Choosing Quality

Maryland EXCELS understands that finding quality, affordable child care nearby can feel like a real challenge for Maryland families. That’s why we’ve created a free app (available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play) and a website tool to guide families on their search for the right program. When you choose a program that participates in Maryland EXCELS, you’re guaranteed of two things:

  1. The program has achieved a quality rating based on nationally recognized standards and best practices that exceed state licensing requirements.
  2. The program is committed to continuous quality improvement and is supported by Maryland EXCELS.

What do you think about first when you’re deciding on child care for your children? Whether you’re choosing child care for your toddler or a before- or after-school program for your school-age child, you’re probably thinking about two key factors: cost and location. ‘Can I afford this?’ and ‘Is it close to my home or work?’ are the two questions parents most commonly ask when choosing a program for their children.

While location and cost are important, it’s even more important that you think about a third factor when making a decision about care — quality. One thing is clear from years of research about early childhood: the early years are extremely important to a child’s ability to succeed in school. As parents, we need to be certain that our young children have access to quality child care and early education, so they are ready to succeed in school.

Tips for Finding Child Care

Understanding Maryland EXCELS Quality Rating Levels