Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Accreditation Visit / Interview Verification Form

Quality child care and early education are delivered in quality environments. Accreditation demonstrates that a program meets quality standards set by a state or national organization. The accreditation process validates that a program uses quality processes and procedures in delivering care and educating children.

Maryland EXCELS supports programs as they progress through the accreditation process and work to achieve significant milestones.

illustration of small figures climbing stairs with a flag at the top
Make Your Way to the Top

This section explains the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Accreditation: ACR 1.3.

NOTE: If your program is accredited. No further action or documentation is required for ACR 1.3.

Select the Requirements tab to learn about the documentation to submit.


Let's look at the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Accreditation: ACR 1.3. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about the documentation you need to submit to meet the requirements.

Select the option that applies to your program type:


Child Care Center

Family Child Care

School-Age Only



To meet the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Accreditation: ACR 1.3, you will:
  • Visit or interview with an accredited program
  • Complete and upload the Accreditation Interview/Visit Verification Form to document your interview or visit

Reminder: If your program is accredited, no further action or documentation is needed for ACR 1.3.

Accreditation Visit or Interview

Accreditation is a process of reflection and evaluation. It's a way of demonstrating the quality of your program and shows your commitment to ongoing improvement. Programs that choose to pursue accreditation complete a self-study, plan for improvement, and welcome the opportunity to participate in an evaluation. Many programs find it helpful to learn more about accreditation and its benefits by visiting an accredited program or by talking to others who completed the process.

What does the documentation look like?

You completed an accreditation visit or interview and uploaded the Accreditation Visit / Interview Verification Form.


How can you tell if you're on the right track?

  • You visited or interviewed a staff member of an accredited program.
  • You reflected on your visit or conversation and completed the Accreditation Visit / Interview Verification Form in its entirety.

Where can you learn more?

Accredited Provider Search



Accreditation information is available on the Maryland EXCELS website and the Maryland State Department of Education's website, including a list of MSDE-recognized accrediting organizations.

Maryland EXCELS website

Accreditation - Maryland Excels

Accreditation is a method by which a program demonstrates to an outside organization or agency that the program is meeting the quality standards set by that organization. MSDE recognizes national accrediting agencies as aligning with the overall mission and high standards for early care and school-age child care and public school in the state of Maryland.

Maryland State Department of Education Division of Early Childhood Development website

Early Childhood Development

Maryland Accreditation is a process in which programs commit to continuous quality improvement, to benefit children, families and staff. NEW!! Revised Accreditation Standards effective July 1, 2016! We are very pleased to announce the revised Accreditation Standards are finalized and ready for implementation.

Final Touches

Check your Accreditation Visit/Interview Verification Form one more time as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS system.

Check to be sure your Accreditation Visit/Interview Verification Form includes:

  • Name of the person interviewed
  • Name and address of the accredited program visited/interviewed
  • Program's license or registration number
  • Accrediting organization (examples: NAEYC, NAFCC, COA, MSDE)
  • Signature of the person interviewed

Use any one of these formats:

  • Typed electronic version of your Accreditation Reflection and Planning form (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
  • Scanned version of your Accreditation Reflection and Planning form (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your document, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing improvement.


Step 1: Prepare to Upload Documentation

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate where you saved your written document on the computer

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

The relationship you established with the person you interviewed or the program you visited will be helpful as you continue to make quality improvements in your program. Consider completing the Accreditation Self-Study and requesting a visit from an accrediting organization to meet the requirements of ACR 1.4.

Plan for Improvement

You can track your progress toward accreditation by logging into your Maryland EXCELS account. Select the Accreditation tab to see the status of your program. Use this information to plan the next steps in your accreditation journey.

Accreditation program status screenshot

Step 3: Upload Your Document (ACR 1.3)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your completed Accreditation Visit / Interview Verification Form.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation