Tiered Reimbursement/EXCELS Payments

Tiered Reimbursement pays quality differential payments to providers who accept Child Care Scholarship and have a Maryland EXCELS published Quality Rating of level 3, 4, or 5.  Tier payments range from 10 percent (10%) to 44 percent (44%), depending upon the age of the child, the type of care, and the Quality Rating of the program.  The chart below shows the percentage of tiered reimbursement payments to programs.  On the Invoice Detail Report, tiered reimbursement payments are shown as EXCELS payments for each child.

EXCELS Payments Maryland EXCELS Quality Rating
Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Family Child Care

Under 2 years of age

11% 22% 29%

2 years of age and over

10% 21% 28%
Child Care Center

Under 2 years of age

22% 37% 44%

2 years of age and over

10% 19% 26%

Purpose and Use of Tier Payment

The purpose of the Tier Payment is to provide recognition and incentive to the program for participating and achieving a Maryland EXCELS rating at the highest levels. Programs and providers have choices regarding the use of the tier payment. For example, tier payments may be utilized to:

  • Offset the cost of child care for families receiving Child Care Scholarship
  • Provide salary and benefits enhancements for staff
  • Make quality improvements to the program

As part of the continuous quality improvement process, providers and programs are encouraged to reflect and assess the needs of their program, with input from staff and families, when making decisions regarding the use of the tier payment.