Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS

REGISTER for the ECE Workforce Salary Supplement Program & Provider Transition Grant

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) is pleased to announce registration is now open for the Early Childhood Educator Workforce Salary Supplement Program and the Provider Transition Grants.

Registration for both programs are within one form and funds will be distributed at the same time each month.

Early Childhood Educator Workforce Salary Supplement Program

In April 2022, Governor Mills signed the supplemental budget which included salary supplements to increase the pay for early childhood educators employed in licensed child care facilities and family child care programs. The budget provides more than $12 million in ongoing state General Fund dollars to increase pay for early childhood educators providing direct care to strengthen the Early Care and Education system across Maine.

  • The first payments to the workforce will be issued in October 2022 and, as with the ARPA grant, these salary supplement payments must be paid directly to the early childhood workforce. These supplemental payments are required for all providers to receive and pass through to their eligible staff.
  • In addition to the $200 staff supplements, 7.65% additional funds will be added to cover the cost associated with the staff supplements in the providers’ monthly payments.

Providers who have previously received ARPA Child Care Stabilization grant payments WILL receive an email with a link and an access code to their personal registration form. Providers will need to have the following information ready for all eligible staff to update their information in the registration form:

  • Confirm program information within form is up to date,
  • The names of all staff,
  • The staff’s individual email addresses, and
  • The staff’s career lattice level from Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ).
  • Providers must be open and providing direct child care on a regular basis at the time of registration
  • Programs must have a valid Vendor Code with OCFS

Upon submitting the program information, providers will receive an access code via email that will allow them to gain entrance to the Early Childhood Educator Workforce Salary Supplement Program.

Provider Transition Grants

OCFS will begin distributing the Provider Transition grants in October 2022 to licensed child care providers to help stabilize and support child care in Maine. The grants will be administered for 8-months. This support comes from the federal American Rescue Plan’s supplemental Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Discretionary Funds.

  • The first 4 months (September, October, November and December), programs will be eligible to receive $50 per licensed capacity.
  • The last 4-months (January, February, March and April) programs will be eligible to receive $25 per licensed capacity. 

All licensed child care providers may register for the first installment of grants if they are providing direct child care by September 1, 2022. Future payments will be automatic. Registration after October will be on a rolling basis. Programs approved will only be required to apply once.

The following link is to a webinar containing guidance and detailed instructions for how to complete the registration. Also below are the webinar’s PowerPoint slides. Please review both the webinar and the slides carefully prior to beginning the registration. https://video.maine.edu/media/Early+Childhood+Educator+Workforce+Salary+Supplement+Pro gram+Webinar/1_19z3x0ek

The Early Childhood Workforce Wage Supplement program and the Provider Transition grant registration may be found here:  https://apps.web.maine.gov/online/childcare_grants/provider/login

Please visit the Early Childhood Educator Workforce Salary Supplement Program website at: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/provider-resources/early-childhood-educator-workforce- salary-supplement-program


For questions or more information, please contact:  ECEWageProgram.DHHS@Maine.gov

Posted in Business Practice, FCCAM

What is an “Everything Notebook”?

The Professional Learning Committee (PLC) is happy to be able to provide providers who are Class A members a new benefit: the “Everything Notebook”. While many of FCCAM’s resources are available to all providers, this tool is only available to providers who are current Class A members.


FCCAM’s Mission is to unify, promote and strengthen quality professional family child care in Maine.  As fellow family child care providers, the PLC understands the work and time involved to operate a small business that provides the service of caring for children. The PLC has pulled together the “Everything Notebook” in support of sustaining our businesses and providing the best care for children and their families. 

The idea of this “Everything Notebook” started from discussions around compliance for the current Licensing Rule, while reflecting on the ongoing issue of time management. The PLC sees the “Everything Notebook” as a tool that can help FCC providers manage the paperwork that goes along with operating a family child care. Recognizing that each family child care business is unique, this tool is not a one size fits all, but rather built so providers can pull from it to meets their individual needs. It is a tool providers will be able to adapt when future changes come to the Licensing Rule, QRIS, subsidy, etc.


The “Everything Notebook” will be available to providers who are Class A members in 2 formats: digital format and hardcopy, as a 3-ring binder with clear sleeves and printed checklist. Class A members have all been sent an email with links for both formats. Both formats will also be added to the members’ only section of the website.

