Maryland Accreditation

Maryland Accreditation

Maryland Accreditation is now awarded for five years! Read the Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 

Effective July 1, 2024, Maryland Accreditation Standards 1.2.3 and 1.2.4 have updated documentation requirements. Please review changes in the online system.

What is Maryland Accreditation?

Show your commitment to providing the best education every day.

Maryland Accreditation is a way for licensed child care centers and public pre-k programs to demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality learning. (Please note: Family Child Care programs are not currently eligible to pursue Maryland Accreditation.) 

Programs pursue Maryland Accreditation using the following tools:

  • Maryland Accreditation Standards for early childhood and school age programs
  • Self-Appraisal including input from your staff and enrolled families
  • Program Improvement Plan based on areas of need for improvement
  • Review of program improvements through a Final Self-Appraisal
  • Optional support through remote or onsite Technical Assistance
  • Observation and feedback through a Validation VisitChild care provider sitting in her center

Benefits of Maryland Accreditation include the following:

  • Eligibility for Maryland EXCELS Quality Rating 5
  • Higher EXCELS Payments
  • Access to Accreditation Support Funds for purchasing instructional materials
  • Eligibility to participate in Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood PLUS
  • Opportunity to increase staff and family engagement
  • Demonstrates your dedication to excellence in services for families and your community


What is the accreditation process?

 Video Transcript


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A 24-month process will lead your program through meeting each of the Maryland Accreditation Standards, ending in receiving an Accreditation Decision.

Once your program is awarded Maryland Accreditation, your accreditation status is valid for five years.

During each of the first three years of accreditation, your program will submit an Annual Update near the anniversary of receiving your award.

24 months before your expiration date, your program will begin the re-accreditation process beginning with the Maryland Accreditation Orientation.

In the fourth year of accreditation, your program will not submit an Annual Update, as it will have begun re-accreditation.

Accreditation Support Funds

Support funds are available to assist your program with the expense of accreditation.

Learn more about Accreditation Support Funds

Ready to begin? 

The first step in your Maryland Accreditation journey is completing the self-paced orientation.


Technical Assistance

Maryland Accreditation now offers support for your program in the following ways:

  • Virtual Technical Assistance session for Program Administration (Section 1) and Home and Community Partnerships (Section 3)
  • Onsite Technical Assistance visit for Program Operation (Section 2)

The Maryland Accreditation Online System User Guide offers guidance on requesting and declining Technical Assistance. To access the User Guide, refer to the step-by-step instructions in the Maryland Accreditation Online System Overview video.