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August 2017 eNews
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Discontinuation of Verizon Email
Affects Maryland EXCELS Participants

Programs and providers who previously had Verizon email addresses are urged to review and update their user contact information in the Maryland EXCELS System now that Verizon has discontinued its email service.
 
We would also encourage all Maryland EXCELS participants to review the staff listed within each program's "Users" tab to ensure that all associated names and contact information are accurate.
 
For any users who have not replaced their Verizon email addresses yet, you can get information on how to do so here.
 

 
Ticks are More than Just Pesky Parasites
 
Outdoor play can be fun for children and adults, but you may need to be more alert this summer for ticks.  Parents and providers will need to keep a watchful eye for deer ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease.  Our mild winter this year means that the ticks didn’t die off as usual.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported each year, and officials expect that number to be higher after this summer. Living in Maryland, we need to take extra precautions because it’s one of the 14 states that accounted for 95 percent of the Lyme disease cases in 2016, according to the CDC.
 
Tick habitats include places where children play such as wooded areas, fields, and backyards. And while ticks are hard to spot because of their small size, you can take steps to prevent tick bites when spending time outside.

You can help families learn more about staying healthy this summer by encouraging them to talk to their pediatricians about how to prevent tick bites and what to do if they find ticks on their children. 
 
Community Resource Fun!
 
Children begin exploring the world from the moment they are born.  As they grow, their world expands from the family and home they live in, to the community that surrounds them.  A great way to help them connect and explore their world is to check out some of the local community resources our state has to offer! 

Check out this article to find out more about local farmers markets, parks, music festivals and more!

Maryland EXCELS Toolkit

 
Last month the Maryland EXCELS Toolkit launched and over 1100 users have already dived into this interactive resource in an effort to improve the quality of their programs!  We'd love to hear your feedback! Email feedback to info@marylandexcels.org

The Maryland EXCELS Toolkit provides interactive information and resources in an online format to support goals of making quality improvements in child care and early education programs.  The toolkit was developed with its users in mind and through an evaluation and analysis of the specific and individualized needs of programs and providers throughout the state.  Resources are designed to guide programs along the path toward becoming a quality rated Maryland EXCELS program through an experience that is logical, practical, and flexible. 



Access the toolkit here.

TIPS! Sharing Community Resources with Families

As a child care and early education provider, you are a small part of a larger community with a multitude of activities and resources available to you.  Using and sharing these community resources can help connect staff, families, and children to the wide array of services and opportunities available, as well as help them make connections to their culture and community.
 
Keeping a current list of community agencies that provide support, education, and services is a way to provide access to information and experiences that may benefit the families, children, and staff in your program.  Some of those resources you may want to have available include early intervention or special education resources, job training opportunities, pediatric services, medical offices and local family support organizations. Other resources might be educational or recreational such as libraries, playgrounds, museums, fire stations, etc.
 

READ MORE HERE

Maryland EXCELS August Participation
 
When you join Maryland EXCELS, you join a community of child care programs and providers who are committed to the pursuit of quality child care and early education. Participating in Maryland EXCELS benefits your program and the families you serve, and also offers easy-to-use professional development resources to guide you through the process of increasing your Maryland EXCELS quality rating level and to give you ideas and insight on how to continue to improve the quality of your program. 

As of August 2017, 50% of child care programs statewide are participating in Maryland EXCELS! Of these programs, 70% of child care centers, 40% of family child care homes and 12% of public prekindergarten programs are participating in Maryland EXCELS. Also this month, 14 programs published at a new Quality Rating of 5.

Search for published programs at www.marylandexcels.org and on the Maryland EXCELS mobile app! For more information about how to participate in Maryland EXCELS, visit here.
Maryland EXCELS Workgroup and Training Schedule
 
Are you interested in attending a Maryland EXCELS approved Core of Knowledge Training? Would you like the opportunity to work directly with a Quality Assurance Specialist on developing, revising, and submitting documentation? Consider attending a Maryland EXCELS Workgroup or Training. 

Access the schedule here.
Follow Maryland EXCELS on Social Media!

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Maryland EXCELS · 6740 Alexander Bell Dr · Columbia, MD 21046 · USA