Howard County Child Care Resource Center

The Resource Center is open 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Monday - Friday with a few exceptions.

The Resource Center follows the Howard County Government holiday observance schedule.

The Resource Center will also be closed the second Monday of every month.  

The Resource Room has a NEW LOCATION! 9830 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046

All SATURDAY AUGUST workshops will be held at 3300 N. Ridge Rd, Suite 240, Ellicott City, MD 21043  

410-313-1940 (Voice/Relay)

As a member of the Maryland Statewide Child Care Resource Network, the Howard County Child Care Resource Center assists parents, child care professionals and the community in the following ways:

  • Assists parents in locating licensed child care
  • Provides technical assistance (information and expert advice) and resources for current and prospective child care providers in family child care homes and child care centers
  • Collects data that documents the child care needs of families and employers as well as the child care delivery system.
  • Provides training for child care professionals and parents to expand their knowledge of early childhood and best child care practices


Child Care Training

Don't have an account yet? You can still view the upcoming workshops by clicking the Register for In-Person Training button. Create your new account for easy online registration at your convenience day or night!

View or print the current Nest and Training Calendar (May 2018 - August 2018)

MSDE Child Care Training Approval Number: CKO-30733; PSO-3569, CTO-7406, expires 06/30/2018

E-Learning Child Care Training

Register for E-Learning (Online) Training 

Looking for child care training online? Courses are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Our e-learning training courses are designed to help early childhood professionals complete annual training requirements and acquire required training hours for those seeking a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, CDA credential renewal or in-service training. Our courses provide a variety of engaging topics designed specifically for the early childhood professional.

On-Site Training

Directors, are you planning a professional development day for your center staff?

We can provide child care training for your staff at your Howard County location. Most workshops that are offered in the training calendar are available for your onsite training if you have at least ten staff members. It's convenient and as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Submit an On-Site Request Form to the Training Coordinator, at
  2. The Training Coordinator will contact you to discuss details and will send an On-Site Confirmation for your approval.
  3. After receiving your On-Site Confirmation, submit  an On-Site Training Enrollment Form to the An instructor will arrive at your site with the materials needed to train your pre-registered staff on the scheduled date!

Health and Safety Training

Where is the training available? 

FREE online, visit and complete the training online. The free online Basic Health and Safety Training, hosted by MSDE, runs in cohorts. There is only one course per month and registration is required.

Want to attend the in-person 3-hour Basic Health and Safety Training? 


Wed., Sept. 5 or Tue., Oct 9, 6:30-9:30 pm

Cost: $28 phone/mail or $25.20 online

Register online for the in-person Basic Health and Safety Training

 (All upcoming Basic and Safety Training workshops will display)

When is the required training required to be taken? 

The regulation goes into effect on July 1, 2018. All providers should have a valid certificate of completion for Basic Health and Safety Training by that date to be compliant with federal and state requirements.

young child wrapped in plastic wearing helmet to be kept safe

three young children preparing vegetables for healthy eating

The Nest Newsletter

The Nest and Training Calendar

The Nest newsletter and training calendar, published three times per year, is a publication of the Howard County Office of Children and Families for early care and education professionals! Learn about new training regulations, resources that are available to assist you in your professional development, upcoming workshops and conferences, and events.

View or print the upcoming Training Calendar September - December 2018 NEW!

View or print The Nest Newsletter and Training Calendar May - August 2018

View or print past issues of The Nest Newsletter and Training Calendar

Subscribe to our E-Blast and receive training, MSDE regulation and office updates!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Become a Family Child Care Provider in Howard County?

Are you looking for the workshops which meet the training requirements to open a licensed family child care? Did you complete the required MSDE Office of Child Care Orientation? If not, view the online licensing orientation or call The Office of Child Care, 410-750-8771 to schedule an in-person orientation.

Applicants for a Family Child Care License must satisfy a series of training requirements determined by MSDE Office of Child Care. If you have questions about getting your license,  required training classes, setting up your business, or another aspect of family child care, contact Joan Johnson, by calling 410-313-1432 or emailing

How Does My Program Pursue MSDE Accreditation?

