Who can participate in Maryland EXCELS?

Maryland EXCELS is a voluntary program for licensed child care and early education programs and there is no cost to participate. However, programs accepting Child Care Scholarship reimbursement are required to participate. All programs benefit from a commitment to providing quality care and early education.

How can I explain to families what it means to participate in Maryland EXCELS?

Explain to families that by participating in Maryland EXCELS, your program is committed to continuous quality improvement by meeting standards that exceed the state’s licensing requirements. This continuous improvement process includes evaluating your program with feedback from families and staff with guidance from education professionals statewide, and making improvements to increase the quality of the services you provide.

Consider sharing with families examples of the requirements your program met to achieve its quality rating. 

I currently have a wait list for families to enroll in my program. Do I still need to participate in Maryland EXCELS?

While Maryland EXCELS is a voluntary system, we encourage all child care and early education programs to participate to show their commitment to quality.  If you wish to enroll a child whose family uses Child Care Scholarship, you must be a Maryland EXCELS participant. In addition, you are joining a community that is dedicated to improving the quality of child care and early education.

I am licensed to provide care but do not have children currently enrolled. Am I eligible to participate in Maryland EXCELS? If so, will I be able to publish a quality rating?

Programs that do not currently enroll children are eligible to participate in Maryland EXCELS and are encouraged to do so. If your program meets the Maryland EXCELS requirements, you will be able to reach and request to publish at least a quality rating 1 without having children enrolled. At level 2 or higher, there are some subcategories that require documentation reliant on enrollment. We encourage you to begin working on meeting as many of the requirements as possible so that when you do enroll children, you will have fewer subcategories to complete to achieve a higher quality rating. Information about the individual Standards and required documentation can be found within each subcategory page of the program profile. Once you have completed an application and been accepted to Maryland EXCELS, the tutorial Viewing the Maryland EXCELS Requirements From Within a Subcategory shows how to find this information.

I am working towards achieving a Maryland EXCELS Quality Rating and submitted documents for review. What happens now?

Your assigned Program Coordinator will review and rate the documents that you submitted for review. Review and rating of submitted documentation may take up to 30 days. Additional time may be needed if follow-up from the program is requested.

I’m already in Maryland EXCELS, but I need help to get to the next rating level. Who can I talk to?

There are many people available to assist you with Maryland EXCELS. When you need assistance, you may contact your assigned Program Coordinator (PC), your regional Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS), or your local Child Care Resource and Referral Center (CCRC). Technology Support is also available 24/7. For more information on where to get help, please visit the Maryland EXCELS Support Team Contact Information page.