childhood community. Guidelines for
          Healthy Child Development and Care for Young Children and the Maryland
          Model for School Readiness Alignment – The Guidelines for Healthy Child
          Development and Care for Young Children are arranged within four broad
          categories encompassing the seven domains of learning included in the Maryland
          Model for School Readiness. The chart attached (Attachment 5.2.1.A) shows the
          categories and how they align with seven domains for the Maryland Model for
          School Readiness.




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                         No.

                  If developed, are the guidelines aligned with early childhood curricula?

                         Yes. If yes, describe.

                  The guidelines are aligned with the Maryland Model for School Readiness
                  (MMSR) a curricula framework for early childhood programming.

                         No.

                  Have guidelines been developed for children in the following age groups (check if
                  guidelines have been developed):

                         Birth to three. Guidelines are included as Attachment 5.2.1
                         Birth to five. Guidelines are included as Attachment 5.2.1 (MMSR)
                         Five years or older. Guidelines are included as Attachment 5.2.1 (VSC)
                  Efforts to develop early learning guidelines for children that may differ from
                  those addressed in Good Start, Grow Smart (i.e., children birth to three or older
                  than five) may be described here.
                  If any of your guidelines are available on the web, provide the appropriate Web
                  site address (guidelines must still be attached to Plan):
                  http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/msde/divisions/child_care/guidelines
                  and
                  http://mdk12.org/instruction/curriculum/index.html

          5.2.2   Domains of Voluntary Early Learning Guidelines. Do the guidelines for
                  children three-to-five-years-old address language, literacy, pre-reading, and early
                  math concepts?

                         Yes.

                         No.
                  Do the guidelines for children three-to-five-years-old address domains not
                  specifically included in Good Start, Grow Smart, such as social/emotional,
                  cognitive, physical, health, creative arts, or other domains?

                         Yes. If yes, describe.

                  The Guidelines also address the domains of Personal & Social Development,
                  Physical Development, Cognitive Development, Pre-Writing Skills, Science,
                  Social Studies, and Art and Dramatic Play.
                  http://mdk12.org/instruction/ensure/MMSR/index.html


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                         No.

          5.2.3   Implementation of Voluntary Early Learning Guidelines. Indicate the
                  strategies the State used or expects to use in implementing its early learning
                  guidelines.

                  Check all that apply:
                            Disseminating materials to practitioners and families
                            Developing training curricula
                           Partnering with other training entities to deliver training
                            Aligning early learning guidelines with licensing, core competencies,
                        and/or quality rating systems
                            Other. Describe:


                   Indicate the stakeholders that are (or expect   Indicate the programs that
                   to be) actively supporting the                  mandate or require the use of
                   implementation of early learning guidelines.    early learning guidelines.
                       Publicly funded (or subsidized) child           Publicly funded (or
                   care                                            subsidized) child care
                      Head Start                                      Head Start
                      Education/Public pre-k                          Education/Public pre-k
                      Early Intervention                              Early Intervention
                                                                      Child Care Resource and
                      Child Care Resource and Referral
                                                                   Referral
                      Higher Education                                Higher Education
                      Parent Associations                             Parent Associations
                      Other. Describe: Child Care Provider
                                                                      Other. Describe:
                   Associations


                  How are (or will) cultural, linguistic and individual variations (be) acknowledged
                  in implementation?

                  The guidelines are written broadly to address a wide range of abilities and
                  backgrounds. They were specifically developed to provide guidance to parents
                  and child care providers in supporting healthy development of young children.
                  Training approved for child care providers in the State is required by regulation to
                  address the cultural, linguistic and individual variations in programming and the
                  families they serve.




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                  How are (or will) the diversity of child care settings (be) acknowledged in
                  implementation?

                  Training on and the use of the guidelines must be approved prior to offering
                  training sessions. The information that is submitted to the Office for approval
                  includes an application packet. The packet must include statements of the goals,
                  objectives, content to be covered and information on how the content is culturally
                  sensitive and can apply to all children and families, including those with special
                  needs and/or limited English proficiency. In addition, the outline of the training
                  must address variations in child care settings and how the training will address the
                  specific needs of the child care community.

                  Materials developed to support implementation of the guidelines are included as
                  Attachment 5.2.3. If these are available on the web, provide the appropriate Web
                  site address:
                  http://mdk12.org/instruction/ensure/MMSR/index.html
                  and
                  http://mdk12.org/instruction/ensure/MMSR/MMSRpkFrameworkAndStand
                  ards.pdf

          5.2.4   Assessment of Voluntary Early Learning Guidelines. As applicable, describe
                  the State's plan for:
                  (a) Validating the content of the early learning guidelines

                  The content of the early learning guidelines has been aligned with the Maryland’s
                  K-12 content standards and the Maryland Model for School Readiness.

                  (b) Assessing the effectiveness and/or implementation of the guidelines

                  Maryland assesses the readiness of all children entering kindergarten each fall
                  through the Work Sampling System (WSS). Since the implementation of the
                  WSS assessments the readiness of children in the State has increased due in part
                  to the availability and implementation of the Guidelines, MMSR and other quality
                  initiatives.

                  (c) Assessing the progress of children using measures aligned with the guidelines

                  Currently Maryland does not employ a standardized assessment of children’s
                  progress to be used by child care providers and parents. Parents and providers are
                  given information on typical and non-typical child development and resources
                  available when there are concerns. In addition, training on the use of the OUNCE
                  scale is provided to child care providers. The OUNCE Scale tool is used to assess
                  children’s development and progress.




