Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Accreditation Self-Study and Visit Request

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 serves as a guide for programs to evaluate their policies and practices and develop plans for improvement. It also 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.

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Make Your Way to the Top

This section explains the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Accreditation: ACR 1.4. To meet these requirements, you will upload verification that your program requested a visit by an accrediting organization recognized by Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

NOTE: If your program is accredited, no further action or documentation is required for ACR 1.4.

Select the Requirements tab to learn about the documentation needed for your program type.

Requirements

Let's look at the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Accreditation: ACR 1.4. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about the documentation you need to submit to meet the requirements.

 

  Child Care Center
ACR 1.4: Accreditation Accreditation self-studycompleted and validation visit requested. Documentation to submit: Copy of a document confirming a visit request

  Family Child Care
ACR 1.4: Accreditation Accreditation self-study completed and validation visit requested. Documentation to submit: Copy of a document confirming a visit request

  School-Age Only
ACR 1.4: Accreditation Accreditation self-study completed and validation visit requested. Documentation to submit: Copy of a document confirming a visit request

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Accreditation: ACR 1.4, you will:

  • Complete the Self-Study or Self-Appraisal process required by an accrediting organization recognized by MSDE
  • Request a visit by a representative of the accrediting organization
  • Upload documentation of the request for a visit (example: email confirmation, scanned copy of confirmation letter)





Accreditation Self-Study and Visit Request

Accreditation involves a process of reflection and evaluation. Programs that choose to pursue accreditation complete a self-study, plan for improvement, and welcome the opportunity for an external evaluation.

Accreditation organizations have their own policies and processes. A common requirement among the different organizations is a self-study or self-appraisal. A self-study helps programs prepare for a formal visit and evaluation by a representative of the accreditation organization.

 

What does the documentation look like?

After completing a self-study or self-appraisal from an accreditation organization recognized by MSDE, your program should request a formal site visit and evaluation by a representative of the organization. You will upload a copy of any confirmation from the organization of your program's site visit request. Your documentation may include a confirmation email or a receipt from the accreditation organization.

 

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

You are on the right track if:

  • Your program completed the self-study or self-appraisal process required by the accreditation organization recognized by MSDE
  • Your program requested a site visit from the organization for a formal evaluation
  • Your program received confirmation of the visit request as an email or receipt
 

Where can you learn more?

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 document as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS system.

 

Check to be sure your documentation includes:

 
 

Use this format

Scanned copy of the confirmation or receipt (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)

Next Steps

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

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document

  • 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

If documentation meets the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Accreditation: ACR 1.4, your program has taken another step toward becoming accredited. Achieving accreditation from an organization recognized by MSDE helps you meet many Maryland EXCELS requirements without further documentation.

Plan for Improvement

Set a goal to continue along your accreditation journey. You are very close to achieving that milestone. Remember, there is a team of supporters available to help. Contact your Quality Assurance Specialist or Program Coordinator if you need assistance.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (ACR 1.4)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your documentation.

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