The DECD Collaboration and Program Improvement Branch, through the administration of Federal and State grant funds, is responsible for the development and implementation of efforts to improve the accessibility, availability and quality of child care programs and services to meet the needs of Maryland's families and children. The Federal Child Care and Development Fund was established by Congress to increase the availability and quality of child care for all families and to make child care more accessible to low income working families. While the major portion of the Child Care and Development Fund is used to give families access to child care through the Child Care Subsidy program (formerly called the "Purchase of Care," or "POC" program), approximately $8.5 million is used develop initiatives that allow states broad latitude to meet specific local needs for improving the quality and increasing the availability of care. Through the State's competitive bid process, grants and contracts are awarded to organizations that provide valuable services to Maryland families.To contact an Early Head Start or Head Start program, click here.To download the Maryland Head Start State Collaboration Office Needs Assessment Report and Strategic Plan for 2012-2013, click here.To see a current list of the contracts and grants administered through the Collaboration and Program Improvement Branch, please go to Child Care Development Fund Plan 2007-2009 - click here.
For information about DECD's Child Care Quality Improvement Grant program, click here.