- How do I know if I need to be certified?
Any individual who is responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of a residential child care program must be certified by the State Board.
- How do I know if my program is considered a residential child care program?
A residential child care program is an entity that provides for children 24-hours per day care within a structured set of services and activities that are designed to achieve specific objectives relative to the needs of children serviced and that include the provision of food, clothing, shelter, education, social services, health, mental health, recreation, or any combination of these services and activities.
- Are residential child care programs required to have certified program administrators?
Yes. Maryland Code Annotated, Health Occupations Article, Title 20, requires that an individual receive certification from the State Board before the individual may be a child care program administrator in the State.
- What is the certification process and what do I need to do to become certified?
Certification is a three-step process that includes:
- Submitting a complete application with all required documentation;
- Submitting to a State and national criminal history record check; and,
- If approved, passing the State Standards Examination.
Specifically, an individual who wishes to become certified should submit the following to the State Board:
- A completed application with fee enclosed;
- Three professional references from individuals who can attest to your work experience and competence as a child care administrator. (Note: At least 1 reference must be provided by a former or current supervisor.)
- Evidence of supervisory or administrative experience in a human service field;
- Original, official transcripts to validate either a master’s or bachelor’s degree;
- Release to Process Application;
- State Licensure or Certification Affidavit, if applicable;
- State and national criminal history record check executed at a CJIS operated live scan fingerprint site or one of the CJIS approved private providers;
- Affidavit for Applicants Seeking Certification; and,
- Pass a State Standards Examination administered by the State Board.
All documentation must be original, on the forms currently in use by the State Board and submitted as a complete application packet. Incorrect and incomplete applications will delay the review and approval process. If you submit an incomplete application, you will be charged a $5 reprocessing fee. The State Board will not consider an application until it has received all required documentation.
- How do I submit professional references to the State Board?
Individuals who wish to become certified by the State Board are required to submit 3 professional references from individuals who can attest to your work experience and competence as a child care professional. At least 1 reference must be provided by a present or former supervisor. For individuals who are in a senior leadership role of an organization and do not have a supervisor, a reference from a member of the residential child care program’s Board of Directors will be sufficient to meet this requirement. Professional reference forms are available on State Board’s web site under the “Certification” tab. References must be submitted on this form. All references must be submitted to the State Board in a sealed envelope signed by the writer on the back of the envelope, over the envelope flap. References may be verified by the State Board.
- What type of human service and supervisory or administrative experience is required for certification?
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university must have at least 4 years experience in a human service field with at least 3 years experience in a supervisory or administrative capacity.
Individuals with a master’s degree from an accredited college or university must have at least 2 years experience in a human service field with at least 1 year experience in a supervisory or administrative capacity.
Human service experience is defined in COMAR 10.57.01 B(15) as having experience as a human service professional as defined in COMAR 10.31.06.03B; serving children detained, committed, or under the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Services; or, serving children in a residential child care program under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Resources or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Supervisory or administrative capacity is defined in COMAR 10.57.01 B(31) as having the responsibility for implementing the operation of a program(s) and supervising at least 1 member of staff as described in COMAR 10.57.02.02 B. This includes the responsibility for hiring, assigning duties, disciplining and rewarding, approving leave requests, and formally evaluating.
Experience must be obtained within the last 10 years and substantiated by a professional reference. Experience in the following settings does not count towards the supervisory or administrative experience requirements: (1) child-placing agency; (2) child-placing institution; (3) foster parent; or, (4) caregiver in a foster home.
- How long does it take to become certified?
The length of time it takes to become certified depends upon the completeness of an application submitted to the State Board. If a complete application package is submitted to the State Board, the certification process should take no longer than 4 to 6 weeks. Incorrect and incomplete applications will delay the review and approval process. If you submit an incomplete application, you will be charged a $5 reprocessing fee. The State Board will not consider an application until it has received all required documentation. If an applicant fails to provide the required documentation within 120 days of the application, the State Board may either administratively close the application or deny the application, pursuant to COMAR 10.57.02.04 E.
- How do I obtain my criminal history record check?
