Posted in ECE Information

Providers – 5 Minutes of Your Time is Needed

FCCAM previously posted a Jan. 27th release from Maine Office of Child and Family Services that shared the Bipartisan Policy Center Reports Child Care Improvements in Maine.

Maine Public (MPBS/Radio) has a responding Feb 1st post New analysis counts 280 fewer child care facilities in Maine over two-year period.

Discussion raised with these posts has to do with licensed capacity over the reality of children being served. As providers we know first hand that licensed capacity doesn’t necessarily truly reflect the number of children we are serving. It’s important to have timely data that reflects the complete picture of child care in Maine.

FCCAM is sharing a short survey developed by MaineAEYC to try and collect this data. We are reaching out across the field to ask providers to PLEASE help!


In order to influence positive change in Maine child care, we need to have accurate numbers to share with leaders about the current state of the child care sector. Could you help us by filling out this quick, 5 minute survey? 

This is a RAPID survey collecting point in time data for the first week of February. It will help if you have your attendance, enrollment, and staff data in front of you for February 1st while you fill out the survey. For anyone who oversees multiple sites, please make sure this is filled out separately for each location. Please complete by February 7th.

All data is anonymous. Data will be shared back to the field. THANK YOU!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ME_rapidchildcaresurvey_Feb2023

OR


Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information, Professional Development

Writing Teams and Targeted Reviewers needed for update of the Maine Early Learning and Development Standards

The Maine Early Learning and Development Standards (MELDS) are the state’s learning standards for children ages three-five. Building from the Infant Toddler MELDS (IT MELDS) and bridging developmental expectations to the Maine Learning Results (MLRs), the MELDS inform all early childhood professionals about the typically developing expectations of young children as well as curriculum and assessment practices.

The MELDS Steering Committee is now accepting applications from individuals interested in being part of the review process to serve as participants on one of the writing teams, or as a targeted reviewer.  The Steering Committee is seeking professionals in the field of Early Care and Education that work or have worked with or on behalf of children

Prospective participants must apply by clicking HERE no later than February 21, 2023.


FAQ sheet to understand the details of participation:

Q: What are the Maine Early Learning Development Standards (MELDS)?

A: Early Learning and Development Standards describe the concepts and skills children develop and learn along the developmental continuum from birth to kindergarten entry. Their purpose is to support the development and well-being of young children and to foster their learning. 

The standards promote the understanding of early learning and development, provide a comprehensive and coherent set of early childhood educational expectations for children’s development and learning, and guide the design and implementation of curriculum, assessment, and instructional practices with young children. 

Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards (MELDS) serve as a guide for state and local early childhood educators’ efforts to improve practice and programs for young children during their preschool years.  The Infant/Toddler MELDS is a companion tool for ages birth-36 months. 

Q: Who should consider participating? 

A: In order to develop an evidence-based set of standards, we are seeking a diverse population of professionals from the Early Care and Education (ECE) field:

  • Child Care and School Administrators 
  • Child Care Health Consultants
  • Child Care Providers and staff of all licensed programs (family, small facility, facility, nursery school, out of school time programs)
  • Child Care Providers and staff from licensed exempt programs
  • Early educators within the school setting (Pre-K through 3rd grade)
  • Ed Techs
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Professionals
  • Head Start staff
  • Higher education professionals and their students within or specializing in the ECE/ECS field
  • Individuals that provide professional development to the Early Care and Education field 
  • Parents, Guardians, Caregivers, or Family Members
  • Special Education Teachers / Specialists
  • Student and School Support Specialists: Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Counselors, School Social Workers, Interventionists, Title I staff
  • Other professionals serving families of young children  

Q: What are writing teams and what is the time commitment? 