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                  (d) Aligning the guidelines with accountability initiatives

                  The guidelines are aligned with the components of the State’s Five Year Action
                  Agenda for Children Entering School Ready to Learn, the Division’s Three Year
                  Strategic Plan, the Maryland Model for School Readiness/Work Sampling
                  Assessment, and the State’s Managing for Results measures.

                  Written reports of these efforts are included as Attachment 5.2.4. If these are
                  available on the web, provide the appropriate Web site address (reports must still
                  be attached to Plan):

                  http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/BCFF0F0E-33E5-
                  48DA-8F11-
                  28CF333816C2/12398/School_Readiness_Report_2006_2007_CES.pdf
                  and
                  http://mdk12.org/instruction/ensure/MMSR/srr.pdf

          5.2.5   State Plans for Professional Development. Indicate which of the following
                  best describes the current status of the State's efforts to develop a professional
                  development plan for early childhood providers that includes all the primary
                  sectors: child care, Head Start, and public education. NOTE: Check ONLY
                  ONE box to best describe the status of your State’s professional development
                  plan.

                         Planning. Indicate whether steps are under way to develop a plan. If so,
                         describe the entities involved in the planning process, time frames for
                         completion and/or implementation, the steps anticipated, and how the plan
                         is expected to support early language, literacy, pre-reading and early math
                         concepts.
                         Developing. A plan is being drafted. The draft or planning documents
                         are included as Attachment 5.2.5.
                         Developed. A plan has been written but has not yet been implemented.
                         The plan is included as Attachment 5.2.5.
                         Implementing. A plan has been written and is now in the process of
                         being implemented, or has been implemented. The plan is included as
                         Attachment 5.2.5.
                         Revising. The State previously developed a professional development
                         plan and is now revising that plan, or has revised it since submitting the
                         06-07 State Plan. The revisions or the revised plan are included as
                         Attachment 5.2.5.
                         Other (describe):




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          Describe the progress made by the State in planning, developing, implementing,
          or revising the professional development plan since the date of submission of the
          2006-2007 State Plan.

          The State has developed a Strategic Plan for the Division of Early Childhood
          Development, Attachment 6.1.2A. The plan addresses the objectives and actions
          steps to be achieved in the next three years to improve the professional
          development of child care staff. Regulations have been drafted and are in the
          process of being implemented beginning January 2008.

          If your State has developed a plan for professional development, does the plan
          include (Check EITHER yes or no for each item):
                                                                                   Yes No
                Specific goals or desired outcomes
                 A link to Early Learning Guidelines
                 Continuum of training and education to form a career path
                 Articulation from one type of training to the next
                 Quality assurance through approval of trainers
                 Quality assurance through approval of training content
                 A system to track practitioners’ training
                 Assessment or evaluation of training effectiveness
                 State Credentials – State for which roles (e.g. infant and toddler
                 credential, directors’ credential, etc.)
                 Specialized strategies to reach family, friend and neighbor
                 caregivers

          For each Yes response, reference the page(s) in the plan and briefly describe.

          The State plan for professional development is imbedded in the Strategic Plan of
          the Division of Early Childhood Development (Attachment 6.1.2A). Pillar Two,
          Career and Professional Development, pages 11-14 and attachments 1-4, of the
          document outlines the objectives, benchmarks and action steps for accomplishing
          the task. In addition, COMAR regulations that govern child care teacher training
          have been revised and go into effect January 1, 2008.

                 Specific goals or desired outcomes – The objectives for career and
                  professional development are on Page 11 of the Strategic Plan.
                 A link to Early Learning Guidelines – All training offered to existing and
                  potential child care providers must align with the Guidelines and the
                  Maryland Model for School Readiness. This requirement is articulated in
                  the Strategic Plan on Page 2.



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             Continuum of training and education to form a career path – The
              Maryland Child Care Credential provides a continuum of training and
              education for child care providers. The requirements for child care
              positions, the Maryland Child Care Credential, the development of the
              Associate of Arts in Teaching and the Child Care Career and Professional
              Development Fund create a continuum of training and education that leads
              child care providers along a career path to higher positions in the field.
              Pages 11 - #2, 12 - #4, 13 - #7 and 8, 14 - #9 and 10.
             Articulation from one type of training to the next - The State of Maryland
              continues to work with the State’s Consortium of Two- and Four-year
              Colleges to increase the opportunities for articulation of credit between
              institutions of higher education in the State. An articulation agreement is
              in place that will allow persons completing an Associate of Arts in
              Teaching degree at the community (2-year) college to fully articulate the
              credits without further review to the 4-year institution. Policies are also in
              place to offer students portfolio review and test-out options for prior
              learning experience.
             Quality assurance through approval of trainers – The State of Maryland
              has regulations that require that all trainers be approved through the Office
              of Child Care, Credentialing Branch. The requirements for approval are
              set forth the COMAR 13A.14.08.01-.11 – Training Approval. The Plan
              addresses revising the approval process on Page 12, #5.
             Quality assurance through approval of training content – approved trainers
              must have training sessions approved prior to offering as required by
              COMAR 13A.14.08. In addition, the plan requires the development of a
              system of quality control monitors to ensure training that is being provided
              is of high quality. Page 12, #5.
             A system to track practitioners’ training – A database system – CCATS
              (Child Care Automated Tracking System) tracks the ongoing training of
              child care providers.
             Assessment or evaluation of training effectiveness – Built into the training
              approval process is a requirement for training assessment and evaluation.
              Each approved trainer must conduct an evaluation of the training offered
              to ensure that participants have learned the material to receive a certificate
              of successful completion. Each quarter the approved trainer/organization
              must submit a report to the Office outlining training conducted and the
              results of the evaluations. The requirements are outlined in COMAR
              13A.14.08.
             State Credentials – The State will implement a Director’s Credential,
              available September 2007. Page 14, #9 and Attachment 3.
             Specialized strategies to reach family, friend and neighbor caregivers –
              Strategies to reach, family, friend and neighbor caregivers are addressed in
              the Strategic Plan under Pillar Three, Public Relations and Community
              Outreach, Pages 15-18, specifically #1, 2, 3, 6, and 10.




