The Maryland EXCELS Toolkit offers many tips, tools, and resources to help you document the quality of your program and achieve a quality rating. This section organizes information by Quality Rating. Select a quality rating to explore information on evidence you need to submit to earn a rating at each level from 1 to 5.

Quality Rating 1

Quality Rating 1 is an excellent place to begin with Maryland EXCELS. The resources in this section are designed to help you document your program’s commitment to meeting high standards – standards that go above and beyond rigorous licensing requirements.

Quality Rating 2

Quality Rating 2 allows you to showcase your program’s quality in areas such as curriculum, lesson planning, and family engagement. Accreditation is introduced with an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the accreditation process. If your program is accredited by an MSDE-recognized organization, certain Maryland EXCELS requirements may be met without additional documentation.

Quality Rating 3

Quality Rating 3 broadens the range of opportunities to demonstrate your program’s commitment to high standards in areas such as family engagement, environment, and administrative practices. At this level, quality practices are highlighted through multiple opportunities for families to connect your program and the community, program improvement plans, and transition plans you develop for children and families.

Quality Rating 4

Quality Rating 4 helps your program fine tune its practices in areas such as observation, selection of learning materials, and expanded policies written for families and staff members. At this level, your program’s quality is evident in all the ways you nurture, encourage, and support children and families.

Quality Rating 5

Quality Rating 5 reflects a commitment to the highest quality standards in the Maryland EXCELS System. At this level, quality practices are evident in a range of family engagement opportunities, demonstrated cultural competence, and curriculum-based learning experiences. In addition, programs complete the accreditation process to achieve this highest quality rating.