Maryland EXCELS during COVID-19

Maryland EXCELS Branch (Updated 5/14/2020)

For Essential Personnel seeking child care, visit this page:

For Child Care Programs providing care for children of Essential Personnel, visit this page:

Due to the factors related to COVID-19, the Maryland State Department of Education will:

  • Protect the Quality Ratings of all published programs through at least October 1, 2020. 
  • Protect the participant status of programs that are in their first year, and not yet published, through at least October 1, 2020.
  • Protect Child Care Subsidy payments for Maryland EXCELS participants.
  • Protect EXCELS Subsidy payments for published programs with Quality Ratings 3, 4, or 5.
  • Ensure that programs may continue to work in their program profiles, upload evidence, and request to publish a draft rating at any time. 
  • Allow new programs to submit applications and participate in Maryland EXCELS.

Maryland EXCELS Training, Workgroups, and in-person technical assistance will be suspended until further notice. Quality Assurance Specialists can be reached by phone and email for support. View the Quality Assurance Specialist contact list here.

Web-based Training Coming Soon!
Stay tuned for an email blast from Maryland EXCELS and communications from your Quality Assurance Specialists about MSDE-approved, web-based training for providers.

Maryland EXCELS Assessment Visits using CLASS and Environment Rating Scales will be suspended until further notice. 
Questions about Maryland EXCELS? Email

Self-Assessments using Environment Rating Scales during COVID-19 

During this time, Maryland EXCELS is unable to provide the Environment Rating Scales (ERS) assessment books to child care programs. You can find ERS assessment books for about $25.00 each, through Kaplan, ERS Institute, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

If you have questions or concerns about conducting your self-assessment at this time, please contact your Quality Assurance Specialist who will provide additional guidance. 

You are encouraged to watch the 3 video presentations about how to use the Environment Rating Scales. Find the videos here:

Maryland Accreditation
Due to the factors related to COVID-19, the Maryland State Department of Education will:

  • Protect programs that are currently Maryland Accredited until further notice.
  • Extend Maryland Accreditation cycle expirations for participating programs working toward Maryland Accreditation for the first time.
  • Ensure that participating programs may continue to upload evidence and work in their accreditation binders during this time. 
  • Allow new programs to participate in Maryland Accreditation virtual orientations, and begin the Maryland Accreditation process during this time. 

Allow new programs to participate in Maryland Accreditation online orientations, and begin the Maryland Accreditation process during this time.

Maryland Accreditation Validator Visits will be suspended until further notice. Programs pursuing accreditation to meet MSDE grant requirements, and programs renewing accreditation and participating in Maryland EXCELS, will not be penalized for missing deadlines during this time period. 

Questions about Maryland Accreditation? Email

Accreditation Support Fund
During this time, Accreditation Support Fund Applications can only be submitted through the new online applications. Online applications can be found on the link below.  Please do not mail applications.