February 2017 eNews
View this email in your browser
iPad Giveaway!
How do you use technology in your program? 

Are you a provider who likes to incorporate technology into your planning and curriculum?  If so, tell us how the children in your care benefit from technology.  Maybe you are a provider who wants to add technology into your program to enhance children’s learning.  Tell us how you’d like to do that!  During the month of February, we will be collecting stories from programs and providers to learn about the great ways you are using or want to use technology.  After stories have been collected, we will share them on social media and let the public vote for their favorite story.  The story with the most “likes” at the end of the voting will win a brand new iPad!

Stories Submissions: Feb. 1-Feb. 10
Voting: Feb. 13-Feb. 24
Winner Selected: Week of Feb. 27
Winner will be notified by email and phone.
To share your story, fill out this form. Be sure to follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to find out when you can vote. Encourage your friends and family to vote for you by sharing our Facebook post to your page when voting begins.
When submitting your story, please be sure that you are following the Child Care Licensing regulations for screen time and use of appropriate interactive technology. Maryland EXCELS reserves the right not to publish stories that do not comply with Child Care Licensing regulations for screen time activities. To be eligible for the giveaway, programs must be open, operating and participating in Maryland EXCELS.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life.  By participating in the annual celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, members of the dental team, parents, teachers and others can help keep children’s smiles beautiful now and for years to come!
Check out these tips on how to promote good oral health for children: 
  • Brush teeth twice per day with an ADA accepted fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque, the sticky film on teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods, which produce plaque acids that cause tooth decay.  When you do eat these foods, try to eat them with your meal instead of as a snack because the extra saliva produced during a meal helps rinse food from the mouth.
  • Make sure children are drinking water with fluoride.  If your water supply does not contain fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe fluoride supplements.   
For more information or activities related to dental health, check out these games and these activity sheets.

And the winners are:

Gladys Arredondo
Gladys Family Day Care
Montgomery County

Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool
Harford County



Staff uses positive behavioral supports and strategies that include providing choices and using redirection

Helping children develop self-discipline and other positive social-emotional skills is one of the many important jobs you do every day.  Your positive behavioral support policy communicates specifically how you support and guide children’s behavior in proactive, developmentally appropriate ways.  It describes the positive steps you take to prevent negative behaviors and situations.

Read more here.


Snow Fun!

When there is snow on the ground, but it’s too cold to go outside, you can bring the snow inside!  Collect large shallow plastic tubs of snow.  Children can make indoor snow people and snow castles.  Or, you can set up a sensory snow table.  Children love to play in the snow with toys such as cars, trucks, trains, animals and small figures.  Do you have Mr. Potato Head parts? Have children build Mr. Snow Head creations.  Don’t let extreme cold keep you from playing with all that nature has to give us.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

We can’t preserve a child’s innocence forever, but we can purposefully engage children in activities that help them become compassionate and caring individuals. Random Acts of Kindness Day, celebrated on February 17, is a great day to remind us of the small things we can do every day to make a positive impact on others.

You can use this day to talk about and demonstrate acts of kindness.  Lead a discussion with questions such as:  What is kindness?  What are acts of kindness?  What examples of kindness have you seen today?  Have children brainstorm a list of things they can do during the day to show kindness to each other, to their families and to those around them.

Some simple random acts of kindness for all ages include smiling, giving someone a hug, giving someone a compliment, telling someone they are special or holding the door open for someone.

New Resources for Families with Young Children
content provided via newsletter from Zero to Three
ZERO TO THREE and Parentivity have announced a new partnership to support parents of young children in reducing family risk and maximizing their resourcefulness.  The two organizations have agreed to share content relevant to families and to provide evidence-based information in an interactive web-based format.  Content will cover multiple areas including brain development, early literacy, setting limits, science and math.
ZERO TO THREE is a national organization that works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development. 
Parentivity is a new web-based community that provides customized evidence-based information to parents with children from conception to age five.
Parentivity content includes user-friendly materials on relevant topics such as: pregnancy, infant care, early literacy, special needs, fatherhood and more. 
More information on ZERO TO THREE is available at
More information on Parentivity is available at
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!


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Maryland EXCELS · 6740 Alexander Bell Dr · Columbia, MD 21046 · USA