Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) assists eligible families in paying for child care if they work, are enrolled in school, participate in a job training program, or are retired and the legal guardian of a child. On average CCSP serves over 4,000 Maine children and has over 800 participating providers. There is a need for an increase in the number of care slots available to families that qualify for subsidy support. Providers continue to have questions about what subsidy is and what is required of providers. Following is some basic starting information.
Types of child care eligible to participate?
- Licensed family child care homes
- Licensed child care centers
- Licensed exempt child care in-homes (2 children or less)
- Adults who come to your home to provide child care
- Relatives over the age of 18 providing child care
How do you become a CCSP Provider?
- Licensed child care providers are required to become a Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ) registry member.
- Licensed child care providers are required to become a member of the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS).
- All providers are required to meet licensing or monitoring guidelines.
- All providers must take the required health and safety trainings.
- All providers are required to complete provider agreements with CCSP.
Facts about subsidy in Maine:
- CCSP providers receive an increase (quality bump) in reimbursement at QRIS step levels 2, 3, & 4.
- Parents that use providers at a QRIS step 4 receive a tax break.
- Off-hour child care providers receive an additional 35% in reimbursement.
- Providers are not obligated to fill openings with a child receiving subsidy
- Maine currently reimburses at 75% of the market rate.
How is the Child Care Subsidy Program funded?
The Federal Office of Child Care (OCC) supports low-income working families by providing access to affordable, high quality early care and afterschool programs. OCC administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and works with state, territory, and tribal governments to provide support for children.