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About Maryland Accreditation


Are you a program committed to demonstrating continuous quality improvement? Are you dedicated to providing services that benefit children, families, and staff?

Maryland Accreditation is a way for licensed child care centers and public prekindergarten programs to demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality learning environments through the process of demonstrating and verifying program effectiveness and continuous improvement using a research-based measurement tool.

Programs participate voluntarily in Maryland Accreditation. The process of achieving Maryland Accreditation includes self-appraisals, program improvement, validation visits, and continuous quality improvement.

Maryland Accreditation:

  • Develops standards that define quality policies and practices in program administration, program operation, and home and community partnerships
  • Provides technical assistance so programs can identify which areas need improvement to enhance the program’s quality and ability to meet Maryland Accreditation Standards
  • Accredits licensed child care centers and validates public prekindergarten programs
  • Assists child care centers with the cost of materials associated with pursuing Maryland Accreditation. This assistance is available from the Accreditation Support Fund.

Find out how to participate in the accreditation process, beginning with a required orientation.


Maryland Accreditation Process Flow Chart. Phase 1: Months 1-6. Attend Orientation. Form Self-Appraisal Team. Register and begin Online Accreditation. Conduct initial Self-Appraisal and enter ratings in each binder. Phase 2: Months 6-12. Complete Program Improvement Plan. Request a Program Improvement Visit. Continue Program Improvement based on results from Program Improvement Visit. Phase 3: Months 12-24. Complete Final Self-Appraisal and enter ratings in each binder. Request and prepare for Validation Visit. Participate in Validation Visit. Upload Comments and Evidence in response to validators' ratings. Receive Accreditation Decision from MSDE. Sustain Continuous Quality.

What do the Standards include?

  • The Program Administration and Home and Community Partnership sections identify best practices for program policies and practices in areas such as philosophy, personnel, and community partnerships. These sections focus on documentation that programs upload to the online System.
  • The Program Operation section focuses on high-quality practices observed in the program. This section includes the learning environment, curriculum implementation, and teacher-child interactions.