A: Each of the domains of development will need a team of professionals to review content for relevance and alignment to current research in order for the MELDS to provide early childhood educators with guidance as they design inclusive environments, shape curriculum, lead professional development initiatives, build intentionality into teaching practice, engage families, and support children’s learning at home.  The domains include:  

  • Social and Emotional Development
    • Goal Areas: Trust and emotional security, self-regulation; sense of self, self-awareness, and self-concept, relationships with adults, relationships with children
  • Approaches to Learning
    • Goal Areas: Engagement and persistence, initiative and curiosity, creativity
  • Early Language and Literacy
    • Goal Areas: Language comprehension (receptive language), language expression (Expressive/productive communication), emergent literacy
  • Physical Development and Health
    • Goal Areas: Perceptual development, gross motor (large muscle), fine motor (small muscle), self-help and adaptive skills
  • Cognitive Development
    • Goal Areas: exploration and inquiry, concept development and working memory, reflection and problem solving, mathematical thinking, scientific reasoning, social studies learning

In addition to the domains of development, there are additional sections of the document that will need review.  Those sections include:  

  • Introduction, History, Key Components of an Early Learning Standards, 
  • Purpose Statement and Potential Users, Guiding Principles and Universal Design for Learning
  • Introduction to the Stages of Development Ages 3-5

Time Commitment: The facilitator(s) for each writing team will determine the time necessary for both whole group and individual review. Participants should expect this to be no more than two hours per week. Writing teams will convene in March and work through June.

Q: What are targeted reviewers and what is the time commitment?

A:  Targeted reviewers will review the updated sections provided to them and offer structured feedback. Targeted reviewers will begin review once the initial updates have been made to provide feedback to the Steering Committee.   

The time commitment will be less for targeted reviewers than writing team participants, however the  window for review and feedback will be shorter and more time sensitive (approximate document turnaround time of two weeks).

Q: What will I earn in exchange for my time and expertise?

A: Not only will individuals be afforded an opportunity to participate in furthering the field of Early Care and Education, but each participant will also be awarded contact hours at the completion of the writing team cycle based on attendance and at the discretion of the team leader.

Contact hours may be used for furthering education, documentation of professional development experiences, or for continuing education credits (CEUs) and/or training hour conversion. 

Q: Why is periodic updating of learning and development standards important?

A: Research in the field of early care and education is constantly evolving.  A regular process of updating early learning and development standards helps to ensure their validity and alignment with other sets of standards across the birth to grade 12 spans.  The updated MELDS will result in a child-centered tool that will inform program development, instruction, assessment, policy decisions, and professional learning for early care and education efforts across Maine. 

Q: What is the overall timeline for the MELDS revision?

A: MELDS revision began in the Fall of 2022 with the creation of the Steering Committee. This group has been meeting regularly to discuss the current format of Maine’s MELDS as well as to review feedback from the field, other states’ Early Learning and Development Standards and national research trends/findings. The remaining work is set to unfold on the following timeline:

January-February 2023: Recruit writing team members and targeted reviewers

February 2023: Assign Steering Committee members and teams to review the current standards

March-June 2023: Teams will work to review terminology, assure alignment to Maine’s Infant/Toddler MELDS and to the Maine Learning Results, and review for readability, diversity, inclusion and ease of use

July-August 2023: A final version will be translated and introduced to the field for further use


If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Education’s Early Childhood Specialist, Nicole.Madore@maine.gov or the Office of Child and Family Services First4ME Program Manager, Megan.Swanson@maine.gov

Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS, MRTQ-PDN, Professional Development, QRIS

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)…..?

As family child care providers, we are all small business owners who provide education and care for young children. In creating and operating our unique small businesses, we each strive to provide the best program we can. A part of that effort is continuously reflecting and assessing our own program and practices. Over time that reflection and assessment process becomes a ritual and a continuous learning process.

Continuous Quality Improvement is just that, continually doing our best to grow in our knowledge, so we can offer the best program for the children in our care. 

In Maine, providers are lucky to have a variety of agencies and organizations that are present to support our CQI efforts. Some of these are Let’s Go 5-2-1-0, ECCP, MRTQ PDN (technical assistance, training, community of practices, cohorts) and FCCAM (resources, informational posts, training). 

There is also DHHS Licensing, their job is to be sure a program’s environment is safe and policies are in place to be sure minimum appropriate practices around health and safety are being upheld or followed. They do not tell programs what best practice is, they are focused on  the foundational health and safety pieces.