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          For each No response, indicate any plans the Lead Agency has to incorporate
          these components.

          Are the professional development opportunities described in the plan available:
          Note: Check either yes or no for each item):
                                                                  Yes            No
              Statewide
              To Center-based Child Care Providers
              To Group Home Providers - NA
              To Family Home Providers
              To In-Home Providers
              Other (describe): NA

          Describe how the plan addresses early language, literacy, pre-reading, and early
          math concepts development.

          For each age breakdown and according to the learning domain, the user of the
          guidelines is given information on typical child development, the description of
          the expected behavior or skill and interactions and activities that the parent or
          provider may employ to assist the child’s development.

          Are program or provider-level incentives offered to encourage provider training
          and education?

                 Yes. If yes, describe, including any connections between the incentives
                 and training relating to early language, literacy, pre-reading and early
                 math concepts.

                 The Maryland Child Care Credential program and a variety of contracts
                 offer incentives in the form of bonuses, training reimbursement and
                 reduced costs for training.

                 No. If no, describe any plans to offer incentives to encourage provider
                 training and education, including any connections between the incentives
                 and training relating to early language, literacy, pre-reading and early
                 math concepts?


          As applicable, does the State assess the effectiveness of its professional
          development plan, including the achievement of any specified goals or desired
          outcomes?




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                 Yes. If yes, describe how the professional development plan’s
                 effectiveness/goal is assessed.

                 Effectiveness is measured in the number of individuals participating in the
                 Maryland Child Care Credential program, accessing the Career and
                 Professional Development Fund and regulatory compliance. Effectiveness
                 is also measured in the progress of providers through the levels of the
                 Maryland Child Care Credential program, the number of individuals
                 accessing training, and the school readiness scores of children entering
                 Kindergarten.

                 No. If no, describe any plans to include assessments of the professional
                 development plan’s effectiveness/goal achievement.


          Does the State assess the effectiveness of specific professional development
          initiatives or components?

                 Yes. If yes, describe how specific professional development initiatives or
                 components’ effectiveness is assessed.

                 The effectiveness of professional development initiative and components
                 are measured using assessments of professional development training
                 offered, the number of participating providers in quality initiatives,
                 reduced turnover of child care staff, and school readiness measures of
                 children entering kindergarten.

                 No. If no, describe any plans to include assessments of specific
                 professional development initiatives or components’ effectiveness.


          As applicable, does (or will) the State use assessment to help shape or revise its
          professional development plan?

                 Yes. If yes, describe how assessment informs the professional
                 development plan.

                 Participation and retention rates are analyzed to determine effectiveness of
                 program and incentives. The school readiness measures of children
                 entering kindergarten are used to target professional development needs
                 and modify professional development components.

                 No. If no, describe any plans to include assessment to inform the
                 professional development plan.




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                                      PART 6
                  HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR PROVIDERS

                  (Only the 50 States and the District of Columbia complete Part 6.)

 The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care (NRCHSCC) of DHHS's
 Maternal and Child Health Bureau supports a comprehensive, current, on-line listing of the
 licensing and regulatory requirements for child care in the 50 States and the District of
 Columbia. In lieu of requiring a State Lead Agency to provide information that is already
 publicly available, ACF accepts this compilation as accurately reflecting the States' licensing
 requirements. The listing, which is maintained by the University of Colorado Health Sciences
 Center School of Nursing, is available on the World Wide Web at: http://nrc.uchsc.edu/.

6.1       Health and Safety Requirements for Center-Based Providers (658E(c)(2)(F),
          §§98.41, §98.16(j))
          6.1.1   Are all center-based providers paid with CCDF funds subject to licensing under
                  State law that is indicated in the NRCHSCC's compilation?
                         Yes. Answer 6.1.2, skip 6.1.3, and go to 6.2.
                         No. If no, describe which center-based providers are exempt from
                         licensing under State law and answer 6.1.2 and 6.1.3.

          6.1.2   Have center licensing requirements as they relate to staff-child ratios, group size,
                  or staff training been modified since approval of the last State Plan?
                  (§98.41(a)(2)&(3))

                         Yes. If yes, describe the changes.

