Maryland EXCELS Celebrates Five Years of Exponential Growth

BALTIMORE (July 11, 2018) – Maryland EXCELS, the State’s quality rating and improvement system for early education and child care programs, has emerged as a critical component in the improvement of early learning and care statewide.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) launched Maryland EXCELS in 2013 with 330 participating child care and early education facilities. The program celebrates its fifth anniversary this month with over 4,500 participants—more than half of all child care providers in the State.

“Over the last five years, Maryland EXCELS has provided families across the State with a reliable rating and improvement system for child care and early education programs,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “Continued growth and enhancement of these programs are key to preparing Maryland’s youngest learners.”

Families count on Maryland EXCELS to provide guidance when searching for quality child care.  The rating system builds on the State’s rigorous child care licensing requirements, and informs families about the additional standards the early care program of their choice has met.

“Maryland EXCELS equips child care and early education providers with a framework for success,” said Steven Hicks, Assistant State Superintendent of the Division of Early Childhood. “The rating and improvement system pinpoints the critical components of a quality program and simplifies the process of choosing the right child care or early learning program for each family.”

Of the Maryland EXCELS quality rated child care and early education programs that have been monitored by MSDE staff, 95 percent of quality criteria were observed in practice. These criteria are some of the most important factors in quality and reflect what children are experiencing in each program, such as positive behavioral supports and individualized instruction. The Maryland EXCELS Quality Rating and Improvement System is part of a nationwide effort to improve the quality of child care and early education.

For more information about Maryland EXCELS, go to

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