WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - All child care programs in Maryland, except those designated to serve essential personnel, have been ordered to be closed by the end of the day Friday, the superintendent of schools announced on Thursday.
The designated programs are at no cost to essential personnel, according to a statement made by Maryland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen B. Salmon.
In the statement, Salmon says, in part, "the children of essential personnel attending the state-funded child care programs will be kept at an appropriate distance from each other with ratios of one teacher to nine children and smaller class sizes for younger children."
Click here to find eligible programs or use the LOCATE: Child Care resource, a telephone service that is available by phone Monday - Friday at 877-261-0060 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
While the superintendent says parents and/or guardians are strongly urged to keep children at home in an effort to protect them from the spread of the coronavirus, in Governor Larry Hogan's executive order to close all non-essential businesses, licensing regulations were relaxed to allow for "Family, Friend and Neighbor" care for five or fewer students.
If closed licensed child care programs are willing to provide child care to children of essential personnel, according to the statement, they may reopen beginning March 30, with the following requirements:
- Programs must apply with their Regional Licensing Specialists to be approved before they begin serving eligible families.
- These programs may only reopen after a thorough cleaning has been conducted.
- They must only serve the children of essential personnel.