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MSDE Releases $5M in Bonus Payments to Improved Child Care Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                         

Raven Hill, 410-767-0486

MSDE Releases $5M in Bonus Payments to Improved Child Care Programs

BALTIMORE (November 20, 2023) — Today, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced the distribution of $5 million in bonuses to Maryland EXCELS child care programs with higher quality ratings, as part of the transformative Blueprint for Maryland’s Future landmark legislation

More than 4,970 child care and early education programs statewide participate in the Maryland EXCELS quality rating and improvement system. The bonus payments help to increase access to high-quality programs, incentivize improvement and provide additional funding for training and resources.

“Family child care homes and small centers play a vital role in providing high-quality care and education,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carey Wright. “Maryland EXCELS bonuses reflect our commitment to equitable support that strengthens programs for all families. These investments pay off for  families, businesses and communities.”

This year’s bonuses range from $1,000 to $13,500. The minimum amount is significantly higher than last year — up from $150 to $1,000 — while the maximum amount is unchanged. 

Bonus payment eligibility is determined by achieving a first-time quality rating or maintaining a quality rating 4 or 5 since July 1, 2023. Payment distribution will begin immediately and continue through June 30. 

A directory of participating programs and quality ratings is available online at

The charts below indicate how bonuses are determined and how they compare to the previous year:

For more information on Maryland EXCELS bonus payments and resources, visit the MSDE Office of Child Care.