Provider Spotlight: Provider Begins Child Care Journey Putting Quality First

Family Child Care provider Edith Onaolapo published a quality rating 1 in March 2018, less than two weeks after becoming licensed to operate in Owings Mills.  By early April, she had already submitted documentation for a quality rating 2 and plans to continue working toward higher quality ratings.

When Onaolapo decided to start her own family child care program, she focused on setting it up correctly.  She also took advantage of guidance and training from Maryland EXCELS.

Onaolapo shared, “I just want to provide the best service ever.”

“My goal is to keep going,” Onaolapo said. “I know that parents really want their children to have the best [and] they want to be able to put their child in high-quality care.”

She initially asked for help on  becoming a registered family provider at the Judy Center at Campfield Early Learning Center in Baltimore County, where her youngest son attends public prekindergarten.  In addition to receiving information about how to become a registered family child care provider, Onaolapo contacted  Quality Assurance Specialist Lisa Smith for assistance with enrolling in Maryland EXCELS

“I like to always put in my best efforts,” Onaolapo said. “I’m going to do it because it’s something I have a passion for. I want to understand everything that I need to do.”

She spoke with Smith several times to work through the initial Maryland EXCELS application process, and to understand which documents she would need to publish at a quality rating 1. Onaolapo then received support and assistance uploading her documents when she attended a work group led by Quality Assurance Specialist Meghan Leach-Gwynn.

“I didn’t sleep. I wanted to get all of my documents together and done right,” Onaolapo said. “I had so many questions for Meghan. At the end of the [work group], I had all of my questions answered.”

Onaolapo credits the help of the Quality Assurance Specialists and her own dedication to work with young children as her reason for being able to publish her quality rating quickly.

She spent the past seven years working in child care at her church. Prior to child care, Onaolapo worked as an auditor. She considered returning to a job in finance but realized that wasn’t where she was supposed to be.

Onaolapo also recalls the difficulty of finding the right child care for her oldest son and wants to provide families with the high-quality care and peace of mind she sought for her family.

“It’s been a journey for me, this passion of taking care of children,” she said. “This is my calling, this is what God wants me to do.”

Programs needing assistance publishing their first Quality Rating or looking for help to increase their quality rating should reach out to a support team member.