What is Maryland EXCELS?
EXCELS is Maryland’s new Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) created to recognize the high quality child care provided in the state of Maryland and encourage child care providers to continually grow in the quality of care that they deliver to children and families.
EXCELS gives child care programs the opportunity to provide documentation for meeting standards in 5 key areas: licensing, professional development, developmentally appropriate learning, rating scale/accreditation and administrative policies. Based on the documentation provided, programs are assigned to different check levels. Higher check ratings reflect standards that require more of the child care program.
Participation in Maryland EXCELS is voluntary.
HOW DOES TAKING PART IN MARYLAND EXCELS BENEFIT ME AND MY PROGRAM?
By participating in EXCELS, a child care program is able to market to families that they are a program that is dedicated to quality care for children. Rating levels can be published on the EXCELS website where parents will be able to search for programs that are committed to quality through their participation in EXCELS. There may also be additional financial incentives tied to the Maryland EXCELS system based on the number of children in the program who are eligible for child care subsidy through the state. In the future, participation in EXCELS will allow programs to receive funds through the state.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED IN MARYLAND EXCELS?
You can register your program very easily. Simply visit marylandexcels.org and follow the link for Programs and How to Apply. Begin by reading over the standards. Start with the Level 1 standards and notice how many of the standards your program is already meeting. Start gathering the documentation that demonstrates that your program is meeting the requirements. You have many people who are dedicated to helping you succeed in Maryland EXCELS.
WHERE CAN I GO FOR HELP?
There are many supports available to the child care community as you progress through the process of EXCELS.