On Wednesday, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon ordered all child-care providers to be closed by the end of the day, Friday, March 27th, except those serving essential personnel.

Salmon’s orders are backed by the state, which is allowed to close private facilities because the State Department of Education handles child-care licensing.

The statement reads:

“Beginning at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, 2020, all child care programs are to be closed.

During this State of Emergency, child care programs have been established by the State to serve only designated essential personnel.

These programs are at no cost to designated essential personnel. Eligible programs may be found on the MSDE website at earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org or by using the LOCATE: Child Care resource, a telephone service that is available by phone Monday – Friday at 877-261-0060 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Please see the list of designated essential personnel identified in the Governor’s March 25, 2020 Executive Order.

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.

Parents/guardians are strongly urged to keep children at home as the first and best option to protect them from the virus; it should be noted in the Governor’s March 13, 2020 Executive Order, 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, they may reopen beginning March 30, 2020, 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.

Parents and caregivers of essential personnel may call one of the following numbers for additional information:

410-767-0335

410-767-7823

410-870-2544

410-767-7798

410-767-7805

Child care providers with questions can contact their Regional Licensing Specialist.”

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