The digital format is built in google drive as sheets to be able to download, add a shortcut or copy directly to a gmail account. The 3-ring binder and contents will be mail to members that request them.

The PLC see future checklists being built for addition to the “Everything Notebook” as the need arises. Providers can also add checklists they have developed.


Current “Everything Notebook” Contents

Licensing Items

Individual items specific to maintaining your license. 

Licensing Records

As a small business, FCC Providers are required to manage their records so they are easy to access and read. Required records cover children, volunteers and any staff. Records also cover certain business practices, such as fire drills. Records on children are to be maintained for 3 years following termination of care. It is best practice to maintain these records until children reach age 18. Other records have specific requirements on retention.

Policies for Parent Handbook

The Licensing Rule requires a number of policies to be shared in your Parent Handbook. Providers may choose the order they present the policies in, the manner in which policies are written and any additional policies they create. Policies are to be clear about expectations, responsibility and procedure. 

Policies for Staff Handbook

The Licensing Rule requires a number of policies specific to staff expectations and responsibilities. These make up the Staff Handbook. This handbook does not need to be shared with parents. Sole Providers can approach this requirement in 2 ways: you can write a staff handbook or you can state you are a sole provider and close when you cannot provide care. You also then need to include all the policy areas within your Parent Handbook.

Contractual Packet

This section includes anything the Licensing Rule requires you to have parental signatures for. Many of these items are part of a Child’s Record. 

Emergency Preparedness Plan

This can be self designed or be built from the YIKES plan shared by Licensing Specialists. 

Food Program

The food program (CACFP) is a voluntary program that many providers in Maine participate in.

Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information, Legislation, Opening a FCC

Grant Program to Help Child Care Businesses Start or Expand Announced

July 6, 2022 ~

Governor Mills Announces Launch of $10 Million Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Grant Program to Help Child Care Businesses Start or Expand

Awards could support more than 3,500 new child care slots, helping 2,000 parents pursue career and educational opportunities

Governor Janet Mills announced today that $10 million is now available through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to help child care businesses launch or expand. The awards, which utilize Federal funding through the American Rescue Plan, could support more than 3,500 new child care slots across Maine, enabling 2,000 parents to work or take classes while their children receive quality care.

The Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program is part of a $25 million child care initiative in the Governor’s Jobs Plan that includes $15 million for early childhood education. The grant program will help Maine people open child care businesses in their homes, transform existing buildings into quality child care spaces, and construct new child care facilities. Existing child care providers can also use the funding to expand the number of children they serve. Priority is given to sites in rural areas, that care for infants and toddlers, and participate in the child care subsidy program.

An additional $5.4 million for this Program was included in the supplemental budget and will be distributed this fall.

“Maine’s current and future workforce depends on accessible, affordable child care. Not only do working parents need a safe place to send their kids during the day, but research shows that successful early care and education programs can boost academic outcomes and even high school graduation rates,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Through the budget and the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, we are expanding access to child care and giving working families what they need to provide healthy, safe care for their kids that allows them to go to work, bring home a paycheck, and strengthen our economy.”

“These grants will help families across Maine find quality child care in their own communities,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) Director Todd Landry. “Jumpstarting new child care businesses and creating new child care slots will enable parents to take new jobs or pursue their education knowing that their children are safe and well cared for.”

OCFS is administering the Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program through a partnership with Brunswick-based Coastal Enterprises, Inc. The funding may be used for new construction, renovations, outdoor spaces, indoor furniture and fixtures, educational materials and working capital.

“Finding child care is a challenge for most working parents,” said Keith Bisson, President, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI). “Lack of child care keeps parents out of work, affecting a family’s economic well-being and causing a ripple effect of lower participation in Maine’s workforce. CEI is honored to partner with the State of Maine to help administer this grant program in support of our child care ecosystem.”

Applications for new family or home-based child care businesses are opening first, to encourage new providers in Maine’s rural areas, beginning today through May 2024. Home-based child care businesses may apply for 75 percent of their start-up costs, up to $8,500. Applications for new construction of child care centers and expansion of existing child care providers will be announced by August 2022.

New family child care businesses licensed by September 30, 2023 are also eligible for a one-time $2,000 stipend.

