Catonsville is a small town located near Baltimore, MD. The city is home to 39 licensed child care facilities serving the population of over 42,000 residents with almost 20% below 18 years of age. The neighboring city of Baltimore
(which is home to 506 home-based daycares and 282 child care centers) and Ellicott City (home to 62 family child care programs and 42 daycare centers or preschools) also provide additional options for licensed daycares in the area. On average, the annual full-time cost of infant care is $10,400 per year in in-home child care programs and $14,560 per year in daycare centers, while the annual price for full-time preschool or 4-year-old children's care is $8,840 in home-based programs and $9,880 in centers. To find out the average cost of daycare based on age and type of care in your zip code, click here to use our daycare cost calculator
The Maryland Department of Education requires that formal child care programs have a license to operate under Maryland law. This helps ensure that families in Catonsville have access to safe and nurturing learning environments for their children. Child care centers care for a specific age group or a mixed-age group of young children and are required to observe certain staff-to-child ratio established by the OCC. Daycare centers and preschools are larger facilities and offer a school-like environment. In a home daycare, a smaller number of 8 to 12 children is cared for, including the provider's own children under 6 years old. Therefore, family child care homes offer a cozier, more home-like environment.
Generally, home-based daycares cost less than center-based programs. The OCC extends financial assistance to low-income families through the Child Care Subsidy Central (CCS Central) program. CCS Central assesses applications based on family size, needs, and income. To be eligible, parents must be residents of Maryland and within the income guidelines specified by the CCS (or beneficiaries of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) or Supplementary Security Income (SSI)). Parents must be working or in a recognized school or training program. In the case of parents who are not living in the same household, they must be continuously providing child support.
Health and safety is one of the most important concerns of parents when leaving their children in the hands of other people. The OCC ensures that professional caregivers and other members of the household passed criminal backgrounds check. The facility is also required to comply with state and local fire, health, and zoning requirements. In all activities, both in and out of the child care facility, children must be assisted by staff who is certified in first aid and CPR. A child care director must also maintain professional development courses of at least 12 clock hours every year. In Catonsville, families are protected by law to file a complaint when a licensed child care facility is violating any of the regulations. The complaint (verbal or in writing) should be addressed to the OCC licensing office which will then investigate.