                         Changes to the amount of staff training for preparatory and on-going
                         professional development are in process as referenced in the Division’s
                         Strategic Plan (Attachment 6.1.2.A). Additional clock hours of specified
                         training will increase effective July 1, 2008. For child care directors an
                         additional course in Child Care Administration will be required. For child
                         care teachers additional pre-service training according to the age group
                         served will be necessary. All staff working in child care centers will be
                         required to complete a class in communication of both the oral and written
                         word. The number of clock hours required for continued training will
                         increase for all staff positions. Aides currently not required to complete
                         any continued training clock hours will be required to complete a
                         minimum of six clock hours per year of employment. Child care center
                         teachers now required to complete three clock hours per year will have to
                         complete twelve clock hours per year when the new requirements are in
                         effect. Directors of child care centers will have their continued training
                         clock hours increase from six per year to twelve.



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                         No.
          6.1.3   For center-based care that is NOT licensed, and therefore not reflected in
                  NRCHSCC's compilation, the following health and safety requirements apply to
                  child care services provided under the CCDF for:

               The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                immunizations)


               Building and physical premises safety


               Health and safety training
6.2       Health and Safety Requirements for Group Home Providers (658E(c)(2)(F), §§98.41,
          98.16(j))
          6.2.1   Are all group home providers paid with CCDF funds subject to licensing under
                  State law that is indicated in the NRCHSCC's compilation? If:

                         Yes. Answer 6.2.2, skip 6.2.3, and go to 6.3.
                         NA
                         No. If no, describe which group home providers are exempt from
                         licensing under State law and answer 6.2.2 and 6.2.3.

          6.2.2   Have group home licensing requirements that relate to staff-child ratios, group
                  size, or staff training been modified since the approval of the last State Plan?
                  (§98.41(a)(2) & (3))
                         Yes. If yes, describe the changes.

                         NA

                         No.
          6.2.3   For group home care that is NOT licensed, and therefore not reflected in
                  NRCHSCC's compilation, the following health and safety requirements apply to
                  child care services provided under the CCDF for:
               The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                 immunizations)


               Building and physical premises safety


               Health and safety training


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6.3       Health and Safety Requirements for Family Providers (658E(c)(2)(F), §§98.41,
          98.16(j))
          6.3.1   Are all family child care providers paid with CCDF funds subject to licensing
                  under State law that is indicated in the NRCHSCC's compilation? If:

                         Yes. Answer 6.3.2, skip 6.3.3, and go to 6.4.
                         No. If no, describe which family child care providers are exempt from
                         licensing under State law and answer 6.3.2 and 6.3.3.
          6.3.2   Have family child care provider requirements that relate to staff-child ratios,
                  group size, or staff training been modified since the approval of the last State
                  Plan? (§98.41(a)(2) & (3))
                         Yes. If yes, describe the changes.
                         Changes to the amount of staff training for preparatory and on-going
                         professional development are in process as referenced in the attached
                         Division’s Strategic Plan (Attachment 6.1.2.A). Changes to the family
                         child care training requirements are extensive. Currently, to become
                         registered (licensed) a potential provider must complete a minimum of
                         eight clock hours of training within the previous two years. Under the
                         revisions, to become effective July 1, 2008, a prospective provider must
                         complete a total of 24 clock hours of specified training in the six identified
                         core of knowledge areas (child development curriculum, special needs,
                         professionalism, community issues, and health, safety nutrition).
                         Continued training requirements after registration currently require the
                         completion of 12 clock hours every two years. Under the new
                         requirements, during the first year of registration a family provider would
                         be required to complete eighteen clock hours of specified training and
                         twelve clock hours each year thereafter.
                         No.
          6.3.3   For family care that is NOT licensed, and therefore not reflected in NRCHSCC's
                  compilation, the following health and safety requirements apply to child care
                  services provided under the CCDF for:

               The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                immunizations)


               Building and physical premises safety


               Health and safety training



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6.4       Health and Safety Requirements for In-Home Providers (658E(c)(2)(F), §§98.41,
          98.16(j))

          6.4.1   Are all in-home child care providers paid with CCDF funds subject to licensing
                  under the State law reflected in the NRCHSCC's compilation referenced above?

                         Yes. Answer 6.4.2, skip 6.4.3, and go to 6.5.

                          No. If no, describe which in-home child care providers are exempt from
                  licensing under State law and answer 6.4.2 and 6.4.3.

                  Relative Care – provided by a person related to the child in either the relative’s
                     home or in the child’s home. Relative care is exempt from licensing under
                     Maryland’s regulations.
                  In-Home Care – provided to the customer’s children in the customer’s home by a
                     non-relative. In-home care is exempt from licensing as long as all children
                     cared for live in the residence in which care is provided.
                  ―Babysitting‖ – provided in the babysitter’s home. Under State law, a person who
                     cares for unrelated children for less than 20 hours a month is exempt from
                     regulation. (If care is provided for more than 20 hours per month, the
                     caretaker must be licensed as a family child care provider.)

          6.4.2   Have in-home health and safety requirements that relate to staff-child ratios,
                  group size, or training been modified since the approval of the last State Plan?
                  (§98.41(a)(2) & (3))

                         Yes. If yes, describe the changes.


                         No.


          6.4.3   For in-home care that is NOT licensed, and therefore not reflected in NRCHSCC's
                  compilation, the following health and safety requirements apply to child care
                  services provided under the CCDF for:

                     The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                      immunizations)

                      Immunizations must be updated annually for children in placement with
                      informal providers. Local departments automatically review the date of the
                      most recent immunization information at reconsideration and determine
                      whether or not it must be updated. The parent must provide either a record of
                      the child's immunization or a letter on letterhead from the doctor's office
                      outlining the immunizations received.