“Governor Mills and her Administration have recognized that child care is essential to Maine’s economy,” said Tara Williams, Executive Director of the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children. “Investing in child care infrastructure grants reduce cost barriers for start-up child care businesses and program expansion. These investments in child care businesses and recent investments in the child care workforce continue to grow Maine’s child care system and are beneficial to Maine’s families and economy.”

“A high quality child care system is important for the future of Maine. The ongoing investments of Governor Mills and her Administration recognize the importance of supporting all parts of the system,” said Jennifer Wescott, Chair of the Family Child Care Association of Maine. “FCCAM appreciates the recognition of the important role that family child care providers serve in a high quality child care system. We appreciate the effort to support existing programs to expand and improve quality of care, as well as providing start up support for those new small businesses entering the profession.”

Governor Mills is making these and other historic investments in accessible child care in Maine as part of the first-ever Child Care Plan for Maine (PDF) developed by OCFS that invests approximately $120 million in American Rescue Plan funds to help Maine’s child care system recover and to improve quality, accessibility, and affordability over the long-term. Maine was one of the first 12 states to release these American Rescue Plan funds, with more than 1,500 providers receiving the payments to date. This investment also includes helping low-income parents who receive subsidies by waiving their contribution to child care fees.

Additionally, Governor Mills included in her supplemental budget, signed into law in April, State funding to continue $200 monthly stipends to more than 7,000 child care workers, continuing stipends that the Department began providing last year as part of a larger effort to attract and retain people to work in this valuable profession.

As a result of these investments totaling more than $100 million, child care providers have been able to maintain, and even build, capacity despite the pandemic – from 47,819 licensed slots in February 2020 to 48,940 licensed slots in June 2022.

OCFS additionally maintains the Child Care Choices website, which allows families to locate and connect with providers in their area.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to achieve three goals: immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; long-term economic growth for Maine; and infrastructure revitalization. It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.


Maine State Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program (all this material has been gathered from the CEI website) ~

Priority Areas

Priority will be given to applications from Aroostook, Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington Counties. In addition, applicants committing to the following will receive bonus points:

  • Increasing their licensed capacity by 6 or more children
  • Providing care for infants
  • Providing care for toddlers
  • Providing care for families income-eligible for subsidy
  • Participating in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program

Funds Usage

Grant awards are expected to cover a portion of the total expenses required to open or expand a child care business. Funds awarded may be used for the following purposes:

  • Purchasing educational materials
  • Acquiring indoor furniture and fixtures
  • Creating an outdoor learning environment
  • Procuring health and safety supplies and other materials required to be licensed
  • Having sufficient working capital on hand for the first few months

Applications are currently being accepted for:

* as permitted by Family Child Care Provider Licensing Rule and Day Care & Nursery School Requirements

Existing family child care providers interested in expanding their licensed capacity* are encouraged and eligible to apply for up to 50% of their expansion costs, up to $4,000. Up to $25,000 is available for those adding a room on to their home exclusively for their child care business. Grant awards received may be used for the following purposes:

  • Renovating a home to expand licensed capacity. Selected examples include adding a window to allow for egress and to add natural light, removing a wall to increase the size of a room and adding an accessible ground-floor bathroom.
  • Purchasing educational materials. Selected examples include books, musical instruments, developmentally appropriate toys and consumable supplies, such as paper, paint and chalk.
  • Acquiring indoor furniture and fixtures. Selected examples include tables, chairs, cribs and sleeping mats.
  • Expanding an outdoor learning environment. Selected examples include installing a fence, building pathways, gardens or activity centers, such as a mud kitchen.
  • Buying playground equipment. Selected examples include swings, sandboxes, shade areas, playsets and energy-absorbing material.
  • Procuring health and safety supplies and other materials required to be licensed. Selected examples include first aid kits, electrical outlet covers and gates.

Application Process

There are three steps to the Family Child Care Growth application process:

1) FCC Growth Application 1 : Submitting the required documentation to expand the capacity of your family child care. You must submit this application first, and it is anticipated that this application may take up to two hours to complete. Applications will be accepted until all funds are awarded or through August 31, 2023, whichever occurs first.

Apply Now!

2) Meet with your licensor to understand your maximum capacity with renovations or expanded activity areas for children. In some situations, the fire marshal may need to be involved; your licensor will determine if that is required. Upon completion of FCC Growth Application 1, you and your licensor will receive an email notification to meet to discuss your expansion plans.

