Rockville is the county seat and largest municipality in Montgomery County, Maryland. Home to various software and biotech companies, it's located in the heart of the I-270 Technology Corridor. Most of the workforce is in a white-collar job, which leads to a high median household income of $100,436/year. Therefore, the cost of child care in Rockville is high, with the average price for full-time infant care being $20,800 per year in a child care center
($1,735/month). For a 4-year-old preschooler, the cost is $13,520 annually ($1,125/month). Daycare prices are 10% to 30% lower in home-based daycares and preschools
, with an average annual tuition of $14,040 for babies ($1,170/month), and $12,220 for a 4-year-old child (almost $1,020/month). Families will have many options to choose from in both types of child care facilities. There are indeed 104 family child care programs and 81 licensed daycare centers (for a total of 185 state-licensed child care and preschool programs in Rockville). Tuition rates vary by zip code and age of the child, so to estimate the tuition for your specific situation, click here to use our daycare cost calculator
Working parents often experience trepidation when leaving their children in someone else's care. However, the Maryland State Department of Education's Office of Child Care (MSDE OCC) regulates all formal child care facilities. Programs must meet minimum legal requirements and provide a safe and nurturing environment, as well as a quality early childhood education program. Requirements to run a licensed child care business include the staff attending mandatory training and undergoing regular background checks. Teachers and caregivers must have well-planned meals and activities, comply with State and local fire regulations, health and zoning requirements, and have a proper emergency plan. Compliance with the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) is monitored, and daycares are inspected at least once a year.
The choice between the type of care is personal and based on a wide variety of factors. As mentioned above, the cost of care is lower for families choosing an in-home daycare and preschool: $270 per week on average for infants and $235 per week for a 4-year-old child. On the other hand, infant care costs $400 per week in a child care center and $260 per week for a 4-year-old child. Besides the lower tuition, family child care programs are usually more flexible than center-based programs since the owner runs the daycare out of their home. Such flexibility may be a compelling advantage for many working families who have a long commute to work. Another characteristic of a home daycare is the fact that providers care for a smaller number of children than in centers, so kids get more individualized attention. Finally, home-based daycares and preschools often have mixed-age groups with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers spending most of their day together. This may (or may not) be appealing to parents, depending on what they want for their child's socialization.
Besides the type of facility, parents consider may criteria to select the best daycare for their child. Language can be one such criterium. In Rockville, Chinese and Spanish are the most widely spoken foreign languages (spoken by 43% of the 68,000 residents). Families who want their child to learn and grow in a multilingual environment will likely consider one of the 10 language immersion or bilingual daycares in Rockville. For families who want their child to be exposed to a religious environment, there are 12 faith-based child care programs. Parents of a child with special needs will be most interested in one of the 71 inclusive child care facilities
where the staff is trained to care for children of all abilities.
Maryland also supports low-income families through the Child Care Scholarship Program. Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Central manages applications from income-eligible families. CCS Central reviews the supporting documents, including the proof of employment, training or education, Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify, the child must be a qualified alien or citizen of the United States. Parents can enroll their children in any of the 46 licensed child care facilities accepting subsidy vouchers.