.02 Definitions.

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) “Accredited” means meets standards of high quality set by the Department’s Early Childhood Accreditation Program Standards or by an accrediting organization recognized by the Department.

(2) "Bridge to Excellence Master Plan" means the comprehensive master plan required by Education Article, §5-401, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(3) “Department” means the Maryland State Department of Education.

(4) “CDA” means the Child Development Associate Credential.

(5) "Economically disadvantaged background" means a family whose income would make a child eligible for free or reduced price meals based on eligibility requirements established by the United States Department of Agriculture if the child were in kindergarten.

(6) “Eligibility” means meeting the criteria for enrollment into prekindergarten as stated in Regulation .03A of this chapter.

(7) "Head Start" means a federally sponsored preschool program for children 3 years old to 5 years old from low income families that is licensed by Child Care Administration or administered by local boards of education.

(8) “Homeless student” means a child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular, or adequate nighttime place of residence as defined in COMAR 13A.05.09.02.

(9) “Maryland Common Core State Curriculum” means measurable statements of what students should know and be able to do within a content area as defined and approved for prekindergarten by the Department in collaboration with local school systems.

(10) Prekindergarten” means a publicly funded program for all eligible 4-year-olds focusing on social/emotional, physical, and cognitive development as described in the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum.

(11) "Qualified vendor" means a State or nationally accredited child care program or an approved nonpublic school that:

(a) Is partnering with a local school system through a memorandum of agreement; and

(b) Meets the requirements of Regulation .05 of this chapter.

(12) “School readiness” means the stage of early development that enables an individual child to engage in and benefit from early learning experiences. As a result of family nurturing and interactions with others, a young child in this stage has reached certain levels of social and emotional development, cognition and general knowledge, language development, and physical well-being and motor development. School readiness acknowledges individual approaches toward learning as well as the unique experiences and backgrounds of each child.