Maine also has a 4 Step Quality Rating Improvement System – Quality for ME. Referred to often as just QRIS. Quality for ME was a voluntary program from its inception, until the current Licensing Rules (Family Child Care and Facilities) took effect in 2021. Now all licensed programs in Maine are required to complete the Quality for ME application.

For many providers this has become an area of confusion, concern, stress or frustration.


First, MRTQ PDN Registry and Quality for ME (QRIS) are different. Quality for ME is about the program, while MRTQ registry is about the individual, the provider.

Then you add in the confusion about “Rising Stars”. What are the changes from Quality for ME? When is it going to be required? What happens to a program’s current Quality for ME Step level? Why Stars?

In addition to the Rising Stars Pilot report we know that Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Office of Child and Family Services, (OCFS) held a public hearing via zoom on 10/5/22 to gather feedback and comments from the field on the proposed QRIS change to Rising Stars. Department responses have not yet been released regarding the comments made on 10/5. Their responses to the comments should be the next step in the proposed change whether it moves forward or not. In addition, there is an even broader national discussion about why the “R”? Why not just “QIS”- Quality Improvement System. Continual support for program quality……

Concerns heard from providers and the national discussion added to the discussion of FCCAM’s Professional Learning Committee (PLC) while they built the “Everything Notebook”. In addition, there was also discussion at MRTQ PDN with the outcome of 2 statewide communities of practices that will support practitioners in learning more about the QRIS system in Maine and offer support(s) that will aid programs in their improvement efforts. 

MRTQ PDN and FCCAM PLC are co-facilitating the Community of Practice just for family child care providers. Together we are examining what Maine’s current QRIS expects of providers, sharing experiences, styles of documentation, and resources. This work will not only help us meet the current system requirements but it will help us prepare should Rising Stars be released.  The community of practice is titled: Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) because that is the underlying goal, to build understanding and confidence in approaching self-assessment and reflection of your practices and the continual learning that addresses program quality and individual professionalism.

Following the spreadsheet and table ideas the Professional Learning Committee used to build the “Everything Notebook” and looking at the checklists around Licensing Rule requirements on the FCCAM website, work was done to build such tools for the current Quality for ME Steps and what the pilot report informed us about the direction for Rising Stars.


The tables comparing Steps to Stars were shared by FCCAM PLC on the first CQI CoP. These tables list all requirements for each Step. They are broken out by Standards. If there is a corresponding Standard and requirements suggested in the Pilot Report for Stars that is included. Any new Standards for Stars recommended in the report are also included. Anything highlighted in Blue is currently a requirement in the Licensing Rule.

*Again what is shared about Rising Stars is our best guess from what information has been shared following the pilot. If changes are made to the Rising Stars information or requirements, if and when it is released, the CQI CoP will shift their information and resources to meet any new requirements.   

So providers can see what they have already in place and what more is expected for each Step Level we divided QRIS up into its Standards. We looked at a Standard and listed requirements for each Step. If providers and thus their programs are in compliance with the current Licensing Rule then they are eligible to be placed on Step 1, but may find they have many requirements for other Step Levels also done.

FCCAM PLC built the Standards Sheets in both spreadsheet and table formats. They can be used digitally or printed off.

To move up Steps: you need to assess and compare what you are currently doing within your program and practice to what the systems require, identify the gaps and address them. The CQI CoP is committed to helping providers look at requirements and figure out what they need to adjust and fill the gaps to meet requirements. Again we want to be clear with providers that Quality for ME is still a voluntary program in regards to moving up Steps. Programs are just required to complete the application, and stay enrolled by reapplying every three years, nothing more.

There are currently MRTQ PDN Quality Improvement Award incentives around moving up steps, subsidy reimbursement increases and even tax incentives for families to claim at different Step Levels.

In addition to CQI CoP, MRTQ PDN also offers free technical assistance/ consultation to programs looking to move up the steps of QRIS. You can learn more about that opportunity through MRTQ PDN Consultation

Also be aware that for any provider who wants to reach Step 4 you will need to be NAFCC Accredited. MRTQ PDN is there to help you with that process. They offer a variety of support for that.