3) FCC Growth Application 2: Describing your expansion plans (number of children, hours of operation, and services provided) plus a list of your expansion expenses. You will receive a link to FCC Growth Application 2 after you meet with your licensor. It is anticipated that this application may take a few days to complete. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2023 or until all funds are awarded.

Posted in Business Practice

Maine Department of Labor

With more family child care providers expanding the care opportunities they provide through hiring staff, as employers you now need to be aware of Maine Department of Labor requirements and resources. FCCAM will try to provide information shared by the department that includes family child care.

This notice was recently sent out:

Dear Employer,

The Maine Department of Labor now has required workplace labor law posters available in these additional languages: Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), and Somali.

All posters are available to print/download at no cost on the MDOL website – https://www.maine.gov/labor/posters/index.shtml

We encourage all employers to display posters in the language(s) of their employees.

If you have questions about labor law, please reach out to our Bureau of Labor Standards at 207-623-7900 or https://www.maine.gov/labor/contact/index.html.

Thank you,

The Maine Department of Labor


Labor Posters

Employers are required to display certain posters in the workplace where workers can see them. The posters linked above meet the full legal requirements and can be downloaded and printed free of charge. For more information about individual posters, call the agencies listed.

Here’s a look at 3 of these posters. For FCC providers these posters might be best shred as part of the Staff Handbook. The purpose of the posters is for awareness/to inform staff of rights.

Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS

Required Evacuation Drills Clarification

Here’s the initial response: ANY type of emergency disaster drill counts…some options that could be practiced: shelter in place, lost child, simulated relocation (staff, NOT KIDS TRANSPORTED unsafely in cars), severe weather, unknown person/suspicious situation, coming inside due to an emergency, etc.

Here’s the clarification: The language of the Licensing Rule specifies a requirement for 2 evacuation drills in rule SECTION 14. ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY /Q. Emergency preparedness plan / 2. The Provider must conduct an evacuation drill at least twice a year and the dates must be recorded and be available for review. (Same section for Facility Rule. Q/2 language: The Child Care Facility must conduct an evacuation drill at least twice a year and the dates must be recorded and be available for review. A simulated drill is acceptable.)

The key word is “evacuation“.

Shelter-in-place drills of any kind that do not include evacuation, do not meet the emergency drill needed for rule compliance.


Let’s look at this more:

  • You already do monthly fire drills with the smoke alarm.
  • You already have a running log for fire drills.
  • You need to add 2 noted Evacuation drills to that log.
  • Reminder: FCC Rule Section 5/A-5: A record of fire drills for the preceding three years must be available for inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal’s Office, and local fire inspectors.
  • For fire drills, you use different exits.

Practice any of the other types of safety drills you think would support the children, such as shelter-in-place, reverse evacuation, medical emergency and lost child. Log any Safety Drill you practice.

For evacuation drill:

  • Simulate it: practice the steps to gather and leave. Use the language specific to evacuation vs fire.
  • As part of your Emergency Preparedness Plan you should have multiple alternate sites you could evacuate to. It is recommended to have one you can walk to. For a walking site you could actually gather and leave your premises.
  • You are not required to transport children off the premises. If you do transport children as part of your program, you can practice transporting as part of your drill. If you do not transport, you can practice what loading everyone into a vehicle would be like in an emergency. Simulating this does not put any child in harms way as your vehicle is not running at any point. You just practice loading in, sitting still, and unloading. You could then pretend you are at the safe site and what would you do there?
Posted in Business Practice

That Staff Handbook……

There continues to be questions about the “Staff Handbook” required in the current Family Child Care Licensing Rule. The Professional Learning Committee has a variety of resources around staff available on this site. They can be found through the “Menu” under “Business Toolkit ” and “Licensing Rule (FCC)”.

Let’s start with the “Staff” part of the 3 checklists found in the “Licensing Rule (FCC)”. This list is the minimum required in the FCC Licensing Rule. For sole providers this can all be covered in your general Parent Handbook. You do not need a separate staff handbook that way. The purpose of the Staff Handbook is to be sure responsibilities are clearly stated for staff. The Staff Handbook does not need to be shared with your parents. For these with Staff you may also find you have this covered in your Parent Handbook. If so, copy it for your separate Staff Handbook.