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              The informal child care provider shall record and maintain the following
              information for each child in care:

                    Child’s name
                    Child’s birth date
                    Child’s home address
                    Parent’s name(s)
                    Location and telephone number where parent(s) may be reached while
                     child is in care
                    Name, address, and telephone number of at least one person who may
                     be called in an emergency when child’s parent(s) cannot be reached
                    Name, address, and telephone number of child’s doctor, hospital, or
                     clinic.
                    The provider must call the child’s parent(s), or other person(s)
                     authorized by the parent(s) if the child becomes ill. Some signs of
                     illness are vomiting, fever, seizures, severe pain, and diarrhea.
                    The child care provider shall:
                     o Use sanitary methods when disposing of all trash, garbage, and wet
                         or soiled diapers.
                     o Wash her/his hands and the child’s hands (or make sure the child
                         washes her/his own hands) thoroughly with soap and warm
                         running water. Wash hands after toileting, diapering, before food
                         preparation and eating, after playing outdoors, after handling
                         animals, and at other times when necessary to prevent the spread of
                         illness.
                     o Immediately change a child’s diaper, clothing, and bedding when
                         soiled or wet.
                     o Follow diapering procedures to prevent the spread of disease
                     o Keep diapering area clean and sanitary.

             Building and physical premises safety

              The provider should ensure that the home meets all of the following safety
              conditions:
                     o The home meets all applicable state and local fire and health codes.
                     o The home is free of health and safety hazards. At a minimum, this
                          means that the home should:
                     o Be soundly constructed and in good repair;
                     o Be free of infestation by insects or rodents;
                     o Be well-lit and well-ventilated;
                     o Have hot and cold running water;
                     o Have an inside toilet that is in good working condition
                     o Have utility services for cooking, lighting, and heating
                     o Have an operable and safe heating system



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                             o Have an operable refrigerator and stove
                             o The home contains an operable telephone, an operable smoke
                               detector, and a first-aid kit.
                             o All items that might be harmful to children are properly stored and
                               kept inaccessible to children. Such items include, but are not
                               limited to:
                                    Sharp or pointed tools, utensils, and implements
                                    Medications of any kind
                                    Matches and lighters
                                    Alcoholic beverages
                                    Guns
                                    Flammable products
                                    Cleaning agents
                                    Poisonous substances

                    Health and safety training

                     For informal providers, training/educational materials are provided through the
                     Informal Child Care Provider Health and Safety Standards packet Attachment
                     6.4.3.A. Informal providers must sign and return to the local department of
                     social services an affirmation of compliance with the standards. The packet
                     contains the standards and the expectations for compliance in the following
                     areas:
                         -Personal Standards
                         -Admission to Care
                         -Illness
                         -General Cleanliness
                         -Building and Premises Safety

                     The packet contains information on child abuse, child neglect and
                     maltreatment. Parents are required to sign a statement that have read the
                     standards and understand that the person they have chosen must remain in
                     compliance with those standards.

6.5       Exemptions to Health and Safety Requirements

          At Lead Agency option, the following relatives: grandparents, great grandparents, aunts,
          uncles, or siblings (who live in a separate residence from the child in care) may be
          exempted from health and safety requirements. (658P(4)(B), §98.41(a)(1)(ii)(A))
          Indicate the Lead Agency's policy regarding these relative providers:

                 All relative providers are subject to the same requirements as described in
                 sections 6.1 - 6.4 above, as appropriate; there are no exemptions for relatives or
                 different requirements for them.
                 All relative providers are exempt from all health and safety requirements.



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                 Some or all relative providers are subject to different health and safety
                 requirements from those described in sections 6.1 - 6.4. The following describes
                 those requirements and identifies the relatives they apply to:

6.6       Enforcement of Health and Safety Requirements

          Each Lead Agency is required to certify that procedures are in effect to ensure that child
          care providers of services for which assistance is provided comply with all applicable
          health and safety requirements. (658E(c)(2)(E), §§98.40(a)(2), 98.41(d)) The following
          is a description of how health and safety requirements are effectively enforced:

          In Maryland, family day care home and child care center licensing regulations are
          enforced under the authority of the following Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR)
          child care licensing chapters: Family Day Care (COMAR 13A.14.01); Child Care Center
          Licensing (COMAR 13A.14.02); and Letters of Compliance (COMAR 13A.14.05).
          Once a program is registered as a family day care home, licensed child care center, or
          letter of compliance facility, these COMAR chapters authorize the MSDE’s Office of
          Child Care (OCC) to take enforcement actions against the license, as appropriate.

          The MSDE’s OCC/Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has statewide oversight
          responsibility for the enforcement of child care regulations. Through consultation with
          licensing staff and the OCC regional licensing office’s direct contact with providers who
          are out of compliance with regulations, every effort is made to help those providers
          achieve and maintain compliance. For providers who place children at risk because they
          can not or will not comply with child care regulations, enforcement action may be
          necessary.

          The decision to move forward with an enforcement action is based on the
          recommendation of the regional licensing office manager and in conjunction with the
          OAG and the Branch Manager of the Licensing Branch. The Office of the Attorney
          General is available to determine legal sufficiency. This evaluation includes a
          determination of whether the enforcement action is supportable under regulations, based
          on competent evidence, and consistent with previous enforcement actions taken by the
          OCC.