MRTQ PDN will soon be offering an informational meeting on 3/9/23 from 6-7:30pm via zoom on NAFCC Accreditation and the support(s) offered through MRTQ PDN. If interested in learning more about NAFCC Accreditation you can register HERE

Parents and potential clients can see a program’s Step rating on childcarechoices.me. Not having a clear understanding that QRIS is a voluntary program they may not understand what the rating represents. An individual provider is free to share their MRTQ PDN Professional Development Profile to show and highlight all their training and professional development they have done. This sharing can help inform both current and future clients of the work you put in professionally to provide a quality program. 


What is a QRIS?

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (NCECQA), funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, defines “The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs.

  • Increase quality of early care programs
  • Increase parents’ understanding of higher quality early care and education
  • Increase professional development opportunities
  • Create a cross-sector framework 

Through the current self-assessment, Quality for ME can help programs identify their needs for additional resources and supports to increase their level of quality.

In Maine, DHHS administers both Child Care Licensing and Quality for ME, but each is managed within a different division. Licenses are issued and monitored by the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, Child Care Licensing Unit. Quality for ME is administered by the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS), Early Intervention and Prevention Division. The divisions share information regarding a program’s current licensing status and compliance history, but Child Care Licensing staff do not make decisions about the Step at which a program is rated. OCFS makes the final determination on a program’s Step rating and issues the appropriate certificate based on the provider’s answers to the questions on the application. 

Step ratings are valid for a three-year period, unless a program no longer meets the standards for their assigned Step. A program can and should reapply anytime there is relevant information that needs updating.


A provider/owner/director applies for Quality for ME at https://qualityforme.org, by entering the program’s license number. The application system will access administrative data about the program, including: 

  • Licensing status and if relevant, any current violation information. 
  • Staff members on the MRTQ Registry, including Level(s) on the Career Lattice and whether or not staff have completed specific training 
  • Program accreditation status 

Completing the application means you are answering questions/self-assessing your program. Be sure to click through to the final screen and click “Submit” to ensure that your application is submitted. Remember, a program can and should reapply anytime there is relevant information that needs updating.  

Upon completion of the online application, the program will be given a Step rating, along with information about what standards need to be met in order to reach the next Step. A staff member at OCFS will review the application and the program will be formally notified by mail with a certificate indicating the Step rating with Quality for ME. 

A paper application link.

While the application is a self-assessment, programs need to have supporting documentation for their answers that standards at each level have been met. The documentation can be gathered into a digital portfolio on your computer or a physical notebook kept on your premises. If you are chosen for an on-site portfolio review it has to be available.

An on-site portfolio review? …….

The purpose of this announced and mutually agreed upon visit by OCFS is to review supporting documentation to validate the program’s self assessment in the online application process. Programs are selected from a random list of programs with Step 2, 3, or 4 ratings based on geographic regions. Remember if you are in compliance with the current Licensing Rule you meet Step 1 requirements, that documentation is already reviewed by Licensing Specialists.


Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information

Bipartisan Policy Center Reports Child Care Improvements in Maine

Maine Office of Child and Family Services release ~


January 27, 2023

Child care access and integration with early childhood education increased significantly in Maine between 2019 and 2022, according to a new analysis and report by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC).

In October 2020, BPC released a report, Child Care in 25 States: What We Know and Don’t Know, that included interactive maps quantifying the supply of, and need for, child care. Maine was among the first of the participating states to provide updated data, with the new analysis showing the overall gap between capacity and demand in Maine has decreased from 4,921 slots to 3,079 slots since 2020, a 34 percent improvement.

While this reduction is a significant improvement and represents one of the smallest gaps in the states that BPC has reviewed, the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) remains committed to closing the child care gap in Maine. It also recognizes that some of the narrowing of this gap results from fewer families seeking child care, U.S. census data. OCFS, along with the Children’s Cabinet, continues its aggressive policy work to expand capacity and support child care workers so all parents who need it can access quality child care.

BPC also this month released a report showing Maine has improved from 16th to 10th in state rankings on integration of early care and education. The improvement is primarily attributed to the change made in 2019 to move child care licensing under the purview of OCFS. Creating an Integrated Efficient Early Care and Education System to Support Children and Families: A State-by-State Analysis offers a window into the opportunities — and challenges — in administering comprehensive Early Care and Education (ECE) systems.

