Are you look­ing for free online child­care train­ing with cer­tifi­cates in Mary­land? Look no fur­ther Mary­lan­ders! In today’s blog we will dis­cuss how you can get free child­care train­ing using a the child­care train­ing reim­burse­ment pro­gram devel­oped by the Mary­land State Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion (MSDE).

How to get $400 in free childcare training reimbursements in Maryland

The Mary­land State Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion Office of Child­care (MSDE OCC for short) offers train­ing reim­burse­ments to child­care providers. All providers in Mary­land with a lev­el two child­care cre­den­tial or high­er can get $400 in free train­ing annu­al­ly. That’s right, $400 in free train­ing each year!

Train­ing reim­burse­ments can be used for approved Core of Knowl­edge train­ing, pre-ser­vice train­ing, and approved con­fer­ence and col­lege train­ing. You can even use the reim­burse­ments to get the train­ing you need to renew or apply for your CDA credential. 

MSDE OCC approves all Care Cours­es that grant 2 or more clock hours for Core of Knowl­edge train­ing require­ments. Child­care pro­fes­sion­als can have these cours­es ful­ly reim­bursed through the Mary­land train­ing reim­burse­ments pro­gram up to $400 per year. 

In addi­tion, Care Cours­es offers a free 1‑clock-hour train­ing that you can take with­out need­ing to apply for the reim­burse­ment. MSDE approves this free cours­es for elec­tive train­ing hours in Maryland.

“My cours­es are com­plet­ed and I enjoyed them. I’ve been in the Mary­land Cre­den­tial­ing Pro­gram for a long time and I’ve been tak­ing cours­es to con­tin­ue my edu­ca­tion for about 28 years. Thank you for adding new cours­es to your pro­gram. It’s so much eas­i­er to work at my own pace at home, it’s con­ve­nient and affordable.”

- Kathy in Arnold, Maryland

How to Submit Maryland Training Reimbursements

To sub­mit an MSDE train­ing reim­burse­ment application:

  • Go to the Mary­land OneStop web­site and click apply online.
  • Cre­ate an account and fill out the required information.
  • Upload the required doc­u­ments and submit.

Doc­u­ments and infor­ma­tion you will need:

  • You will need your CCATS/Party ID# (locat­ed on your cre­den­tial certificate)
  • Your Care Cours­es (or oth­er approved train­ing) cer­tifi­cate of com­ple­tion. Care Cours­es cer­tifi­cates are locat­ed in the My Cours­es area of your Care Cours­es account.
  • The receipt for the course(s) pur­chased. Your Care Cours­es receipts are locat­ed in the My Orders area of your Care Course account.

Appli­ca­tions are free, take 10–30 min­utes to com­plete, and are approved with­in 1–30 days. 

Vio­la! Train­ing require­ments com­plet­ed and ful­ly reimbursed.

“I love Care Cours­es! The process—from order­ing a course [Chal­leng­ing Behav­ior: Pos­i­tive Guid­ance in Child Care] to print­ing my com­plet­ed certificate—was seam­less, easy and effi­cient. Thank you, Care Courses.”

Cathy in Glen Burnie, Maryland 

So easy to study from a coursebook!

How to get a level two Maryland childcare credential

In order to be eli­gi­ble for train­ing reim­burse­ments through the state, you will need a lev­el two child­care staff cre­den­tial. Lets dis­cuss the pur­pose and gen­er­al require­ments for the staff credential. 

Mary­land child­care cre­den­tial pro­gram aims to pro­duce a high­ly skilled work­force, improve the qual­i­ty of child care pro­grams, and enhance the sta­tus and com­pen­sa­tion of child care providers. All reg­is­tered fam­i­ly child­care providers and child­care cen­ter staff in licensed facil­i­ties are eli­gi­ble for the program. 

When apply­ing to the cre­den­tial pro­gram, par­tic­i­pants agree to work direct­ly with chil­dren on a dai­ly basis in a child care set­ting for at least one year. Par­tic­i­pants must also com­plete required con­tin­ued edu­ca­tion train­ing hours and pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment activ­i­ties. MSDE issues the cre­den­tial for 12 months, and cre­den­tials must be renewed annu­al­ly. Those seek­ing the Cre­den­tial can take train­ing from an approved train­ing orga­ni­za­tion, like Care Cours­es, or from approved train­ers or accred­it­ed col­leges or universities. 