Policies and implementation required:
i. Mandated reporting,
ii. Child guidance,
iii. Child illness,
iv. Fire drill procedures,
v. Emergency and disaster procedures,
vi. Staff Member qualifications and training,
vii. Supervision of Staff Members/interns
viii. Reporting licensing violations,
ix. Inclusionary practices for Children with disabilities,
x. Safe sleep policy,
xi. Serious injury and Child death reporting,
xii. Expulsion and suspension prevention,
xiii. Interpretation for English Language Learners,
xiv. Release of Children, and
xv. Transportation of Children (if applicable).
A personnel record must be kept for all Staff Members.
a. Name, current street and mailing address, birth date and current telephone number;
c. Dates of employment and termination of Staff Members. Reasons for termination must be kept in the personnel record for a minimum of one year;
d. A statement signed and dated by each Staff Member certifying that the most current licensing rule has been read and understood;
e. A statement signed and dated by each Staff Member, certifying that the Provider ‘s personnel policies, admission policies, and Parent handbook have been read and understood;
f. Documentation of any disciplinary action;
g.Documentation of completed background checks in the form of a Provider Letter of Eligibility, issued by the Department, that specifies the Staff Member is Eligible for employment.
The Provider must document all orientation and training of all Staff Members by proof of completion from a qualified on-line or in-person source.
Staff Members must be properly immunized and provide documentation of immunizations to the Provider.
Staff members must receive written instructions regarding Child Abuse or Neglect reporting that contains a summary of the State of Maine Child abuse reporting statute and a statement that they will not be discharged or disciplined solely because they have made a Child Abuse or Neglect report.
Immunization records must be maintained to ensure proper medical treatment is determined and given in the event of a disease outbreak or public health emergency.

On this website, the “Business Toolkit” is where you will find most of the resources you want for both parent and staff agreements. For parents go to the landing page to start. For staff go directly to the drop down menu.

The “Staff Contract/Handbook” contains just about everything a small family child care owner needs to support hiring, staff meetings, contractual language and complying with the FCC Licensing Rule for a Staff Handbook around program policies. Language samples runs from a simple 1 page policy awareness and signature to sections that cover everything in more detail. As each program is unique, you will have to do some clicking and scanning of the shared resources the PLC has gathered from a variety of providers to find what works best for you. Adjust to meet your specific needs.

Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information, MRTQ-PDN

What’s Important About “SHORTcuts”?

All child care providers, whether they are licensed-exempt, FCC providers, center directors or any child care staff are required under the active Licensing Rules for FCC and Facilities to join the state’s Registry that MRTQ PDN handles. Part of being on the registry means you will receive “SHORTScuts” a weekly e-newsletter. It usually hits inboxes on Wednesdays.

Why should you care if it’s in your spam box or not?

Most of us get too many emails to deal with as busy providers. With our limited time to do required and recommended record keeping, when checking emails it’s just so easy to trash ones we see as unimportant to our daily work. And the ones already in the spam box are really easy to ignore. You want to check out SHORTScuts before you trash it. Yes, it’s a longer email, but you can quickly scroll through it only stopping at items of interest.

The weekly SHORTScuts is the best place to see what is happening in the wider ece field for trainings. MRTQ PDN has the ability to gather resources on training opportunities that no other organization or agency in Maine does. With SHORTScuts they have pulled together news about local, state and national training opportunities. If you see a training opportunity of interest you can easily access more information from the link buttons included in the descriptions. They also share informational updates, usually at the beginning of the e-newsletter.


Still don’t think you’ll have time to deal with checking your email for this weekly e-newsletter? That’s ok. MRTQ PDN has the publications from March 2020 to the latest SHORTScut e-newsletter on their website. You can always just go there.


The weekly SHORTScuts e-newsletter comes from: jennifer.wiles@maine.edu. Be sure to adjust your email’s recognition of this, so the email doesn’t sit in your spam box.

Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS

Interpretation for English Language Learners

The Professional Learning Committee continues to review the FCC and Facility Licensing Rules as part of gathering resources to support providers. As part of this review we hit upon the requirement in the staff handbook that requires interpretation for English Language Learners.

This is not an area we have seen providers raising many questions about, but are also not seeing it addressed in policies we are seeing. We are wondering if providers have not picked up on it, as we had not in our previous readings of the Licensing Rule?

