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Fall 2017 eNews
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Nature Play Space Promotes Creative Play at the Maryland State Fair for a Second Year

By Mary Beck
 
Tucked away from screeching roller coasters and happy screams of fair-goers, a frog fountain spits water into a small pond. Three children work together nearby packing sand onto a short log, quietly, but with purpose.

For the first time this year, Maryland EXCELS was proud to be one of the sponsors of the Nature Play Space, a 50’x 50’ area at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, Maryland, that encourages play, creativity, and curiosity.

Read the full story here.


 
 
Organizational Tips From Our Partners
Little fingers can take a toll on classroom supplies. For some providers, fall is the start of a new school year and a great time to organize. Year-round providers can also take time throughout the year to organize their space and make positive changes.
New Children, New School Year, New Transitions
 
Transitions can be difficult for adults and children alike. Children leaving the care of their families for the first time, moving up to a new age grouping, or leaving child care for elementary school need the comfort of knowing what to expect along the way. Transition plans can help reduce adjustment challenges for children and also for parents, who may be leaving their children in your care for the first time. Transitions are a process, not single events, and they involve careful planning, preparation, and implementation.

Read the full story here.
 
Fall is Here!

 
Fall is officially here! Celebrate the official start of fall by sharing some fun activities with your students. You can teach them about the change of seasons through outdoor play, crafts, and trying new recipes.

Kaplan has some activity suggestions to help get little ones get excited about the new season!

Maryland EXCELS Toolkit Tip!

 
Fall is chock full of opportunities to engage families in your program’s activities. Perhaps you could use an extra pair of hands painting pumpkins or managing a costume parade. Invite families to join the fun. They may be more than willing to help or to share their creative talents with decorations or participating in daily activities.

Look for more information in the Family Engagement section on any of the Checklists for Quality Ratings 2 – 5. You’ll find the checklists in the Maryland EXCELS Toolkit by clicking Toolkit by Quality Rating. Scroll down below the image until you find Family Engagement under Administrative Policies & Practices (ADM).

Remember to share any of your fun family ideas with us as a way of promoting quality child care across Maryland.

TIPS! Developing Clear Rules and Expectations with Input from Children
Related to Written Policy for Positive Behavioral Practices (DAP 3.4)

Fall can bring new children to child care programs, making it a perfect time to allow children to help establish rules and expectations. When children are part of this process, they are more likely to follow the rules, understand expectations, and feel safe and comfortable in their environment. 
 

READ MORE HERE

Maryland EXCELS September and October 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.

In September 2017, 51% of licensed child care programs statewide were participating in Maryland EXCELS!  A slight increase in participation from family child care homes and public prekindergarten programs in October 2017 resulted in a 1% increase of licensed child care programs participating in Maryland EXCELS statewide. As of October 2017, 72% of Maryland EXCELS participants are child care centers, 40% are family child care homes, and 13% are public prekindergarten programs. Also this month, 7 programs published at a new Quality Rating of 3.

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.
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