          The OCC also participates in the investigation of cases of suspected child abuse and
          neglect in child care facilities. Multi-disciplinary team agreements with the police, Child
          Protective Services, and the State’s Attorney’s Offices in local jurisdictions facilitate the
          coordination of these investigations. The OCC convenes the team and participates in
          planning and conducting a joint investigation. With input from the team, the OCC makes
          a decision about the action to be taken in relation to the child care facility.

          It should be noted that in cases of child abuse, neglect, or other situations that pose
          serious and/or immediate threats to the health, safety, or welfare of children in care, an
          action to revoke or suspend the license might be the first enforcement step taken.




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             Are child care providers subject to routine unannounced visits (i.e., not
              specifically for the purpose of complaint investigation or issuance/renewal of a
              license)?

                     Yes. If yes, indicate which providers are subject to routine unannounced
                     visits and the frequency of those visits:

                     As of October 1, 1999, Maryland law requires that every family day care
                     home undergo at least one unannounced inspection by the OCC during
                     any year that the home is not due to be inspected for license/registration
                     renewal purposes. Since family day care licenses are due for renewal
                     every two years, this means each home receives at least one unannounced
                     licensing inspection every two years.

                     Effective January 1, 2005, Maryland’s child care licensing laws were
                     amended to require each family day care home and each child care center
                     to have a routine unannounced inspection every year.

                     No.

             Are child care providers subject to background checks?

                     Yes. If yes, indicate which types of providers are subject to background
                     checks and when such checks are conducted:

                     Family Day Care Regulations (COMAR 13A.14.01) require State and FBI
                     criminal background checks for the family day care provider, each paid
                     provider substitute, and each resident of the home who is 18 years old or
                     older. The regulations also require that the provider, each adult resident of
                     the home, and each individual (whether paid or not) who has child
                     supervision responsibilities undergo a child and adult abuse and neglect
                     clearance through the local department of social services.

                     Child care center licensing regulations (COMAR 13A.14.02) and letters of
                     compliance regulations (COMAR 13A.14.05) require State and FBI
                     criminal background checks for the facility operator (if an individual), the
                     director, each paid employee of the facility who will care for, supervise, or
                     have access to children in the facility, and individuals fourteen years of
                     age or older living on the same premises as the child care center.. The
                     regulations also require that the facility operator (if an individual), the
                     director, each individual eighteen years of age or older, if any, who resides
                     on the premises of the facility, and each facility trustee, manager, or board
                     member who may have frequent contact with children undergo a child and
                     adult abuse and neglect clearance through the local department of social
                     services.



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                     No.

             Does the State require that child care providers report serious injuries that occur
              while a child is in care? ( Serious injuries are defined as injuries requiring medical
              treatment by a doctor, nurse, dentist, or other medical professional.)

                     Yes. If yes, describe the State’s reporting requirements and how such
                     injuries are tracked (if applicable):

                     Under Maryland child care licensing regulations governing child care
                     centers and family day care homes, an operator or provider must notify the
                     Office of Child Care (OCC) within 24 hours of:
                     a. The death of a child if the child died while at a center or home;
                     b. The death of child enrolled at a center or home if the child died of a
                        contagious disease, regardless of where the death actually occurred;
                        and
                     c. An injury to a child while the child is at the center or home or
                        participating in an off-site activity if the injury requires treatment by a
                        medical professional or admission to a hospital.

                     Effective July 1, 2002, OCC established a procedure that requires each
                     report made under (a)-(c) above to be documented on a special
                     ―Reportable Child Incident‖ form created by the Office of Child Care.
                     This form elicits the following information:
                              Date and time of the report;
                              Identifying information for the center or home, the child
                                involved, and the child’s parent or guardian;
                              The name of the person reporting and the person’s relationship
                                to the center or home;
                              Date and time of the incident;
                              Identifying information for any witness(es) to the incident;
                              The nature of the incident (i.e., death, injury, contagious
                                disease, etc.);
                              The location of the incident (i.e., playground, classroom, back
                                yard, etc.);
                              The cause of the injury (i.e., fall, hit, cut, bite, burn, etc.);
                              The OCC staff member receiving the report; and
                              The date and time that the OCC regional licensing manager or
                                supervisor was informed of the report.

                     Each month, each regional licensing manager sends to the OCC central
                     licensing office a ―Reportable Incident Summary Sheet,‖ which is in Excel
                     worksheet format, which lists each incident reported to the regional office
                     during that month. For each incident, the report includes the name of the
                     center or home, the age and gender of the child involved, and coding



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                        letters that refer to the nature, location, and cause of the reportable
                        incident. This report is folded into an Excel workbook that aggregates all
                        summary data both by licensing region and statewide and expresses the
                        data as numerical totals and percentages. A separate workbook is
                        maintained for each State fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).

                        No.

                Other methods used to ensure that health and safety requirements are effectively
                 enforced:

                 All child care health and safety requirements are clearly specified in State
                 licensing regulations. These requirements are listed on child care licensing
                 inspection forms, which are used for all inspections of licensed child care
                 facilities. During an inspection, assessment of compliance with these
                 requirements is made through direct observation and by review of applicable
                 documentation maintained on file at the facility.