The diversity of Maine’s communities, whether urban or rural, continues to grow. This diversity is also being seen in the child care workforce, whether it’s staff or new programs being opened. With community changes providers are seeing the diversity of the children in care changing. The question becomes how we as small business owners address this diversity within our programs. Providing the service of child care we know that working with the child’s family is a major part of that we do. We want our client families to understand we are open to working together. Add in that best business practice tells us we should address our working practices within our policies. The PLC reached out to MRTQ PDN DC Marnie Morneault to discuss concerns of English Language Learners and some of the impact on providers and programs. As part of this discussion Licensing was also asked to clarify if the interpretation requirement was just for staff, as that was the only place we found it clearly required. Their response was that interpretation covered more than staff. It covered our work with children and communication with their parents/legal guardians. With this clarity the PLC felt it was important to provide sample language providers could use in their handbook covering interpretation.

The question became: “How do we make it clear that we welcome diversity and meet interpretation needs for English Language Learners (ELLs)?”

You might also see or be familiar with ELLs being referred to as: limited English proficient (LEP), Dual Language Learners (DLLs), home language, or primary language. In the past English as Second Language (ESL) was commonly used. That has changed with the recognition that many who are learning English already speak several other languages, so English would not be a “second” language.

What is language interpreting and translation?

Language interpreting is the conversion of one spoken language into another, where translation covers written language. Interpreting and translation also apply to the context of signed languages and tactile writing systems like Braille.

Looking beyond the child considering a child’s parents and/or your staff, they may have good conversational fluency in English, but may not be able to understand, discuss or read information proficiently in English. They may be reluctant to request or accept professional interpreting and translation services due to fear of costs, inconvenience, or concerns about confidentiality. We felt these barriers needed to be consider in development of policy language. Providers may already be addressing inclusion within a number of policies around children’s rights, parental communications, their program’s curriculum meeting individual child needs. Through continuing discussion specifically around language, the PLC thought it made sense for providers to add in simple, specific language that clearly mentioned working with English Language Learners. Working with Marnie we have 2 language versions that should meet that need.

If you have your handbook all updated for the new Licensing Rule, you can add this language as an addendum. If you print off your handbook you can now print off this language as a separate sheet and hand it out to parents. If you do your handbook online, it’s easier to make changes in the set-up. Make the change and then send an email with the link, verbally tell and/or note on your parent information board.

English Language Learners Policy (Families):

At ___ childcare we accept learners from all ethnic backgrounds.  The primary language we communicate in is ____.  If you communicate more comfortably in another language, please let us know.  We will make every effort to make our materials and communications accessible for you in your home language.  We will also incorporate your child’s language and culture into our visuals and communications as much as possible. 

English Language Learners Policy (Staff):

At ____childcare we employ staff from all ethnic backgrounds.  The primary language we communicate in is ______.  If you communicate more comfortably in another language, please let us know.  We will make every effort to make our materials and communications accessible for you in your home language.  


Additional resources for providers looking for more information on this topic:

Dual Language Learners: Considerations and Strategies (Head Start/ECLKC)

Dual Language Learners Resources | Early Childhood  (The National Center on Early Childhood Development)

Planned Language Approach: Tips for Getting Started (Head Start/ECLKC)

Posted in Business Practice, Opening a FCC

What’s It Mean to be a Family Child Care Provider?

The answer to that question is as varied as family child care providers are, but we do have a common foundation.

We know that family child care providers are in this business because of the children, but it’s more than just taking children into our homes. Family child care providers are first and foremost small business owners. We have chosen this career path to financially provide for ourselves and our families. If you question if we qualify as a small business, look at the process we all go through to open and to remain open. The regulations are covered in our 62 page FCC Licensing Rule that we must meet. These minimum health and safety regulations cover everything from how to store breast milk, to the annual professional development we need, to the temperature we need to maintain within our program.

As successful small business owners it is essential to build a business plan, look at branding and marketing, and cover benefits like health insurance and retirement. Without considering how we will run our small business we cannot do what we opened our doors to: support children and their development.

The purpose of our small business qualifies us as early childhood education and care professionals. When most hear “educator” they immediately think of public school teachers, but educator has a broader meaning: a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue. Family child care providers, in fact all in the child care workforce, are educators.

