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Help Shape the Future of Universal PreK in Maryland
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stakeholders are concerned that Universal PreK will spell the end of Family Child Care. In some states that may be true, but not in Maryland. We are one of only a handful of states in the nation that have FCC providers participating in a publicly funded PreK program. That’s because MSDE is committed to including family child care in its expanding offering of high-quality PreK programs for qualifying children. Over the next nine years, the State will expand the qualification guidelines and most families in Maryland will qualify for free or reduced cost PreK education for their children. As a result, the Alliance pilot is laying the groundwork to ensure FCC remains a crucial component of Maryland's birth-to-five care infrastructure. 

The expansion of PreK represents a life changing opportunity for family child care providers in Maryland. By 2031, providers participating in the state’s PreK program with eight eligible children could earn over $150,000 a year, regardless of where you live in the state. Large family child care homes could earn even more.

The Alliance is now planning for its third year of a pilot project, newly named the ASPIRE program, to determine how to best help FCC providers join the PreK program. We have been approved by MSDE to support almost seventy providers during the 2022-23 school year!

The Alliance project has three key goals:

  1. To build a network that supports family child care business owners eligible to participate in Maryland's publicly funded PreK Expansion program.

  2. To help family child care providers complete a bachelor’s degree in early childhood so the providers can achieve Maryland's P-3 certification.

  3. To help all program participants deliver a high-quality PreK program through the pilot years and beyond.  

 

Benefits for Participating Family Child Care Business Owners

Each year of the pilot, service offerings can vary, as can eligibility requirements. In upcoming year, all pilot participants receive individualize coaching, a Teaching Strategies PreK curriculum, business processes support and a host of other benefits, depending on their level within the program.

Providers at Levels Three and Four (below) receive compensation for each eligible child in their program. Providers at Levels One and Two do not get compensated for children in their program but are given supports to help accelerate degree attainment.

 

 

 

 

Current Eligibility Requirements:

Important note:  Per child compensation is only available to providers at Levels Three and Four.

  1. ​Participation in Maryland’s EXCELS program level 3 and above is required for all participants.

  2. For providers entering the ASPIRE program at levels 3 and 4: have at least two PreK eligible children enrolled in your program by September 1, 2022.  Eligibility is set at children from families with family incomes of 300% or less above the federal poverty line, children with an IEP, or children from homes where English is not the primary language spoken at home.

  3. For providers entering the ASPIRE program at levels 1 and 2: have at least two PreK aged children in enrolled in your program by September 1, 2022. There are NO other eligibility requirements for the families of these children.

 

​Program Levels

Level Four

​By September 1st, 2022, providers must have:​

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and P-3 certification, or

  • A Bachelor's Degree in a related field and P-3 certification.

​FCC business owners without P-3 certification but employ a teacher that holds a P-3 certification also qualify.

 

​Level Three

​By September 1st, 2022, providers must have:​

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or related field, plus current enrollment in a P-3 Alternative Certification or other Program, or

  • Any other Bachelor's Degree, plus current enrollment in a P-3 Alternative Certification or other Program with at least five years of experience as a family child care provider.​​

FCC business owners without P-3 certification but employ a Level Three teacher that is working towards P-3 certification also qualify.

 

​Level Two​

By September 1st, 2022, providers must have:​

  • An Associate’s Degree in ECE, plus current enrollment in a program leading to a Bachelor's degree in ECE (paid for by DEC), and a desire to achieve P-3 certification after bachelor's degree completion. ​​

  • Or, a minimum of sixty hours of college credits and current enrollment in a program leading to a Bachelor's degree in ECE (paid through DEC), and a desire to achieve P-3 certification after Bachelor's degree completion with at least five years of experience as a family child care provider.​​

 

Level One​

By September 1st, 2022, providers must have:​

Current enrollment in a degree program, but with less than 60 credits completed, (paid for by DEC), plus a desire to achieve P-3 certification after degree completion.​ If a provider has less than 30 hours of college credits, then a current CDA will be required. 

 

Application Information

The Alliance is now taking applications from providers interested in learning more about the PreK program. Please complete this form and we will contact you within 5 business days to tell your more about the program

​This project is made possible through the generous support of the Maryland State Department of Education and the Bainum Family Foundation. 

“This program has made me a better teacher.” 

ASPIRE Participant

The application window for the 2022-23 program is now open! Click here to start the application process!

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