Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Curriculum Statement

Quality programs recognize the importance of carefully planned activities and instruction that guide children’s development and learning. These programs create developmentally appropriate environments through plans that outline what children will learn, how they will learn it, and how adults will facilitate that learning.

Selecting a developmentally and age appropriate curriculum lays a strong foundation for a quality learning environment where all children can learn, grow, and experience success.

a male teacher showing a book to his young students
Curriculum and Quality Learning Environments

This section guides Family Child Care and Child Care Center programs through reviewing, revising, or creating documentation that describes your program’s use of a state recommended or recognized curriculum. It helps you meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Curriculum: DAP 4.5.

NOTE: This section of the Maryland EXCELS Toolkit applies to Family Child Care or Child Care Center programs only. There are no Curriculum requirements for School-Age Only programs.

Select the Requirements tab to learn about key information to include in your document.

Requirements

Let's look at the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Curriculum: DAP 4.5. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot to find information about what to include in your documentation.

Select the option that applies to your program type:

 

Child Care Center

Family Child Care
DAP 4.5: Curriculum Implementation of a state-recommended or recognized curriculum. Documentation to submit: Curriculum statement

School-Age Only

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Curriculum: 4.5, you will provide a statement describing how your program uses a state recommended or recognized curriculum. If you have a curriculum statement in your program handbook that meets the requirements, you may upload that information to the Maryland EXCELS System.

The Policy or Statement Builder provides a step-by-step guide for creating your statement.






State Recommended or Recognized Curriculum

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Early Childhood Curriculum Project provides guidance to child care and other non-public early childhood programs about curricular resources. The project is designed to work as a support for preschool-aged children before they start their school careers. There are state recommended or recognized curricula for children birth through the preschool years.

 

What does the documentation look like?

You will submit a statement that describes how your program uses a state recommended or recognized curriculum that matches the ages of the children enrolled. In some cases, more than one curriculum may be used to ensure all age groups are supported. Keep in mind that all curricula you choose must meet MSDE requirements.

If your program enrolls children of different ages, be sure to explain which curriculum you use with each age group. Your statement should explain how your curriculum aligns with the different ages and developmental needs of the children in your program.

 

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

You are on the right track if your statement explains which state recommended or recognized curricula your program uses to help guide your lesson planning process. It includes how the curriculum matches the ages and developmental needs of the children in your program.

 

Where can you learn more?

This website from Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood Development provides helpful information about curriculum choices for early childhood programs, including a listing of state-recommended or recognized curricula for different age groups.

Early Childhood Curriculum Project

Early Childhood Development

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Early Childhood Curriculum Project provides guidance to child care and other non-public early childhood programs on curricular resources. The State-recommended resources for four- and five-year old children are aligned with Maryland's pre- kindergarten and kindergarten College and Career Ready Standards.

Your local Child Care Resource and Referral Center has sample copies of curriculum materials available for you to explore. These materials include curriculum guides, books, props, and assessments. Contact your resource center to arrange a visit for exploring curricula. Technical Assistance Specialists are also available to help you reflect on your program and determine which curriculum best suits your needs.

Maryland Child Care Resource Network

Maryland's Child Care Resource Network | Maryland Family Network

Every community in Maryland is served by one of twelve regional Child Care Resource Centers (CCRCs). Together, these Centers make up the Maryland Child Care Resource Network (MCCRN), which provides leadership and services designed to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in communities across the state.






Policy or Statement Builder

This interactive helps you describe how your program's curriculum is used in your lesson planning process. You have the option of emailing your responses to yourself and editing your final statement before uploading it to the Maryland EXCELS System. You are encouraged to type your responses in full sentences to make it easier to edit your final statement.

 

Build-A-Policy: Curriculum

Final Touches

Check your statement as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS System. Remember, your curriculum information may be in the form of a statement or taken from your program handbook.

 

Check to be sure your documentation includes:

A statement describing your program’s use of a Maryland Statement Department of Education (MSDE) recommended or recognized curriculum.

If your program includes children of multiple ages, be sure to describe the curriculum you use with each age group.

 

Save your document:

  • Use a file name that you can find easily when you upload it to the system (example: curriculum.docx).
  • Use any one of these formats:
    • Typed electronic version of your written statement (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
    • Identified section within your handbook related to curriculum and lesson planning (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your statement, 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

Curriculum is ever-evolving. Periodically, review your curriculum choices to make sure they meet current guidelines, reflect up-to-date information and still align with the needs of the children enrolled in your program.

Plan for Improvement

Set a goal to explore other curricula to ensure that you have made the best choice for the children you serve. Remember to upload any changes to the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (DAP 4.5)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your curriculum statement.

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