Help Shape the Future of Universal PreK in Maryland
 
Universal PreK is coming to Maryland. In fact, several counties in the state already have universal PreK for four-year-old children. By 2031, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) anticipates that most four-year-old children in the state will qualify for free or reduced cost PreK.* Many three-year-old children will also qualify.

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 ten 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 in its second year of a pilot project to determine how to best help FCC providers join the PreK program. Nearly 200 FCC providers applied for a limited number of spaces in this year’s pilot. We hope to double the number of available spaces for participants in year three, which starts in July 2022.

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 the pilot year 2021-2022, 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 notes: Eligibility requirements may change for the 2022-2023 pilot year. 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. Have at least two eligible children enrolled in your program by XXX. Eligibility is set at children from families with family incomes of 300% or less above the federal poverty line, or children with an IEP.

  3. Degree status. The state PreK program requires all providers to have either a degree and P-3 certification or have a degree and be in the process of obtaining certification.

  4. Providers without degrees but are committed to getting a degree can participate in the program at Levels One and Two.

 

​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 leading to a Bachelor’s in ECE, 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 collecting names of providers interested in learning more about the PreK program. Webinars will begin after January 1, 2022, to provide interested providers with the most recent information about the program. Please complete the form below and we will contact you when more information is available.

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

Yes! Please keep me informed about year three of the PreK project. 
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Thanks for submitting your name. We look forward to sharing exciting news with you soon!

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