Maryland EXCELS Monthly Newsletter
Summer 2016      
It appears that part of our spotlight article was accidentally omitted in the version we sent yesterday. Therefore we are re-sending this issue of our E-Newsletter. We apologize for this error.

In The Spotlight
Hope Grows Child Development Center
Owner:Salema Horn
Director: Jo Ann Adams

How do you celebrate your center and the families it serves?  Hope Grows does it with an exciting day of fun-filled activities.  This past June, the program celebrated its 3rd Annual Family Fun Day and Picnic.  The event included live musicians, a moon bounce, a talent show for each class, face painting, activities for the children, and grilled treats for everyone.  Maryland EXCELS was invited to attend and our own Quality Assurance Specialist, Vickie DiSanto, joined in the festivities.
Adding even more joy to the day was the unique, culturally diverse community that Hope Grows serves.  A staff member added, “We have children from Thailand, China, Europe, Africa, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands and Northern South America and we celebrate that diversity.  I like to think of our center as a miniature ‘United Nations’.” With teachers and administrators who speak various languages and come from different cultures, Hope Grows truly reflects its motto “Embracing Equality and Diversity.” Hope Grows has a published Level 3 Maryland EXCELS Quality Rating. Thank you, Salema and Jo Ann, for all you have achieved!


In The Community
Johns Hopkins University Early Childhood & Education Expo

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the first Johns Hopkins University Early Childhood and Education EXPO 2016.  Over 1000 adults and children joined us for this very successful event.  It was a beautiful day full of fun and informative activities for all ages.  We hope to make this an annual event, so if you missed this year’s festivities, keep an eye out for an even bigger and better gathering in 2017.

Upcoming Events!
Maryland EXCELS Trainings & Workshops

A Maryland EXCELS Work Group provides programs and providers participating in Maryland EXCELS the opportunity to work directly with Quality Assurance Specialists on the development, revision, and submission of documentation for meeting Maryland EXCELS standards. Maryland EXCELS Training has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education's Office of Child Care to award Core of Knowledge hours to participants who have met the requirements of the class.  Participants will receive a certificate which can be used to meet the requirements of ongoing professional development and Maryland State Department of Education Child Care Credential training requirements.  Find an upcoming training or workgroup in your area. 

Making Connections
Gardening with Children

It's not too late to start a garden!  You’ll be surprised how fast seeds will come up and explode with growth when planted later in the summer. 

Gardening is an activity that can cross multiple learning domains. In addition to science and math, children also gain language skills, have opportunities to practice motor skills, and experience much more!

Visit Grow It Eat It, Maryland’s Food Gardening Network, for more ideas and activities.

What's New
Win Frog Street Pre-K Curriculum and Materials valued at $5,000!

One Maryland EXCELS winner will be randomly selected every month from August, 2016 through October, 2016.
Maryland EXCELS is happy to announce a collaboration with Frog Street Inc. to provide the Frog Street Pre-K Curriculum and learning materials to winners.  To qualify, your program must be participating and have a current published rating at the time of the drawing.  Frog Street's Pre-K Curriculum is one of MSDE's recommended curricula. For more information, read our Frog Street Flyer.

Tip of the Month
Using the Environment Rating Scales as a Self-Assessment

Maryland EXCELS Participants working to achieve a Quality Rating 3 conduct a self-assessment of their program using the Environment Rating Scales*.  Your program’s score in no way impacts your Maryland EXCELS rating. The purpose of using the scales is to assess your program’s strengths and identify any potential areas you wish to improve.  Visit the Maryland EXCELS Resource Page to view a three part series on how to conduct your self-assessment using the Environment Rating Scales.

*Note: Head Start Programs, PreK Expansion classrooms, and Public PreK Programs use the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, not the Environment Rating Scales.


If you have any questions about Maryland EXCELS, please visit