All individuals seeking certification from the State Board must submit to a State and national criminal history record check (Health Occupations Article, §20-302C and COMAR 10.57.02) executed at a CJIS operated live scan fingerprint site or one of the CJIS approved private providers authorized pursuant to COMAR 12.15.05 to collect and submit live fingerprints. Criminal history record information obtained is sent directly to the State Board and to you. No information regarding your criminal history is made available to the private provider who initiated your criminal history record check. The State Board’s authorization number through CJIS- Central Registry is 0800001123.
While a receipt from CJIS or the private provider is sufficient documentation that you have initiated your criminal history record check, your application will not be processed until the results of your criminal history record check are received by the State Board. Positive results will require detailed explanations and court sealed records forwarded to the State Board.
- Can I get a waiver for the educational or experience requirements for certification?
No. The State Board does not have the statutory authority to grant waivers for educational or experience requirements.
- What are the requirements for foreign-educated individuals seeking certification?
Educational credentials from foreign countries must be evaluated by a State Board approved education review service. The State board has approved the following education review services:
- International Consultants of Delaware, Inc. at 212-222-8454, extension 510 (email@example.com)
- World Education Services, Inc. at 202-331-2925 (www.wes.org)
- When and where are the Standards Examinations given?
Candidates must receive an invitation from the State Board to take the Standards Examination. The State Board publishes quarterly examination dates on its web site. Candidates are to schedule their examination at least 3 days prior to the examination that they choose. Special accommodates may be made for alternate examination dates to be administered at a mutually agreed upon date. Any individual who has received an invitation from the State Board to take the Standards Examination may either register for scheduled examination date or contact the State Board to make special arrangements for a mutually agreed upon date. The Standards Examination is administered at the State Board’s office located at 4201 Patterson Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland.
- How do I prepare for the Standards Examination?
There is no study guide for the Standards Examination outside of the COMAR 14.31.05 and 14.31.06. Individuals are encouraged to familiarize themselves thoroughly with these regulations. These regulations may be obtained several different ways:
- Regulations are available at all public libraries;
- Regulations may be downloaded from the Division of State Documents web site (www.dsd.state.md.us); or
- Regulations may be downloaded from the State Board’s web site.
Please note that if you choose to download the regulations from the Division of State Documents web site, you will need to download each subsection of the regulation.
- What is the passing score on the Standards Examination?
Candidates must receive a passing score of 75% on the Standards Examination. There are 100-multiple choice questions on the Standards Examination. The Standards Examination is based upon COMAR 14.31.05 and 14.31.06.
- What happens if I fail the Standards Examination?
An applicant who fails the Standards Examination may retake the examination 3 times within the 12-month period after the failed examination and may not retake the examination within 6-months of failing the examination for the third time. An applicant may request a waiver of the 6-month waiting period after failure of the third examination upon proof of exceptional circumstances. Requests for a waiver must be made in writing to the State Board. There is a $125 fee charged each time a candidate takes the examination. Please note that a candidate must pass the examination within 3 years of the first time the applicant takes the Examination.
- Can I review my Standards Examination?
No. The Standards Examination is a standardized test administered to individuals seeking certification as residential child care program administrators. Therefore, in accordance with Maryland Code Annotated, State Government Article, §10-618(c), the State board is permitted to deny access to testing data for licensing, employment, or academic examinations.
- Once I receive my certification is it subject to renewal?
Yes. All certifications are subject to renewal. Certificates are renewed every 2-years. See Frequently Asked Questions regarding Renewal.
- How many certified Residential Child Care Program Administrators should a residential child care program have on staff?
Any individual who is responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of a residential child care program should be certified. Residential child care programs are given the authority, based upon the program’s operations, to determine who and how many of their staff should be certified. A residential child care program’s licensing authority may determine, based upon a review of the job descriptions and responsibilities of staff within the program, that additional or different staff of the program may need to be certified.
- What happens if my application is administratively closed?
If an applicant fails to provide the required documentation within 120 days of the application, the State Board may either administratively close the application or deny the application, pursuant to COMAR 10.57.02.04 E. Once an application is administratively closed, an applicant may reapply and submit a new application to the State Board.
- How can I get more information?
More detailed information regarding certification is available in the Application for CRCCPA Instructions. You may also contact the State Board’s offices at: 410-764-5996.