What is Maryland EXCELS? - post

What is Maryland EXCELS?

image in article What is Maryland EXCELS? In the ever-evolving landscape of child care, ensuring the highest quality is crucial for the well-being and #development of our children. Maryland EXCELS means quality. Child care programs that participate in Maryland EXCELS are committed to providing the best possible education and care. This article delves into the intricacies of the Maryland EXCELS program, shedding light on its structure and significance. Furthermore, we explore how ChildCareEd trainings can be a valuable ally in propelling child care programs towards higher EXCELS levels.

Maryland EXCELS: A Gateway to Quality Child Care

Understanding the Framework

Maryland EXCELS is built on a foundation of nationally recognized quality standards and best practices. It serves as a compass for child care providers, offering insights into their journey of delivering quality care. By understanding where they stand in terms of quality, providers can chart a course for continuous improvement.

Promoting Quality Through Ratings

One of the distinctive features of Maryland EXCELS is its rating system. This system extends its influence across various types of child care programs, including: 

  • Child Care Centers
  • School-Age Child Care Programs
  • Family Child Care Homes
  • Public Prekindergarten programs

The Five-Step Pathway to Excellence

Maryland EXCELS unfolds as a five-step journey, with each step representing a progressive level of quality achievement. The ratings are a testament to the provider's commitment to meeting and exceeding the set standards. Starting at Level 1 for those who meet initial requirements, the pinnacle of excellence is marked by a Level 5 rating.

Level 1: Setting the Foundation


  • Level 1 is the starting point for child care providers entering the Maryland EXCELS program.
  • Providers at this level have successfully met the initial requirements, showcasing a commitment to essential standards in child care.

Focus Areas:

  • Compliance with basic #safety and regulatory requirements.
  • Establishment of a foundation for quality care.

Level 2: Building on Basics


  • Level 2 signifies a progression beyond the fundamentals, showcasing an increased dedication to quality.
  • Providers have demonstrated efforts to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.

Focus Areas:

  • Enhanced safety measures and protocols.
  • Introduction of more advanced curriculum components.
  • Professional development for staff.

Level 3: Demonstrating Commitment


  • Providers at Level 3 exhibit a significant commitment to elevating the quality of child care services.
  • This level indicates a proactive approach to continuous improvement.

Focus Areas:

  • Comprehensive staff training and development.
  • Implementation of advanced curriculum strategies.
  • Active #engagement with families and the community.

Level 4: Excelling in Quality


  • Level 4 is a significant milestone, representing an exemplary commitment to quality and excellence.
  • Providers at this level have surpassed standard expectations and set a benchmark for others.

Focus Areas:

  • Highly qualified and trained staff.
  • Implementation of innovative and evidence-based practices.
  • Exceptional family and community involvement.

Level 5: Pinnacle of Excellence


  • Level 5 is the pinnacle of the Maryland EXCELS program, reserved for providers who have achieved the highest level of quality and excellence.
  • This level represents a continuous pursuit of excellence and a commitment to ongoing improvement.

Focus Areas:

  • Leadership in innovative practices and quality standards.
  • Active involvement in community advocacy for child care excellence.
  • Continuous self-assessment and improvement.

Navigating the Standards

Child Care Center Standards

Providers aiming for excellence in Child Care Centers can refer to the detailed standards outlined by Maryland EXCELS. These standards encompass crucial aspects such as safety, curriculum, and #staff-qualifications. The comprehensive guide can be found here.

Family Child Care Center Standards

Family Child Care Homes have their own set of standards that cater to the unique nature of care provided in a #home environment. Providers can access the standards document here.

The Role of ChildCareEd in Achieving Excellence

Moving up the levels in the Maryland EXCELS program is not just a process of meeting basic standards but a commitment to continuous improvement and excellence. Training plays a pivotal role in this journey, equipping child care providers with the knowledge and skills needed to enhance the quality of their services. ChildCareEd understands the challenges faced by child care providers in meeting and exceeding Maryland EXCELS standards. As a partner in their journey towards excellence, ChildCareEd offers a range of training opportunities designed to complement and enhance the skills of child care professionals.

Tailored Training Solutions

ChildCareEd recognizes that one size does not fit all. Hence, our training programs are crafted to address the unique needs of different child care settings. Whether you operate a Child Care Center, School-Age Child Care Program, Family Child Care Home, or a Public Prekindergarten program, we have specialized training modules to support your goals.

In-Person and Online Training Options

Flexibility is key in the busy world of child care providers. ChildCareEd provides both in-person and online training options, allowing providers to choose a format that best fits their schedules and preferences. This adaptability ensures that quality training is accessible to all, regardless of location or time constraints.


Maryland EXCELS serves as a roadmap for child care providers, guiding them toward the highest standards of quality. By embracing the structured pathway and utilizing the resources provided by programs like ChildCareEd, providers can not only meet but exceed the expectations set by Maryland EXCELS. Together, we can create an environment where every child receives the highest quality of care, setting the stage for their lifelong success.


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