Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program helps eligible families to pay for child care, so they can work, go to school or participate in a job training program.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the designated lead agency in Maine, responsible for the planning and administration of the child care subsidies funded from the Child Care Development Fund, in addition to state funds and other federal funds. The purpose of the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of Child Care Services.
For the Child Care Subsidy Program Family is defined as: (a) a child and the related and/or non-related adults who are living together in a legally binding relationship to the child either by blood, marriage, adoption, or registered domestic partnership or (b) the child and an adult acting In-loco Parentis.
A child is eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy services, to the extent that funding is available, if: (a) the child’s gross family income does not exceed the income level set by DHHS and (b) the child’s Parents are Employed, and/or Attending Job Training or Educational Program.
Maine’s DHHS uses Vouchers to maximize parental choice for purchasing child care.
For complete rules on subsidies and eligibility can be found on the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program governement page which is linked at the beginning of this article.
DHHD is the authority that sets the maximum Child Care Subsidy rate. Each county has it’s own rate figured for licensed center care, licensed family child care and unlicensed child care. These subsidy rates are established through a biennial Market Rate survey as required under federal law.
A new Market Rate went into effect on June 3, 2017:
For detailed information on becoming an approved provider for the Subsidy Program click on the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program at the beginning of this article. That link takes you to the Office of Child and Family Services’ page on subsidy services for children.