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Maryland free child care assistance programs or daycare programs

Low income parents in Maryland that are working, in school or attending job training can get financial assistance with paying their child and day care costs. While a number of conditions are in place, low cost or free daycare vouchers can be provided to working poor and lower income residents. The assistance is offered by a Social Service office, and the application phone numbers are below. The assistance available in Maryland comes in the form of a subsidy or voucher for those parents that need help.

Those who apply need to be working, actively participating in job training, or in school. Parents who enroll need to select licensed and/or approved child care providers as well. In addition, Maryland has income limits in place and only those applications that meet all qualifications may receive help, with a number of other conditions around the free daycare vouchers. Much of the funding comes from the federal government. There is also fairly high demand for this assistance, so a waiting list will often be created.

Financial assistance for low income parents to pay for child care costs

The Child Care Subsidy will only help parents that enroll their children into approved child care centers, registered homes, or maybe even an informal site. Maryland may classify this as day care that is provided by a relative in the child's home. There are some conditions if people want to or need to use a non-relative and that coverage is limited.

Maryland will only provide a partial payment, which is known as a subsidy in the state. In rare cases, free daycare can be arranged though. Those qualified families will receive a voucher for each child in their home that has been approved for care. A sliding fee scale is used to set that amount. It will factor in the applicant's household income and family size. This and more is used in an effort to determine the amount of the voucher provided to the parent(s).

Whatever the state does not pay, the parents will need to pay the difference between their voucher and the total cost. So if the state pays $100 and the provider charges $150, the family will need to pay the difference of $50. The total amount of the voucher provided will also vary based on the age of the child as well as the amount of care that is needed. Parents who enroll will need to find a provider and purchase care directly from them.




The payment that is made to the day or child care provider includes three parts, including the parent's co-payment, the state's voucher, and then the difference between the two, which is any additional payment necessary to cover the full cost of needed care. In other words, the CCS vouchers and co-payments from the parents still may not always add up to the full amount charged by the provider.

As indicated, eligibility for the state of Maryland Child Care Subsidy is determined by the applicants income, status and family size. Your local DSS office can go over this with you as well as free daycare voucher resources. When applying, you also need proof of your income, expenses, and other information. Some or all of the following needs to be provided, so be prepared.

Bring a copy of the birth certificate and social security numbers for each child for whom you are requesting a voucher. This also needs to be provided for each family member, child and adult in the household. Maryland requires proof of income, so bring copies of pay stubs for the past four weeks. Also bring other income information, such as SSI and Social Security information.

Applying to and phone number for low cost or free daycare in Maryland

As indicated, those who apply and are seeking financial help or free day or child care vouchers need to be working, in school, or job training. They also need to be in these activities a minimum number of hours per week. So proof of this will be required as well, such as an official school schedule showing the dates, days and hours of your school or training.

To learn more or apply for help paying for day or child care, call or stop by your local department of Social Services office. Or call customer service at 1-800-332-6347 or 410-767-0100.


By Jon McNamara

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