Family child care providers are more than just educators.

We are…..

Food service managers:

  • Order food and beverages, equipment, and supplies
  • Oversee food preparation, portion sizes, and the overall presentation of food
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas
  • Ensure that employees comply with health and food safety standards

Property managers:

  • Keep the property in safe and habitable condition.
  • Responsible for the physical management of the property, including regular maintenance and emergency repairs.
  • Quality improvement efforts

First aid responders:

  • Specialized training
  • First to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as an accident, or natural disaster

Bookkeepers:

  • Perform payroll functions in an accurate and timely manner, and submit payroll taxes
  • Conduct reconciliation of all accounts on an as needed basis
  • Maintain and balance the general ledger in an accurate, complete, and up-to-date manner
  • Perform all activities related to the accounts payable function
  • Perform account receivable functions including invoicing, deposits, collections, and revenue recognition
  • Prepare financial reports through collection, analysis, and summarization of data

Housekeepers and house cleaners:

  • Dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping the floors in all rooms.
  • Cleaning the bathrooms, including mirrors, toilets, showers and baths.
  • Cleaning the kitchen, including wiping down appliances, counters, sinks and cabinet doors.
  • Washing and drying dishes and putting them away.
  • Changing bed linens and making the beds.
  • Washing, folding clothes.
  • Cleaning interior windows.
  • Removing garbage and recycling.
  • Restocking personal items such as toilet paper, tissues, etc.
  • General tidying of the rooms. This includes putting away toys, decluttering and light organizing.
  • Running errands.
  • Caring for pets.

We might also be employers and be responsible for all the tasks involved with hiring, training, evaluating, and firing.

Most importantly we are educators!

We:

  • Maintain a safe and comfortable environment
  • Provide age-appropriate active supervision and behavior guidance
  • Develop schedules and enforce routines
  • Plan and implement lessons
  • Observe, gather and document child’s growth and behavior
  • Gather and communicate observations with child’s parent/legal guardian, providing supporting resources as appropriate
  • Address cultural and/or special needs. This includes emotional, physical or educational. Let’s just look at food for a couple of examples: If a child has a food allergy, the provider must be aware of the content of the food the child is offered or is eating. / If a child’s culture or religion doesn’t allow certain foods we offer acceptable substitutes.

As family child care providers we have chosen an incredible career. It is both challenging and rewarding. When someone asks “What do you do for work?” Proudly answer: “I’m a small business owner. ~ I’m an early childhood educator and care professional. ~ I operate a licensed family child care business.”

Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information

Are You Using Go NAPSACC? Maine’s Free ECE Online Health and Nutrition Tool

Go NAPSACC makes it easier than ever to give the children in your program a start in developing healthy habits.

Programs use Go NAPSACC to improve their practices, policies and environments in these seven areas:

  • Child Nutrition:
    • Foods & Beverages Provided
    • Feeding Environment & Practices
    • Menus & Variety
  • Breastfeeding & Infant Feeding:
    • Breastfeeding Environment & Support Practices
    • Infant Foods Provided & Feeding Practices
  • Farm to ECE:
    • Local Foods Provided
    • Gardening
  • Oral Health:
    • Toothbrushing
    • Foods & Beverages Provided
    • Teacher Practices
  • Infant & Child Physical Activity:
    • Time Provided
  • Indoor Play Environment:
    • Daily Practices
  • Outdoor Play & Learning:
    • Outdoor Playtime & Play Environment
  • Screen Time:
    • Availability
    • Daily Practices

Go NAPSACC walks providers through the following 5 step process as they look at how to improve their program to support the development of healthy habits for the children in their care. You can work on one or multiple areas at a time. This 5 step process works as a loop that allows for continual review and growth of policy and best practices.

Maine is a partner state with Go NAPSACC, so for providers in Maine to get started you go to: https://gonapsacc.org.

  • Once there you will click on the green JOIN TODAY button on the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
  • Click “continue” under the blue Directors and Owners option.
  • Use registration code: 089vb5tt0le2x2z

Once you have joined Go NAPSACC you can log back in at any time. Remember this resource works because it allows you to continually access and grow your practices around healthy habits.

For more information contact Marissa White, Program Assistant at MCD Public Health / mwhite@mcd.org / 207-622-7566 ext230