Maryland EXCELS Joins Department of Defense Pilot Program

News Release, Maryland State Department of Education

BALTIMORE  – Maryland EXCELS childcare providers are part of an important initiative by the Department of Defense (DOD) to expand the availability of childcare options for eligible military families through its fee assistance program, Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN).

Last week, the DOD launched a pilot program known as MCCYN-PLUS. The pilot includes childcare programs that are participating in Maryland EXCELS (Excellence Counts in Early Learning and School-Age Care) and meet the eligibility requirements for MCCYN. Maryland EXCELS, with over 4,600 participants, is the state’s quality rating and improvement system for early education and childcare programs.

“Children of military families deserve the very best childcare available, and Maryland EXCELS is a valuable resource to assist them in finding that excellent care,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We are proud to be involved in providing safe and affordable childcare for the families of those who serve.”

“Maryland is honored to be part of this vital pilot program that helps to support military families, and we are glad that this initiative benefits our dedicated childcare providers as well,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools.

The MCCYN-PLUS pilot provides military families greater access to high quality, early education experiences for their children. The pilot also offers opportunities for Maryland’s childcare programs to grow their businesses, while supporting military families in their neighborhoods.

Families throughout Maryland count on Maryland EXCELS to provide guidance when searching for excellent childcare.  The rating system builds on the state’s rigorous child care licensing requirements and informs families about the additional standards met by the early care program of their choice.

Maryland EXCELS’ ratings reflect nationally-accepted best practices in early care and educational experiences, such as positive behavioral supports and individualized instruction. The Maryland EXCELS program is part of a nationwide effort to enhance childcare and early education opportunities for families.

Learn more about MCCYN-PLUS at For more information about Maryland EXCELS, please click here. 

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...