This progress reflects significant and ongoing work consistent with the Child Care Plan for Maine, including:

  • Distributing over $72 million in stabilization grants to help providers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Distributing an additional $13.6 million in transition grants to aid providers as the stabilization grants concluded
  • Establishing Child Care Infrastructure Grants, which are forecasted to add thousands of new licensed child care slots throughout the state
  • Distributing salary supplement payments to over 1,500 child care facilities and family child care providers to support their workforce
  • Assisting low-income families by waiving Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) parent fees for families at or below 60 percent of the State Median Income
Posted in Business Practice

Your Social Security Benefit: How It’s Figured

Why is FCCAM posting on this topic? Many providers take the maximum amount of deductions they can each year. That means your net income is significantly less than gross, so ultimately your Social Security benefits will also probably be less than you were expecting.

It’s important to understand how social security benefits are figured.

  • Benefits are figured off your lifetime earning – the net income you pay yearly taxes on, NOT your gross income.
  • Adjust or “index” your actual earnings to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received.
  • Calculate your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most.
  • Apply a formula to these earnings and arrive at your basic benefit, or “primary insurance amount.”

How do you find out about your status for Social Security benefits?

Set up a personal “my Social Security” account. This site gives you access to: an estimate of your personal retirement benefits; see the effects of different retirement age scenarios; an online Social Security Statement (Statement).

Review your earnings history to make sure everything is accurate. This is important, because your benefit amount is based on how much you’ve earned over your lifetime. If that information is wrong, you may not get the full amount you’re entitled to.

Important Things to Know about Your Social Security Benefits

  • Social Security benefits are not intended to be your only source of retirement income. You may need
    other savings, investments, pensions, or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money
    when you retire.
  • You need 40 credits of work (at least 10 years) to qualify for retirement benefits. The amount of
    your benefit is based on your highest 35 years of earnings. If you have fewer than 35 years of
    earnings, years without work count as 0 and may reduce your benefit amount.
  • To keep up with inflation, benefits are adjusted through “cost of living adjustments.”
  • If you get retirement or disability benefits, your spouse and children also may qualify for benefits.
  • If you and your spouse both work, use the my Social Security Retirement Calculator to
    estimate spousal benefits.
  • If you are divorced and were married for 10 years, you may be able to claim benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. If your ex-spouse receives benefits on your record, that does not affect your
    or your current spouse’s benefit amounts.
  • Learn more about benefits for you and your family
Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS

Update: Provider Transition Grants & Early Childhood Educator Workforce Salary Supplements

Information received from the Office of Child and Family Services
Date: January 19, 2023

As previously announced, the Provider Transition Grants will continue for the months of January, February, march and April 2023 and programs will be eligible to receive $25 per licensed capacity slot. Transition Grants will end after the April payment is issued in May. Please remember payments received are for the previous month.


The Early Childhood Educator Workforce Salary Supplements are ongoing using State General Fund dollars and will not end when the Provider Transition Grants end. To be eligible:

  • Providers must update the MRTQ registry AND the Early Childhood Educator Workforce
    Salary Supplement Portal
    with any staffing changes each month by the deadlines below.
  • February 6, 2023, for the month of January 2023.
  • March 6th for the month of February 2023.
  • April 6th for the month of March.
  • May 6th for the month of April.
    Reminders;
  • If you forget your access code for the ECE Salary Supplement Wage Portal, there is a link
    to retrieve it on the log in page.
  • If there have been no changes to your programs’ staff, then you may disregard this
    reminder.
  • If you already registered, you do not need to register again you will continue receiving
    payments.
  • ECE Salary Supplement Program Guidance and Training
Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information

Health Insurance Options through Maine Marketplace

Maine Office of Child and Family Services Jan. 5, 2023 memo ~

Attention Early Care and Education Providers,

Open Enrollment ends on January 15th!

The Department of Health and Human Services has recorded a webinar to assist Early Care and Education providers in navigating available health coverage options and tools to assist with selecting a health insurance plan.

You can now visit CoverME.gov, Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace, to shop for and select an affordable health insurance plan for 2023.