Pursuing state accreditation helps early childhood programs improve their quality of service. Accredited programs provide research-based, high quality early childhood education that benefits children, parents, and local school systems. Whether you are working to become accredited, or you are just beginning to consider the possibilities; the Howard County Office of Children and Families (OCF) can help you through the process. Join us at these workshops to learn more about how and why to become accredited.

  1. MSDE Orientation: Overview of Accreditation (This workshop is required for programs pursuing MSDE Accreditation- Overview of the early childhood accreditation and validation process. Become acquainted with standards, focus areas, supporting documents, self-appraisal, and rating process. Learn about the validation process and discuss selecting a self-appraisal team. (2 PRO) Register online for MSDE Orientation: Overview of Accreditation.
  2. Organizing the Self-Appraisal Process - Discuss forming a self-appraisal team and learn to help your team become familiar with the Standards documents. Learn the self-appraisal process for each age group and understand your own role in self-appraisal. Create a timeline for self-appraisal and validation, review the Classroom Learning Materials Checklist, and complete your application paperwork. (Bring your Program Accreditation documents). (2 PRO)
  3. Program Improvement Plan and Implementation - Analyze the results of your self-appraisal to help identify your program's strengths and weaknesses. Learn to develop your program improvement plan, implement strategies, and assess the improvements with your established timeline. Explore each focus area of the Program Standards. Bring your copies of the Standards. Discuss program administration, operation and partnerships with families and the community. Identify and consider the best practices of your program. Help your staff understand the "why" of the standards, and discuss programming examples that reflect quality early childhood programs. (2 PRO)
  4. Organizing Your Documentation - Review all required documents and discuss how to organize your paperwork. Make sure your documents are clearly written and meet Standard requirements. Understand why it's important to present clear and concise information about your program. (2 PRO)

Instructor Joan Johnson is an experienced validator for MSDE and will help you through the process. If you are actively pursuing accreditation; your program is also eligible for FREE technical assistance, mentoring and a program improvement visit. For more information on the series, please call Joan at 410-313-1432.

These classes are open only to preschool and center directors and owners; other teachers may enroll only with permission of the instructor. All classes meet in the OCF training room (3300 N. Ridge Rd., Suite 360, Ellicott City, MD). The first class in the series is FREE; classes 2-4 are $28 each. You are welcome to register for just one class or for the complete series.

Payment Options: Register online, call 410-313-1940, or mail registration form to: Howard County OCF, 3300 N. Ridge Rd., Suite 380, Ellicott City, MD 21043

What Classes are Required to Care for More Than Two Infants and Toddlers? 45-Hour Infant Toddler

45-Hour Infant & Toddler Certificate: Methods & Materials

This course introduces the major concepts, theories, principles, and research related to the development and care of children birth to age 3. Participants will learn how to create a safe and healthy environment while developing appropriate interaction and communication skills that will assist with learning and development. For family providers, the regulations state those approved to care for more than two infants and toddlers must complete 45 hours of approved training related exclusively to the care of children younger than 2 years old. This class satisfies the regulation. 

The 45-Hour Infant and Toddler Certificate workshop series is scheduled September 14 - November 9, 2017, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. To successfully complete the course, participants must attend the mandatory first and last sessions on 9/14/17 and 11/09/2017 and complete a minimum of 13 out of the 15 sessions. Sessions are held on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays:

September 14, 19, 26, 28

October 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26

November 2, 7, 9

Cost: $225

Register Online for The In-Person 45-Hour Infant and Toddler: Methods and Materials

Can't attend the in-person 45-Hour Infant and Toddler series? Register for The 45-Hour Infant and Toddler: Methods and Materials online training. 

For questions related to the care of infants and toddlers, contact Joan Johnson, Technical Assistance Specialist by e-mailing or calling 410-313-1432. For other questions, please call (410) 313-1940.

Can You Bring Your Workshop to Our Center and Train Our Staff?

Yes, we can provide child care training for your staff at your Howard County location. Most of the workshops which are offered in the training calendar are available for your onsite training if you have at least ten staff members. It's convenient and as easy as 1-2-3!


