Press Release: Maryland EXCELS Recognizes Participating Child Care Facilities
May 6th is Provider Appreciation Day
For Immediate Release Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486
Baltimore, MD (May 3, 2016)
The second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day, has long been recognized as the day to honor mothers and their commitment to children. The Friday before Mother’s Day, May 6, 2016, is Provider Appreciation Day, a special day to recognize child care providers, teachers, school-age program staff, child care center directors and staff, and all those who work with children and are responsible for their education and care.
Nearly 11 million children under age five are cared for by 2.8 million child care providers in the U.S. According to the Urban Institute, about 42 percent of children under five spend more than 35 hours a week in child care. Licensed and regulated child care facilities in Maryland meet rigorous standards for health and safety as well as requirements for staff and the physical facility.
Maryland EXCELS, a Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care and early education programs, assists child care and education facilities in improving their services to children and families. Maryland EXCELS thanks the participating programs and family child care providers for their tireless efforts to meet the needs of the young children in their care. Working families need reliable, quality child care and education programs for their children.
The child care centers, family child care providers, and public prekindergarten programs participating in Maryland EXCELS have made a commitment to continuous quality improvement. Throughout the month of May, families are encouraged to thank their child care provider and ask if they are participating in the quality rating system of Maryland EXCELS.
“Parents need to know that these professionals work hard to maintain quality experiences for children. Families can search for programs and view their quality ratings by visiting MarylandEXCELS.org” says Elizabeth Kelley, Director, Office of Child Care, Maryland State Department of Education.
Provider Appreciation Day began in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey who saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum and support for this event has grown each year, and recognition now has spread throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
“Child care providers are central to a quality child care system and Provider Appreciation Day is the time to tell providers everywhere we recognize and value their important work,” said Dr. Lynette M. Fraga, Executive Director of Child Care Aware of America, the host organization of Provider Appreciation Day.
To learn more about Provider Appreciation Day or for ideas on how you can thank your child care provider, visit www.providerappreciationday.org. To find a quality rated program near you, visit MarylandEXCELS.org and click on Find A Program, or download the free mobile app at iTunes or Google Play.