At CoverME.gov, Mainers can compare private plans, apply for financial assistance, and enroll in a 2023 health plan. Health plans offered on CoverME.gov provide quality, comprehensive insurance that covers preventative screenings and provides financial protection in case of accident or major illness.

Early care educators often face struggles with obtaining affordable health insurance. The 2023 Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period, which ends January 15th, provides an opportunity for these educators to obtain affordable health insurance coverage.

With the expanded subsidies available to individuals under the American Rescue Plan, uninsured early care educators may be able to obtain Marketplace coverage with premiums as low as a few dollars a month. Medicaid expansion in participating states, like Maine, offers another opportunity for some educators to obtain coverage. These programs provide important pathways to ensure financial stability and protect the health and wellbeing of those who educate and care for the Maine’s children.

We encourage you to explore CoverME.gov for more information and thank you for your continued dedication to Maine’s children and families.

Posted in Business Practice, MRTQ-PDN, Professional Development

Family Child Care Credential – New in 2023!

Maine Roads to Quality has a NEW credential that is specific for Family Child Care Providers. The credential has been designed to support fcc practitioners to deliver high-quality programming to children and families throughout Maine. Multiple pathways for earning this credential are available to support you whether this is your first credential or you have earned others. Decisions on awarding the Maine Family Child Care Credential will be made by the MRTQ PDN Credential Review Team, with initial credentials being awarded for three years.

Learn about MRTQ Credentials

Here’s the full FCC Credential Informational Packet. It’s a large packet, but you can take your time reading through it. In this post we’ll share some of the informational points from the packet you should be aware of early on.

The Maine Family Child Care Credential promotes early childhood workforce competence and focuses on the additional training and education practitioners need when caring for children of mixed ages.

To earn the Maine Family Child Care Credential, Applicants must:
a. Meet the formal education, experience, and training requirements.
b. Be a member of the Maine Roads to Quality Registry.
c. Submit a completed application and payment of $25 to MRTQ PDN.
d. Submit a Portfolio that demonstrates the required competencies specific to working with ages and development of children enrolled within your program.
e. Participate in a Maine Family Child Care Credential On-Site Observation.
f. Distribute, collect, and submit Maine Family Child Care Family Surveys.

Evaluation and credential decisions are based upon:
a. The applicant meeting all education, experience, and training requirements.
b. Successful completion of the Portfolio.
c. Satisfactory completion of the Maine Family Child Care Credential On-Site Observation.
d. A return rate of 75%, with an 80% positive rating on the Maine Family Child Care Credential Family Surveys (see Section 6).

MRTQ PDN has the following supports available for practitioners:
a. Cohorts will be available for practitioners to join to receive support from a facilitator and peers; cohorts generally involve participation in monthly meetings (either via conference call, video conference, or face-to-face) and individualized assistance from the facilitator on completing the Portfolio and preparing for the On-Site Observation.
b. On-site consultation is also available to practitioners pursuing the Maine Family Child Care Credential.

The Maine Family Child Care Credential requires a minimum of 120 hours of specific Maine Roads to Quality Training. There are 3 options or paths to earning the FCC Credential. The 120 hours can be earned over a 10 year period. You will see “five years” listed throughout the packet, but a decision was made to change this to 10 years because of the barrier 5 years was for working providers.

The 120 hours are composed of both FREE and paid courses. For those earning this credential upon completion there is currently the opportunity to receive a monetary award that will reimburse for the cost of courses and provide an additional monetary amount currently in the range of $500.

Option 1: For a practitioner working towards their FIRST MRTQ PDN
Credential
(including those who have an early childhood education or related degree):
A minimum of 120 hours of training within 10 years, comprised of the following:

  1. Getting Started in Family Child Care (6 hours) – FREE On Demand
  2. AND Your Professional Development Portfolio (9 hours) – FREE On Demand
  3. AND Foundations of Health, Wellness, and Safety (18 hours) – FREE On Demand
  4. AND Partners in Caring: Families and Caregivers (15 hours) – $20
  5. AND Environments in Early Care and Education (30 hours) – $30
  6. AND Strengthening Business Practice (18 hours) – varies
  7. AND CHOOSE ONE of the following Infants and Toddlers: Maine’s Early
    Learning and Development Standards OR Maine’s Early Learning Development
    Standards (30 hours) OR Links to Learning (45 hours) – varies

Option 2: For a practitioner who has attained a Maine Credential (Infant
Toddler, Youth Development, Director, or Inclusion
):
A minimum of 120 hours of training within the last ten years. Any trainings within the last 10 years that have already been used in the earning of a credential can not be use again for this FCC Credential.