  1. Submit an On-Site Request Form to the Training Coordinator, at no less than three weeks prior to your training date.
  2. The Training Coordinator will contact you to discuss details and will send an On-Site Confirmation for your approval.
  3. After receiving your On-Site Confirmation, submit  an On-Site Training Enrollment Form to the Training Coordinator by emailing An instructor will arrive at your site with the materials needed to train your pre-registered staff on the scheduled date!

What is The Resource Center Inclement Weather Policy?

Howard County Office of Children and Families follows the Howard Community College inclement weather policy for workshop cancellations. To receive immediate notification of workshop cancellations, sign up for HCC Mobile Alerts by visiting Updates are also available by calling 410-313-1940 and are also found by visiting

If a workshop is cancelled due to weather, instructor illness, etc., participants will be notified by 4:00 pm. If possible, the workshop will be rescheduled and an attempt to notify all participants by phone and/or email will be made. When the weather is in question, visit, or call 410-313-1940 to learn the status of the workshop.

What Are The Resource Center Workshop Registration Policies?

Registration is on a first-come, first served basis. Payment is required at the time of registration. Receipts are emailed to the address provided during registration. The registration receipt is your confirmation, please mark your calendar. Access your online account at any time to verify your upcoming workshop schedule!

Pre-registration  is required for all workshops. Your registration and payment must be received by 4:00 pm on the day of the workshop for all weekday workshops (by Friday for weekend workshops). Same day registrations will accepted until 4:00 pm if space permits. Walk-ins will not be permitted to stay.

Late Arrival to a Workshop: Workshops begin at the time stated in the calendar and your receipt. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to sign-in. If you arrive after the workshop begins, you will be asked to leave; you will not be eligible for a certificate, credit, or refund.

Change or Cancellation of a Workshop: Registration fees are non-refundable, if you do not show up for a scheduled class, you forfeit your registration fee.  If you need to cancel, you must call 410-313-1442 at least 24-hour in advance to transfer to another class or receive a credit for future use. Credit card refunds will not be given unless the Office of Children and Families (OCF) cancels the workshop. OCF reserves the right to change the location or instructor of a workshop. If a workshop is cancelled due to weather, instructor illness, etc., participants will be notified by 4:00 pm. If possible, the workshop will be rescheduled and an attempt to notify all participants by phone and/or email will be made. 

Workshops are designed for adults only; please make appropriate child care arrangements in advance.

If you need accommodations to attend a training workshop, please call (410) 313-1940 at least one week prior to the workshop.

What Are The Resource Center Training Workshop Guidelines?

  • Turned off or put in the silent or vibrate only mode
  • No texting, games, application use, etc. during the workshop
  • Please step out of the room to accept any phone calls
  • Show respect to all participants
    • Be mindful of comments or language which may offend others
    • Let others finish their comments without interruption or criticism  
  • Show respect to the trainer
    • Please refrain from holding side conversations
    • If you disagree with the trainer, please share your thoughts with respect
  • Please enter and exit the room quietly so as to not disturb others
  • Ask as many questions as you need, but please keep questions focused on the topic  
  • Share experiences responsibly
    • Be mindful of confidential information
    • Please keep sharing directly related to the topic
  • Enjoy your food responsibly
    • Dispose of all trash and recycling appropriately 
    • Clean up the area of any spills 
  • Leave the room in the condition you found it 
  • Please discard of trash and recycling in the appropriate bins 
  • Do not place containers with liquid in any trash or recycling bins; please empty liquid in bathroom sinks 

When Will I Receive My Training Workshop Certificate?

Trainers will administer assessments in written or verbal form at each workshop.

All certificates will be mailed to participants after the assessment scores have been validated, usually within 10 business days.  Those completing the Medication Administration course will generally receive the certificate at the end of the workshop after successful completion of the assessments and demonstration.  Those completing the CPR and/or First Aid Certification will receive the certification card after successful completion of the assessments and demonstrations.

How Can I Receive A Replacement Training Certificate?

Replacement training certificates must be requested either in writing or by phone call.  Please call the Registrar at (410) 313-1442 or send an email to  There is a $5.00 fee per replacement certificate issued for workshops that were held within a year of the request. For replacement certificates for workshops held beyond a year of the request, the fee is a $10.00. This can be paid by cash, check, or credit card.  Certificates will not be mailed until payment has been received.