Bonuses Available for All Eligible Programs Beginning October 21, 2022

As part of the transformative Blueprint for Maryland’s Future landmark legislation which expands access to high-quality child care and early childhood education in Maryland, $5 million will be distributed to Maryland EXCELS child care providers. Bonuses ranging from $150 to $13,500, based on the type of program, quality rating and capacity, will be paid to child care programs participating in Maryland EXCELS.

The charts below indicate how bonuses will be determined:

Quality Rating

Child Care Center
Capacity 1-50

Child Care Center
Capacity 51-100

Child Care Center
Capacity 101+

Fiscal Year 23 Bonuses

Fiscal Year 23 Bonuses

Fiscal Year 23 Bonuses

1 $150 $300 $450
2 $750 $1,500 $2,250
3 $1,200 $2,400 $3,600
4 $3,000 $6,000 $9,000
5 $4,500 $9,000 $13,500


Quality Rating

Family Child Care

Large Family Home

Fiscal Year 23 Bonuses Fiscal Year 23 Bonuses
1 $150 $150
2 $450 $600
3 $900 $1,200
4 $1,500 $2,400
5 $2,400 $3,000

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do I know if my program is eligible for a Maryland EXCELS bonus?
Answer: Awards are available to EXCELS providers that achieved a first-time quality rating, a higher rating, or again earned a quality rating of 5 on or after July 1, 2022.

Question: Do I need to apply or submit forms to receive a Maryland EXCELS bonus?
Answer: No, if you are eligible for a bonus, you will simply receive the payment by check or direct deposit.

Question: How much are the Maryland EXCELS bonus amounts?
Answer: Bonus amounts are based upon the quality rating and the type of program. For child care centers, amounts are also based upon the licensed capacity of the program. See Press Release Excel Bonuses for Child Care Providers for details. COMAR amounts reflect previous bonus amounts. You will be receiving the FY23 bonus amount.

Question: Is the bonus amount multiplied per child?
Answer: No, the bonus you will receive is the flat amount found in our bonus chart.

Question: What is the difference between the COMAR amount and fiscal 2023?
Answer: COMAR amounts refer to bonuses awarded in the past. You will receive the FY23 amount, which is triple the amount of previous bonuses.

Question: When will I receive my Maryland EXCELS bonus payment?
Answer: Maryland EXCELS staff are currently processing payments for programs that met requirements between July and October. You can check the status of your payment on the General Accounting Division (GAD) website once you have registered on the GAD website.

Question: How may the bonus be spent?
Answer: Bonuses are spent at the discretion of the program.

Question: How often will bonuses be distributed?
Answer: A program will receive a bonus for each time that they meet the eligibility criteria. For example, a program that increases their quality rating twice would receive two bonuses.

Question: Are the bonuses taxable?
Answer: Yes. Bonuses will be received as income and will be subject to taxes.

Question: If my quality rating has remained the same since July 1, 2022, will I receive a bonus?
Answer: No. To receive a bonus, a program would publish a higher quality rating or re-publish a quality rating 5.

Question: How do I increase my quality rating?
Answer: Contacting your regional Quality Assurance Specialist is the first step to understanding your quality rating and getting personalized guidance for quality improvement.

Question: Will Maryland EXCELS bonuses continue after June 30, 2023?
Answer: If funding is available for Maryland EXCELS bonuses to continue beyond June 30, 2023, the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Early Childhood will announce the continuation of bonuses.

Question: How do I participate in Maryland EXCELS?
Answer: A Quality Assurance Specialist can help you create an account and take your first steps as a Maryland EXCELS participant.

Question: How are Maryland EXCELS bonuses different from bonuses being distributed through House Bill 1100?
Answer: House Bill 1100 bonuses will be distributed to bolster staff retention. Maryland EXCELS bonuses are only for Maryland EXCELS participants and reward high-quality care and education.

Question: Who do I contact if I have questions about my Maryland EXCELS bonus payment?
Answer: Contact your Maryland EXCELS Quality Assurance Specialist with any questions regarding bonus payment.