Maryland EXCELS Program Review

Maryland EXCELS program is aimed to recognize and increase the quality of child care and education and improve teacher and other staff competencies. Its Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is used to raise the quality of care and achieve excellence in this sphere (Maryland EXCELS, 2014). The program provides the professional development requirements for different staff members, including Directors, Teachers, and Aides. The workers of Maryland centers have professional development plans. These plans indicate their intended progress toward completing or maintaining certificates or degrees needed to gain or improve knowledge or professional skills (Maryland EXCELS, 2014). Professional development requirements for directors, teachers, and aides will diverge, but the basic requirements will be the same.

Thus, every staff member who works in child care programs or family child care homes must meet Check Level 1 (Maryland EXCELS, 2014). At this stage, child care workers must meet minimal training requirements and take part in Maryland’s Child Care Credential Program (Maryland EXCELS, 2014).

Check Levels 2 and 3 are needed for teachers and aides who work in early childhood education programs. To achieve these levels, staff members will need to have 45 – 90 Hour Child Care Certificates, including minimum 20 hours in child development and minimum 20 hours in curriculum development for Levels 2 and 3, respectively (Maryland EXCELS, 2014). If staff members do not have the certificates, they can upload other certificates or degrees that prove their professional development in early childhood education.

The difference in the professional development requirements for aides, teachers, and directors is as follows. Aides should be enrolled in child development programs or complete a three-hour orientation training (Maryland EXCELS, 2014). Teachers need to complete nine hours of training in communicating with staff members, children, and parents, and 45-90 hours of training mentioned above (Maryland EXCELS, 2014). Directors must complete the training hours for aides (voluntarily) and teachers. Moreover, all staff members must meet additional requirements.

Professional development requirements for Maryland teachers cover several areas. Thus, teachers must attend courses, which improve their content knowledge and quality teaching, teach them to use research in making decisions, and engage them in constant collaboration with other staff members, family members, and children. Accreditation programs depend on the teacher’s experience and education. Teachers and aides should gather evidence for accreditation and rating scale to prove that they meet the standards. Educators must renew their certificates every five years (Maryland EXCELS, 2014).

Maryland Child Care Credential Program sets different requirements for the staff and administrators. Thus, teachers and aides have to come through six credential levels, while directors and administrators must complete four levels (Maryland EXCELS, 2014). Each of these levels sets a specified number of hours for training sessions, years of working experience, and other professional activities (Maryland EXCELS, 2014).

The main goal of all child care professionals is to provide loving care and maintain the wellbeing and safety of children. Thus, they should renew their knowledge in the areas of childhood education, care, nutrition, learning environment, safety, and health, moving through the EXCELS program. Professional development practices must include family engagement and conferences, healthy food choices for children and adults, individual education and family service programs, staff meetings, use of handbooks, staff evaluations, and utilizing community resources.


Maryland EXCELS. (2014). Guidebook for family, center-based, and school-age child care programs. Web.

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1. ChalkyPapers. "Maryland EXCELS Program Review." September 10, 2022.


ChalkyPapers. "Maryland EXCELS Program Review." September 10, 2022.