The Maryland EXCELS Quality Finder mobile application helps Maryland families locate high quality childcare and school-age programs that participate in the Maryland EXCELS Quality Rating Improvement System based on location or quality-level criteria. The app uses geocaching to show a users proximity to participating programs based on their current location. This is designed to help families in particular conveniently locate high-quality programs near their homes, workplaces, or other routes of daily travel. Using GPS-enabled or custom searches by location or quality-level, families can also find lists of programs in their area, each with a possible 1-5 check rating for quality. Contact information and driving directions are provided. Ultimately, this app is designed to address the challenge in the field that many consumers select childcare programs based on location over the quality of the program, but quality has been shown to be a greater indicator of long-term positive outcomes for attending children. All program quality ratings are based on carefully-designed evaluation protocols developed by the Johns Hopkins University, Center for Technology in Education, in concert with the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood Education, and grounded in research best practices and Maryland policy requirements.
License numbers for facilities, as well as general stability enhancements.