  1. Strengthening Business Practice (18 hours)
  2. Getting Started in Family Child Care (6 Hours)
  3. Your Professional Development Portfolio (9 hours) – (**If the practitioner has completed this training within 10 years as a requirement for another Maine Credential a waiver can be issued. The 120 trainings hours of training are required regardless of the waiver.)
  4. Choose one or more from the following training. (The training chosen cannot have been used in a pathway with another Maine State Credential.):
    – Infants and Toddlers: Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards (Bridge)
    – Maine’s Early Learning Development Standards (30 hours)
    – Links to Learning (45 hours)
  5. AND Choose from the list below to earn a total minimum of 120 required hours and meeting a minimum of 12 hours in at least five of the core competencies.
    • Creating Inclusive Youth Development Settings (30 hours)
    • Environments in Early Care and Education (30 hours)
    • Designing Early Learning: Curriculum and Assessment in Preschool (30 hours)
    • Inclusive Child Care (30 hours)
    • Working with School Aged Children and Youth (30 hours)
    • Create Equitable Early Learning Communities (20 hours)
    • Engaging in Professional Development with Adult Learners (18 hours)
    • Introduction to Infant Mental Health (18 hours)
    • Social and Emotional Learning Birth to Age 5 (18 hours)
    • Positive Supports and Challenging Behaviors (15 hours)
    • Foundations of Peer-to-Peer Networks (15 hours)
    • Collaborating with others to support Inclusion (12 hours)
    • Foundations of Universal Design and Individualizing (12 hours)
    • Stress Happens: Transforming Your Relationships to Stress (6 hours)

Option 3: A third pathway is available to those family child care professionals who have achieved two of the following Maine Credentials: Infant and Toddler, Youth Development, or the Inclusion Credential.
A minimum of 120 hours of documented family child care related education/training within ten years. The training must include at least 10 hours in each of the core competency areas for the family child care credential.
A. Child Development and Learning in Context
B. Family-Provider Partnerships and Community Connections
C. Child Observation, Documentation and Assessment
D. Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching
Practices
E. Knowledge, Application, and Integration of Content in the Curriculum
F. Professionalism
G. Health, Safety, and Nutrition
H. Administration and Business Practices

Additional training requirements and considerations:

  • The 120 hours of training must be comprised of a minimum of 4.0 CEUs (40 clock hours) dated within ten years of application for the Maine Family Child Care Credential.
  • The remaining training hours can be attained in the following ways:
    • Training or workshops of two hours or less (a maximum of 30 hours can be used with this option).
    • Classes, training, or workshops facilitated by the candidate (up to 20 contact hours, limited to one time per training topic).
    • Training from a recognized agency or organization proficient in child care provider education. Recognized training sources include but are not limited to Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network opportunities, family child care associations, early childhood programs such as Head Start, school districts, U.S. military services, state government child care agencies, colleges, universities, vocational and technical schools.

In addition, a template for documentation of training meeting core competency areas is provided and required with application.


For providers that are interested in earning the Family Child Care Credential, start by checking to see if you have taken any of the required training in the last 10 years.

Then check the MRTQ PDN Training Calendar to see when the trainings that are not On Demand are being offered next. As these trainings are limited in offering you might want to see if any fit in your schedule and reach out to Pam Soucy to be added to a waitlist for those that have filled and/ or are not being offered at this time (pamela.soucy@maine.edu | 207-626-5258)

The On Demand classes can be fit into your schedule more easily. Remember you do not need to complete an On Demand training in one sitting. The training maintains your progress, as long as you complete it by Dec. 31st of the year of enrollment.


