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Maryland EXCELS Joins DOD Pilot Program Expanding Child Care Options For Military Families

Maryland military families now have more choices when it comes to quality child care.

According a report by the Department of Defense (DOD) Manpower Data Center, just under 30,000 active duty US military personnel call Maryland home. Thanks to an important initiative by the DOD, the availability of child care options for those with children has expanded.

The DOD has launched a pilot program known as Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood, or MCCYN-PLUS, which offers fee assistance to eligible military families. The pilot program includes child care 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 child care programs.

One Anne Arundel County family is hopeful the new program will make an impact for local military families like theirs. Maya Madigal’s husband, Rene, serves in the US Navy. “I have three children in child care,” she says. “It was extremely hard to find affordable childcare and we had the additional difficult of having special needs children. I do believe the pilot program will absolutely help easing the worry of finding daycare and in an affordable price when we already have so much to worry about.”

Thousands of families throughout Maryland count on Maryland EXCELS to provide guidance when searching for child care. 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.

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

“Children of military families deserve the very best child care available, and Maryland EXCELS is a valuable resource to assist them in finding that excellent care,” announced Governor Larry Hogan. “We are proud to be involved in providing safe and affordable child care for the families of those who serve.”
For more on Maryland EXCELS, click here.
—Joyce Heid

 

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