6.7       Exemptions from Immunization Requirements

          The State assures that children receiving services under the CCDF are age-appropriately
          immunized, and that the health and safety provisions regarding immunizations
          incorporate (by reference or otherwise) the latest recommendations for childhood
          immunizations of the State public health agency. (§98.41(a)(1))
          The State exempts the following children from immunization (check all that apply):

                 Children who are cared for by relatives (defined as grandparents, great
                 grandparents, siblings (if living in a separate residence), aunts and uncles).
                 Children who receive care in their own homes.
                 Children whose parents object to immunization on religious grounds.
                 Children whose medical condition contraindicates immunization.




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                                   PART 7
              HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS IN THE TERRITORIES

                                (Only the Territories complete Part 7)

7.1       Health and Safety Requirements for Center-Based Providers in the Territories
          (658E(c)(2)(F), §98.41(a), §98.16(j))

          For all center-based care, the following health and safety requirements apply to child care
          services provided under the CCDF for:

                The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                 immunizations)


                Building and physical premises safety


                Health and safety training

7.2       Health and Safety Requirements for Group Home Providers in the Territories
          (658E(c)(2)(F), §98.41(a), §98.16(j))

          For all group home care, the following health and safety requirements apply to child care
          services provided under the CCDF for:

                The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                 immunizations)


                Building and physical premises safety


                Health and safety training

7.3       Health and Safety Requirements for Family Providers in the Territories
          (658E(c)(2)(F), §98.41(a), §98.16(j))

          For all family child care, the following health and safety requirements apply to child care
          services provided under the CCDF for:

                The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                 immunizations)




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                Building and physical premises safety


                Health and safety training


7.4       Health and Safety Requirements for In-Home Providers in the Territories
          (658E(c)(2)(F), §98.41(a), §98.16(j))

          For all in-home care, the following health and safety requirements apply to child care
          services provided under the CCDF for:

                The prevention and control of infectious disease (including age-appropriate
                 immunizations)


                Building and physical premises safety


                Health and safety training


7.5       Exemptions to Territorial Health and Safety Requirements

          At Lead Agency option, the following relatives may be exempted from health and safety
          requirements: grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, or siblings (who live in a
          separate residence from the child in care). (658P(4)(B), §98.41(a)(1)(ii)(A)). Indicate the
          Lead Agency's policy regarding these relative providers:

                 All relative providers are subject to the same requirements as described in
                 sections 7.1 - 7.4 above, as appropriate; there are no exemptions for relatives or
                 different requirements for them.
                 All relative providers are exempt from all health and safety requirements.
                 Some or all relative providers are subject to different health and safety
                 requirements from those described in sections 7.1 - 7.4 and the following
                 describes those different requirements and the relatives they apply to:

7.6       Enforcement of Territorial Health and Safety Requirements

          Each Lead Agency is required to certify that procedures are in effect to ensure that child
          care providers of services for which assistance is provided comply with all applicable
          health and safety requirements. (658E(c)(2)(E), §§98.40(a)(2), 98.41(d)) The following
          is a description of how Territorial health and safety requirements are effectively enforced:
          Are child care providers subject to routine unannounced visits (i.e., not specifically for
          the purpose of complaint investigation or issuance/renewal of a license)?



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                 Yes. If yes, indicate which providers are subject to routine unannounced visits
                 and the frequency of those visits:


                 No.

          Are child care providers subject to background checks?

                 Yes. If yes, indicate which types of providers are subject to background checks
                 and when such checks are conducted:


                 No.

          Does the Territory require that child care providers report serious injuries that occur
          while a child is in care? ( Serious injuries are defined as injuries requiring medical
          treatment by a doctor, nurse, dentist, or other medical professional.)

                 Yes. If yes, describe the Territory’s reporting requirements and how such
                 injuries are tracked (if applicable):


                 No.

          Other methods used to ensure that health and safety requirements are effectively
          enforced:


7.7       Exemptions from Territorial Immunization Requirements

          The Territory assures that children receiving services under the CCDF are age-
          appropriately immunized, and that the health and safety provisions regarding
          immunizations incorporate (by reference or otherwise) the latest recommendations for
          childhood immunizations of the Territorial public health agency. (§98.41(a)(1))

          The Territory exempts the following children from immunization (check all that apply):

                 Children who are cared for by relatives (defined as grandparents, great
                 grandparents, siblings (if living in a separate residence), aunts and uncles).
                 Children who receive care in their own homes.
                 Children whose parents object to immunization on religious grounds.
                 Children whose medical condition contraindicates immunization.




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                                   APPENDIX 1
                      PROGRAM ASSURANCES AND CERTIFICATIONS

The Lead Agency, named in Part 1 of this Plan, assures that:

(1)       upon approval, it will have in effect a program that complies with the provisions of the
          Plan printed herein, and is administered in accordance with the Child Care and
          Development Block Grant Act of 1990 as amended, Section 418 of the Social Security
          Act, and all other applicable Federal laws and regulations. (658D(b), 658E(a))

(2)       the parent(s) of each eligible child within the State who receives or is offered child care
          services for which financial assistance is provided is given the option either to enroll such
          child with a child care provider that has a grant or contract for the provision of the
          service; or to receive a child care certificate. (658E(c)(2)(A)(i))

(3)       in cases in which the parent(s) elects to enroll the child with a provider that has a grant or
          contract with the Lead Agency, the child will be enrolled with the eligible provider
          selected by the parent to the maximum extent practicable. (658E(c)(2)(A)(ii))

