St. Charles Childrens Learning Center Director Shirley Allen, standing, looks on as students enjoy preschool activities and special celebrity readers, such as SMECO President and CEO Austin J. Slater Jr. (Submitted photo)
LA PLATA, Md.—The College of Southern Marylands St. Charles Childrens Learning Center (CLC) has earned a Maryland EXCELS Level 1 rating by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
Maryland EXCELS is the states Quality Rating and Improvement System that awards ratings to child care and public prekindergarten programs that meet increasingly higher standards in key areas that are identified nationally as contributing to high quality childcare.
Qualifying at the various levels of EXCELS is a tool for potential parents who are looking for quality. It is also a wonderful way for us to demonstrate to our current parents that we are committed to excellence and are continually working toward greater achievements, said CLC Director Shirley Allen.
"Achieving the EXCELS accreditation is one more validation point that CSM has one of the best children's learning centers in the state, said CSM Vice President of Advancement Michelle Goodwin. Our center would not be here without the more than 100 generous supporters, especially the St. Charles Companies, who helped raise the money through the CSM Foundation nine years ago to build our center at CSM."
Through a process of continuous quality improvement, Maryland EXCELS programs meet rigorous quality standards over and above those required by state licensing regulations. The Maryland EXCELS standards include licensing and compliance, staffing and professional development, rating scales and accreditation, developmentally appropriate learning and practice, and administrative policies and practices.
The St. Charles Children's Learning Center was established to provide CSM students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, quality, child-centered care. The center enhances the lives of children, their families and the greater Southern Maryland community.
The center, which opened in 2006 with 20 students ages 2-4 years old, now offers care for more than a hundred students ages 8 weeks to 12 years old.
The St. Charles Children's Learning Center is located on CSMs La Plata Campus and offers 10,000 square feet of learning space including nine child-centered classrooms, a gymnasium and a prep kitchen. In addition, the center has its own private landscaped playground and access to the campus grounds.
For information on the St. Charles Childrens Learning Center, visit www.csmd.edu/clc/. For information on CSM, visit www.csmd.edu.