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Employee and Retiree Service Center → Employees → Leave informationChild Care Leave  → Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for leave?

Submit the appropriate forms to your principal/supervisor:

Expectant Parents:
1. MCPS Form 430-1: Leave Request. In Section IV, select the "Child Care" box. 
2. MCPS Form 440-35: Certification of Physician. Make sure that the expected date of delivery is written on the form.

Adoptive Parents:
1. MCPS Form 430-1: Leave Request. In Section IV, selct the "Child Care" box. 
2. Copies of court/agency documents verifying the date of adoption.

Please understand your location's policy for forwarding leave forms to ERSC. You may be asked to forward the forms, or your location may forward them on your behalf. It is your responsibility to ensure that all forms are received at ERSC at least one month in advance of your expected leave date.


When should I apply for leave?

Leave requests should first be submitted to your principal or supervisor and then to ERSC one month prior to the date you plan to begin your leave. Be sure to retain copies of all forms for your records.


How and when will I get paid?

You are eligible to be paid from available sick leave for the period of medical disability that falls within your regular work schedule. Within the period of medical disability, you can use up to six calendar weeks of available sick leave for a regular delivery or adoption or eight calendar weeks of available sick leave for a Caesarean birth.

If you are a member of MCEA and have enough available leave, then you are eligible to use up to 10 calendar weeks of sick leave immediately following an adoption or birth, regardless of type of delivery.


What if I do not have available sick leave?

If you do not have available sick leave, or if you do not have sufficient annual leave available, then you have two options:
1. You may take unpaid leave. Unpaid leave can be taken for the period of medical disability or can be extended for a total of 3 years.
2. If you are a member of your union’s sick bank, you can apply for a sick bank grant. Contact your union for further information on eligibility as well as application forms.


How long is my position held?

Under FMLA, your job will be held if you are absent for up to 60 duty days for serious personal illness or the birth/adoption of a child. The 60 duty days are calculated from the first day of absence. A duty day is defined as any day on which you are required to report for duty as determined by the school calendar and your work schedule. Only duty days are counted. If you decide to take leave for a longer period of time, then you may be an unassigned employee.

If you elect to take leave for longer than 60 duty days, then the Department of Recruitment and Staffing will place you in an available position for which you are qualified when you are ready to return from leave. Teachers on long-term child care leave should research any certification requirements that may have to be satisfied during the time period while you are on leave.


What is a duty day?

A duty day is defined as any day an employee is regularly scheduled to work. If you are a part time employee who does not work every day, a duty day is any day that a person occupying your position on a full time schedule would be scheduled to work. Emergency days are considered duty days. For more information about duty days for your position, please see the current work schedules document.


What if I want to extend my child care leave?

MCEA members who wish to extend their child care leave must do so no later than June 15 if your child care leave began on or after April 1. If your child care leave began prior to April 1 and you wish to extend your child care leave you must do so no later than April 1.

All other employees who wish to extend child care leave must do so no later than 30 duty days before the leave ends.

Failure to observe these timelines may result in denial of your leave request.


What about my health insurance?

 If eligible, FMLA ensures your ability to continue purchasing your insurance at the same cost as while working (i.e. "active rates") for the first 60 duty days of your leave. If you are not eligible for FMLA protection, or if you have completed the 60th duty day of your leave, or if you are taking unpaid leave, then you will have to pay 100 percent of the cost of insurance (i.e. "leave rates").

IMPORTANT! The full cost of health insurance is approximately 20 times higher than your active employee cost for health insurance. If you wish to cancel your insurance while on leave, you must submit MCPS Form 455-20: Employee Benefit Plan Enrollment (also used for cancellation) indicating your desire to cancel. You must submit the form to ERSC on or before the 20th of the month PRIOR to going into unpaid leave status over 60 duty days. Failure to submit this form will result in the continuance of your insurance, and you will be responsible for the full cost.

Please contact ERSC to add your new dependent to your insurance as soon as possible after the birth/adoption. If you do not complete the necessary paperwork within 60 calendar days of the birth/adoption, you will not be able to enroll the dependent until the next Open Enrollment. If there is a delay in your receipt of required documents (birth registration, birth certificate, social security number and adoption papers), please contact ERSC before the end of the 60-day period.