Bowie, MD is served by a total of 130 licensed child care facilities, including 88 family child care homes and 42 daycare centers. It is the third largest city in Maryland by area, and the fifth most populous city of the state with 58,800 residents. What began as a small rail-road stop, grew to the largest municipality in Prince George County. The average cost of infant care in Bowie is $220 per week in home daycares and $280 per week in child care centers. To find out the average cost of child care based on age and type of care in your zip code, click here to use our daycare cost calculator
Families have different criteria when choosing the right child care facility. Some families are deeply rooted in a specific cultural, religious value system while others may want their child to speak their mother tongue or a foreign language. There are 6 religious daycares in Bowie, which cater to families who give importance to having a strong foundation in faith and religion during early childhood. Thirteen language immersion or bilingual child care programs strengthen children's knowledge in a foreign language and culture through developmentally appropriate activities and programs. There are also 56 daycare facilities catering to children with special needs, which may include access to a wheelchair or without physical barriers, staff with specialized training in sign language, caregivers trained to help children with disabilities or challenges, etc. Also, there are 9 peanut-free child care facilities which offer a safe and healthy environment for children with allergies to peanuts.
Bowie also has NAEYC-accredited programs which offer the highest standard in research-based early childhood education. Directors, teachers, staff, families and the community practice a collaborative effort in achieving well-planned early education program and continuously improve the curriculum, teaching methods and relationships. Accredited child care programs are generally more expensive, but families are often willing to pay the higher price in support of providing a solid academic foundation and positive long term success of their children.
Bowie is a great place to raise a family. It has a low crime rate, well-respected schools and offers many recreational facilities for a wide variety of interests and lifestyles. The city maintains more than 1,100 acres of parks and preserved open space with over 22 miles of paths and trails, 75 ball fields and recreation centers. The largest employer is Inovalon, a technology corporation. The majority of the population is upper middle class and works in Public Service, Healthcare, Professional, Scientific, and Technical industry, and the median household income is at $106,000.
Most of the state-licensed child care facilities are in private residences (homes), which are generally less expensive, more convenient and operate during flexible hours. There are 88 home-based daycares in Bowie, and 42 center-based child care programs. Some parents avoid home-based facilities for fear that they are not as safe or well-managed, but that is not the case in Maryland where regulations and requirements are stringent. Formal child care is required by law to be registered. There are two types of providers in a home setting: Family Child Care Homes provide care for up to 8 children and Large Family Child Care Homes care for up to 12 children. Child Care Centers are approved to care for a specific number of children depending on the size of the facility.
All licensed providers in Maryland undergo mandatory face-to-face orientation training conducted in the Office of Child Care's Regional Licensing Office. These facilities are guaranteed to have met the minimum legal requirements including a safe, clean and appropriate child care environment, staff qualifications and training, as wells as physical and medical screening by certified medical practitioners. OCC also conducts state and federal criminal background checks of caregivers and all individuals 14 years old and older with regular access to the child care facility. Records of abuse and neglect are also examined to ensure that registered sex offenders are not allowed to work in the facility. OCC monitors the implementation of standards and follows up on complaints through inspections in all licensed facilities.
The Child Care Subsidy Central (CCS Central) manage the Child Care Scholarship (CCS) program in providing financial assistance to eligible working families. The office verifies all application requirements including proof of identity, income, training or education program, and child support payment. CCS Central issues subsidy vouchers which are used to pay tuition fees in 22 early education program that accept government subsidies in Bowie.