Sub­sti­tutes or vol­un­teers at a reg­is­tered fam­i­ly child care home or licensed child care cen­ter are inel­i­gi­ble for the program. 

All appli­cants should read the pro­gram book­let to learn about the pro­gram and require­ments before applying.

Level 1 Staff Credential:

To reach lev­el one, child­care providers must be licensed and in good com­pli­ance with licens­ing requirements. 

Level 2 Staff Credential:

To reach lev­el two, appli­cants must:

  • Com­plete 45 clock hours of Core of Knowl­edge approved train­ing with a min­i­mum of 20 hours com­plet­ed in the Child Devel­op­ment Core of Knowl­edge area. (Check out our cours­es cat­e­go­rized by core knowl­edge area on our website.)
  • Com­plete 1 Pro­fes­sion­al Activ­i­ty Unit (PAU). PAU* activ­i­ties vary and must be approved. How­ev­er, you can eas­i­ly get 1 PAU by par­tic­i­pat­ing in a child care event at a cen­ter where par­ents are invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate. You can also get 1 PAU by becom­ing a mem­ber of a local, state, or nation­al child care pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tion such as NAEYC. 
  • Com­plete 12 clock hours of train­ing annu­al­ly. (Providers can use the reim­burse­ment pro­gram to pay for these 12 hours of training.) 

To apply for or increase your cre­den­tial lev­el, you must com­plete the cre­den­tial appli­ca­tion found on the MSDE OCC web­site. Make sure to fol­low the steps out­lined by OCC. First time appli­cants will need to write a short reflec­tive essay and all appli­cants should read the Child Care Cre­den­tial Pro­gram Book­let pri­or to sub­mit­ting the appli­ca­tion. All appli­cants should review the help­ful resources, tips, and guides list­ed on the OCC web­site before com­plet­ing the application. 

Approval and additional information 

Once approved, you will be grant­ed a one-time bonus of $200 (received in the form of a check) and be eli­gi­ble for $400 in free child­care train­ing reim­burse­ments each year!

Each lev­el beyond lev­el two comes with addi­tion­al cash incen­tives and ben­e­fits. Review the charts on pages 14–16 of the pro­gram book­let to learn about the ben­e­fits of high­er cre­den­tial levels. 

While not cov­ered in this blog, the Mary­land child care admin­is­tra­tors cre­den­tial offers admin­is­tra­tors many ben­e­fits as well. 

Now that you know how to get free train­ing in Mary­land, check out our Mary­land train­ing blog. This blog dis­cuss­es the many ways you can use Care Cours­es for your pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment in Maryland. 

“Every­thing is going per­fect. I am doing the cours­es [Days with Tod­dlers: Cur­ricu­lum Plan­ning for Ages 12–36 Months] dur­ing spare time and the infor­ma­tion, exam­ples and quiz are all on tar­get, keep me inter­est­ed and allow me to review some knowl­edge from my career.
Thank you!!”

Cecil­ia in Bethes­da, Maryland

*PAUs or Pro­fes­sion­al Activ­i­ty Units are a mea­sure­ment of pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ties that engage par­tic­i­pants in the broad­er aspects of ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion. PAUs help oth­ers under­stand the pro­fes­sion, pro­mote ear­ly child­hood, and fur­ther the par­tic­i­pants own knowl­edge. Approved train­ing does not count toward PAUs. The MD child­care cre­den­tial pro­gram book­let pro­vides a help­ful list of PAU examples.

Care Cours­es’ Core of Knowl­edge train­ing orga­ni­za­tion num­ber is CKO-150280. Our con­tin­ued train­ing orga­ni­za­tion num­ber is CTO-2281. Our pre-ser­vice orga­ni­za­tion num­ber is PSO-19. 

Care Courses Contact

Please let us know how we can be of addi­tion­al assis­tance! Call us: 1–800–685‑7610, Mon­day through Fri­day, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and week­ends: We’re here to help!

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