(4)       the child care certificate offered to parents shall be of a value commensurate with the
          subsidy value of child care services provided under a grant or contract.
          (658E(c)(2)(A)(iii))

(5)       with respect to State and local regulatory requirements, health and safety requirements,
          payment rates, and registration requirements, State or local rules, procedures or other
          requirements promulgated for the purpose of the Child Care and Development Fund will
          not significantly restrict parental choice among categories of care or types of providers.
          (658E(c)(2)(A), §98.15(p), §98.30(g), §98.40(b)(2), §98.41(b), §98.43(c), §98.45(d))

(6)       that children receiving services under the CCDF are age-appropriately immunized, and
          that the health and safety provisions regarding immunizations incorporate (by reference
          or otherwise) the latest recommendation for childhood immunizations of the State public
          health agency. (§98.41(a)(1))

(7)       that CCDF Discretionary funds are used to supplement, not supplant, State general
          revenue funds for child care assistance for low-income families. (P.L. 109-149)

The Lead Agency also certifies that:

(1)       it has procedures in place to ensure that providers of child care services for which
          assistance is provided under the Child Care and Development Fund afford parents
          unlimited access to their children and to the providers caring for their children during the
          normal hours of operations and whenever such children are in the care of such providers.
          (658E(c)(2)(B))

(2)       it maintains a record of substantiated parental complaints and makes information
          regarding such complaints available to the public on request. (658E(c)(2)(C))

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(3)       it will collect and disseminate to parents of eligible children and the general public,
          consumer education information that will promote informed child care choices.
          (658E(c)(2)(D))

(4)       it has in effect licensing requirements applicable to child care services provided in the
          State. (658E(c)(2)(E))

(5)       there are in effect within the State (or other area served by the Lead Agency), under State
          or local law, requirements designed to protect the health and safety of children; these
          requirements are applicable to child care providers that provide services for which
          assistance is made available under the Child Care and Development Fund.
          (658E(c)(2)(E))

(6)       procedures are in effect to ensure that child care providers of services for which
          assistance is provided under the Child Care and Development Fund comply with all
          applicable State or local health and safety requirements. (658E(c)(2)(G))

(7)       payment rates under the Child Care and Development Fund for the provision of child care
          services are sufficient to ensure equal access for eligible children to comparable child
          care services in the State or sub-State area that are provided to children whose parents are
          not eligible to receive assistance under this program or under any other Federal or State
          child care assistance programs. (658E(c)(4)(A))




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                                   APPENDIX 2
                     ELIGIBILITY AND PRIORITY TERMINOLOGY

For purposes of determining eligibility and priority for CCDF-funded child care services, lead
agencies must define the following italicized terms. (658P, 658E(c)(3)(B))

   attending (a job training or educational program; include minimum hours if applicable) -
    means a parent legal guardian, or a person in loco parentis is not available to care for a child
    and no other acceptable child care can be arranged because the parent, legal guardian, or
    person in loco parentis is in a job training program or enrolled in an educational program.
   in loco parentis - means a person who is at least eighteen years old, who is not a child parent
    or legal guardian, with whom the child resides and who has assumed control of the child.
   job training and educational program - means any type of State-approved instructional
    program that can include a public school program, undergraduate college, vocational
    program, publicly funded training program, work activity, community service activity, or
    volunteer activity designed to lead to employment of the participant.
   physical or mental incapacity (if the Lead Agency provides such services to children age 13
    and older) - means a child’s biological, emotional, or psychological condition which a
    physician or a licensed or certified psychologist has determined, prevents the child from
    caring for himself or herself for reasons other than the child’s age.
   protective services - N/A
   residing with - means to dwell in the same household as. To be eligible for child care
    services, a child must reside with the parent, legal guardian, or person in loco parentis for at
    least six months of the year, or during the time period for which child care services are
    requested.
   special needs child - means a person under the age of 19, who has been diagnosed as being
    physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself, as verified by the State,
    based upon a determination by a physician or a licensed or certified psychologist. This
    definition applies for the purposes of payment and for the purposes of prioritizing services.
   very low income - means family income that does not exceed 50% of the 2001 FFY Maryland
    State Median Income for the applicant’s family size.
   working (include minimum hours if applicable) - means to be employed; to be performing a
    service or producing a product for which compensation is received.

Additional terminology related to conditions of eligibility or priority established by the Lead
Agency:
   School – means an academic or vocational curriculum carried out in an elementary school,
       junior high school, middle school, program for special students, or General Educational
       Diploma tutoring program carried out in accordance with the State Department of
       Education requirements.

    Pursuit of child support – means taking appropriate steps to secure the establishment and
       enforcement of support obligations on behalf of the child for whom child care services
       are sought.




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    Extended eligibility for Head Start - means the family of a child attending a Head Start
       program can remain eligible for a child care subsidy until the end of the Head Start
       program year, even if the family no longer qualifies for a subsidy.

    Proof of immunization – means the family of children receiving subsidized child care
       are required to supply documentation of age-appropriate immunizations, except in case of
       medical contraindication or religious objection.

    Unit - means the length of time per day a child is in child care and includes the following:
       (a) "One unit" means 3 hours or less per day;
       (b) "Two units" means more than 3 hours per day, but less than 6 hours per day; or
       (c) "Three units" means 6 hours or more per day.




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