Our Centers

A Snapshot of Our Centers

A Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) accredited program, Critchlow Adkins has maintained its place among a select group of early childhood education centers statewide distinguished by their quality, their commitment to young children, and their dedication to excellence.

Teachers and staff are highly qualified, meeting or exceeding Maryland State Department of Education standards.  Critchlow teachers have MSDE Office of Child Care endorsed qualifications, and many have early childhood or elementary education certifications or degrees.  

In addition to Accreditation, all of our sites consistently earn MSDE EXCELS (Excellence Counts in Early Learning and School Age Care) Check Level 5 Ratings.  This is the highest possible rating awarded to Maryland childcare providers, and is based on nationally recognized standards and best practices.  Proudly, Critchlow has achieved this or similar standards of excellence for more than 30 years.

Check out our sites to find the one that is the best fit for your family!

Cordova Site

21/2-12 Years Old

Preschool Site (Easton)

2-4 Years Old

School Age Site (Easton)

4-12 Years Old

St. Michaels Site

2-12 Years Old

White Marsh Site (Trappe)

3-12 Years Old

Time spent in our centers fosters a love of learning in our children.  An important part of our program is our innovative, literature-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) projects.  These fun and engaging activities teach our children about the world around them, encourage them to work together to solve problems, and challenge them to think critically – all through play.  Scroll down to learn more about our exceptional, enriching programming!

Upon entering Critchlow classrooms, children discover warm, engaging, nurturing, and educational environments. Our goals are:

Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers are licensed and accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) Office of Child Care, and all five sites have achieved an MSDE Maryland EXCELS (Excellence Counts in Early Learning and School Age Care) Check Level 5 Rating. EXCELS Check Level 5 is the highest possible rating awarded to childcare providers and is based on nationally recognized quality standards and best practices. Accreditation and EXCELS ratings, unlike licensing, are not required for childcare centers. They are voluntary review processes and are only awarded to childcare programs that substantially exceed state licensing requirements. Proudly, Critchlow has achieved this or similar levels of excellence for over 30 years.

Critchlow’s 3- and 4- year olds use the inquiry-based curriculum, Children Discover Their World. This program builds upon children’s natural curiosity about the world around them. “Purposeful Inquiry”, the heart of Children Discover Their World, awakens the scientist and the explorer in every child. Children learn to use their senses, ask questions, and find answers in a supportive, print-rich environment. 

Healthy Beginnings, our 2-year old program, focuses on fun, developmentally appropriate activities that build young children’s skills.

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage in and learn about the world around them.

Critchlow Adkins plans a thoughtfully designed menu.  Children are provided with a balanced and nutritious breakfast, lunch supplement (milk and fruits or vegetables), and an afternoon snack.

Rest time gives children a midday chance to physically rest and emotionally unwind, and it also helps children to stay healthy and alert during the afternoon.

Children in Critchlow’s before-care programs receive a nutritious breakfast so they start the day fueled up and ready to learn. Time permitting, students may receive last minute homework assistance, visit with friends, or play games.

Children in Critchlow’s after-care programs receive a nutritious snack, homework assistance, and have the opportunity to enjoy one of our innovative literature-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities. 

When not designing their next great inventions, students might learn how to knit, tend their gardens, play a rousing game of kick-ball, or relax with friends.

Early childhood literacy is linked to enhanced academic achievement, reduced grade retention, increased graduation rates, and a greater likelihood of success in adult life.  We place a strong focus on early literacy in our preschools by implementing several literacy programs.

Through Raising a Reader, children receive a red bag filled with 3 to 4 wonderful, age-appropriate books each week to take home, read, and share with their families.  At the end of the week, the bag is returned and students receive another one filled with more amazing stories.  At the end of the year, children receive their own blue bag filled with books they get to keep and love. 

VIOLETS (Vocabulary Improvement and Oral Language Enrichment through Stories), part of the State of Maryland Ready at Five program, helps young children develop their oral language, pre-literacy skills, and background knowledge.

Dialogic Reading assists in the development of reading comprehension skills by making the child the storyteller through prompts and discussion.

Learn more about our Literacy Programs.

Critchlow’s literature-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities spark children’s imaginations, help them to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills, and encourage a lifelong love of learning.

Our innovative STEAM projects are developed by our Program and Outreach Specialist, Amy Michaels.  Amy tailors the activities for each age group, and works with Critchlow teachers to implement them with our students.  For example, a teacher might read Ruby’s Red Fort and then challenge students to build a fort for a doll with blankets and blocks.

Find a collection of  STEAM Activities you can do at home with your child!

Critchlow’s themed summer camps are a hit with campers of all ages.  One week children might be pirates looking for a buried treasure, and another they might be making a delicious pizza.  Each week campers create crafts, play music, enjoy outdoor fun, and go on a fun-filled field trip.

Visit our Summer Camp Page

Meet Our Site Directors

Melissa Johnson
Cordova School Site Director
17 years of service
Donna Austin
Preschool (Easton) Site Director
37 years of service
Keieve Colbert
School Age (Easton) Site Director
20 years of service
Marlene Thomas
St. Michaels Site Director
37 years of service
Annetta Biscoe
White Marsh Site Director
44 years of service

Critchlow Adkins is open year-round, Monday through Friday between 6:45 am and 5:30 pm.  We are closed for the following holidays:

CACC reserves the right to adjust their hours and/or days of operation when circumstances arise that make this action necessary, including closing when appropriate. We will give our families notice as far in advance as possible if changes are necessary.

*If holidays fall on a weekend, closure will take place on a Friday or Monday.

CACC Equity Statement

Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers are committed to creating and sustaining a nurturing environment where all staff, students, and families feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. We seek to foster a sense of belonging by all families and to cultivate diverse and inclusive childcare centers through practices that value and celebrate individual differences of all people.

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