Any questions on the Family Child Care Credential reach out to Tammy Dwyer (tammy.dwyer@maine.edu| 207-956-2937) or email MRTQ Coordinator of Apprenticeship and Credential Programs (lori.m.moses@maine.edu | 207-780-4435)

Posted in Professional Development

Registration Open for April 29th ECE Conference in York!

Saturday, April 29th 2023 from 8am to 3:30pm at Sanford High School & Regional Technical Center

Join us for a day of connecting, learning, networking and celebrating the field of early education and care! Breakout sessions will be focused around what fuels your passion for early education, supporting families, child development, learning through play, policy and advocacy in ECE and more! 

6 professional development hours will be awarded.

Conference Registration Costs:

  • $50 General Conference Registration
  • $25 Discounted rate for Higher Ed Students, MaineAEYC & FCCAM Members
  • Free for CTE Students

Conference costs include: keynote session, lunch, and three breakout sessions.

Register today. You will receive a future email to sign up for your breakout sessions in late Feb. or early March. 

If you are an Owner or Director registering more than one attendee, please include individual email addresses for each individual. We will use each email address to contact conference attendees to select their breakout sessions in February or March. If we don’t have individual email addresses for them, they won’t receive this information. 

Register Today

Questions about the Spring 2023 conference OR the York County Early Childhood Coalition? Email us: yorkcountyearlychildhood@gmail.com


**Registration to Fueling Your Why, Building Your Balance is managed by  The Maine Association for the Education of Young Children (MaineAEYC). Charges for conference registration will appear on statements as “EveryAction” or “Paragon” Please feel free to contact MaineAEYC with any questions about the registration link or registration process, info@maineaeyc.org  **

Posted in MRTQ-PDN, Professional Development

Enrolling in MRTQ On Demand Trainings

The Professional Learning Committee of FCCAM has been hearing that providers are having difficulty accessing Maine Roads To Quality On Demand Training. We hope this post will provide a walk through that helps you in navigating On Demand Training enrollment.

It starts by accessing Maine Roads To Quality. There are multiple ways to get to the “Online Training” section you want.

  • If you are comfortable logging into your MRTQ Registry account start there.

You will click on the green button under “Online Training”.


OR

  • Start from the MRTQ home page. Hover over “Training” and a drop down menu list will appear.
  • You will find “On Demand Training” almost at the end of this drop down list.
  • Click “On Demand Training”.

Both of these options get you to a page that currently looks similar to this:

You can access all your registry information, account log off, Professional Development Profile, etc. from this page.

Notice the green “Access Online Training” button.

Clicking on this button gets you to any MRTQ Trainings you are currently enrolled in. (It also gets you to the Quality Improvement Toolkit if you have already enrolled in it for ongoing access.) The open page should looks similar to this:

If you are signing up for a NEW training you will skip over this “Access Online Training” button and begin to scroll down through the listing of available On Demand Training.

Once you find the training you are looking for or one of interest, stop and check out the button that follows the training description. That button will be either gray or green.

  • Gray means the training is NOT available for you to enroll in. You may have already taken it, or it may be a training you started and have not completed.
  • Green “Enroll” means the training is available to be enrolled in. Click the button and a new page will open where you can enroll and begin the training.

Once you enroll in a class further access is gained from that green “Access Online Training” button found at the top of the On Demand Training page.


Note: If you see this pinkish box it means you have a training in process that you have not completed. All annual uncompleted trainings are wiped clean at year’s end.


Example: I clicked the green enroll button under “Your Professional Development Portfolio” and my next page was:

I see this question about “If you need to register”, but I thought the enroll button registered me? Why didn’t it open right up to the training?

Skip the block of language and scroll down a bit. You will see “My courses” and all the trainings you are enrolled in will be listed.

I found my latest enrollment at the bottom of my courses.

Click on the training title and you will be at the training itself.


Signing up for On Demand Training can be a bit confusing the first time, but it was really only two clicks once I was on the Online Training page. I scrolled to the training, clicked enroll, scrolled to the course looking for, clicked on the title and was at the active training.

Remember next time you want to access any training you have not completed use the “Access Online Training” button.