.01 License — General Requirements.

A. Requirement to be Licensed. A person, organization, agency, corporation, or other entity which operates a child care center, as defined in this chapter, is required to be licensed or to hold a letter of compliance in accordance with this subtitle or with COMAR 13A.17, as applicable.

B. Nursery School or Child Care Center Operated by a Tax-Exempt Religious Organization.

(1) Except as provided by §B(2) or (3), as applicable, of this regulation, a tax-exempt religious organization that wishes to operate a nursery school or a child care center shall apply to become licensed, and shall meet all applicable requirements, under this subtitle.

(2) If the tax-exempt religious organization plans to operate a nursery school or a child care center in a school building that exclusively serves children who are enrolled in that school, the organization may apply for a:

(a) Child care center license under this subtitle; or

(b) Letter of compliance under COMAR 13A.17.

(3) In a nursery school or child care center located in a school building exclusively for children enrolled in that school and operated by a tax-exempt religious organization, the following regulations of this subtitle do not apply:

(a) COMAR 13A.16.03.05C(1) and (2) concerning staff records;

(b) COMAR 13A.16.06.05—.12 concerning professional qualifications and training requirements for child care staff and the director, principal, or administrator of the program; and

(c) COMAR 13A.16.09.01, .03B(1) and (2), and .03C concerning the program.

C. Approved Montessori School.

(1) Except as set forth at C(2) of this regulation, an approved Montessori school shall meet all applicable requirements of this subtitle regarding:

(a) Child health and safety;

(b) The provision of child care; and

(c) An educational program in a nonpublic nursery school.

(2) The following regulations under this subtitle do not apply to an approved Montessori school:

(a) COMAR 13A.16.02.03C(4) concerning an annual fire inspection, if the school has documentation verifying compliance with fire safety regulations applicable to a nonpublic nursery school pursuant to COMAR 13A.09.09.11A;

(b) COMAR 13A.16.06.05B(4) concerning the preservice training requirement for directors;

(c) COMAR 13A.16.06.09A(3) concerning qualification requirements for a child care teacher in a preschool center;

(d) COMAR 13A.16.06.09C(1) concerning the core of knowledge completion requirement for continued training;

(e) COMAR 13A.16.06.10B(1)(a) concerning the requirement for preservice training; and

(f) COMAR 13A.16.09.01A(4) concerning the requirements for a balanced schedule of daily activities.

D. A license is nontransferable and remains the property of the office.

E. The operator shall post the license at a location in the center where it can easily be seen and read whenever parents or others visit the center.

F. The operator shall surrender the license to the office immediately if any of the following occurs or becomes effective:

(1) The operator closes the center permanently;

(2) The license is revoked;

(3) The license is suspended; or

(4) The license expires, and the:

(a) Application for a continuing license is denied; or

(b) Operator has not applied for a continuing license.

G. A center approved by the office before July 1, 2008, for the concurrent operation of more than one type of child care program may continue to be used to operate those programs, except that, while concurrent approvals are in effect, the office may not approve a request by the operator for:

(1) An increase in child capacity;

(2) A change in the hours of operation;

(3) A change in the ages of children served;

(4) A change in the approved child care area; or

(5) A variance to a regulation under this subtitle.

H. Effective January 1, 2012, the office may not:

(1) Accept an application for an initial license as a small center; or

(2) Issue a license to operate a small center, except that a license may be issued to:

(a) An applicant for a license from whom the office received the license application before January 1, 2012; or

(b) An operator already licensed to operate a small center before January 1, 2012.

I. The operator may not allow an employee, staff member, substitute, or volunteer to:

(1) Be assigned to a group of children or have access to a child in care until the individual has successfully passed the child abuse and neglect clearance and a federal or State criminal background check; or

(2) Be alone with a child or group of children until all checks have been successfully passed.