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, ECE Information, Opening a FCC

Greater Portland Child Care Business Lab

~ information from Starting Strong

Applications are now available to the new Child Care Business Lab geared toward opening an in-home family child care in greater Portland! This opportunity is a partnership between the United Way of Southern Maine, CEI, the Greater Portland Workforce Initiative and Portland ConnectED – Starting Strong. The Child Care Business Lab consists of groups of ten to fifteen individuals learning together how to start a child care program. The members of the group will have similar goals and may also share the same concerns or challenges. By joining the Child Care Business Lab, you will be part of an interactive, engaging community – establishing relationships that may last for decades. 

Participants in the Child Care Business Lab will:
 – Develop a business plan
– Be coached through the licensing process
– Uncover best practices for managing a child care business
– Learn how to secure funding
– Work 1:1 with a business advisor
– Receive 1:1 individualized support throughout the program

There is no charge for the learning sessions or the meetings with the business advisors and child care mentors. The Business Lab will be available in English and in French (depending on demand). Participants will also be eligible to apply for special start-up child care business loans and we’ll help you apply for any grants available. 

This 2022 program starts in June, and it is expected that entrepreneurs selected will open a high-quality child care business in 2022.Questions or need assistance? Contact Kwame Yeboah at kyeboah@uwsme.org.
Learn more
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

Update on Required Evacuation Drills

In mid-April, FCCAM reminded providers of the need to have completed their 2 Evacuation Drills by the end of May. This reminder on our Facebook page generated a number of questions. We reached out to Licensing to see if we could get some additional answers. The initial response we shared has been further updated.

Here’s the first 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 update: (4/22/22) 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.)

Shelter-in-place drills of any kind that do no include evacuation, do not meet the emergency drill needed for rule compliance.

Why the need for completion by end of May? The Family Child Care Licensing Rule went active on May 27, 2021. That meant fcc providers were expected to be in compliance with the Rule as of that date. For all providers that were licensed when it went active, the FCC Licensing Rule will have been in place for 1 year come May 27, 2022.

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.

Next:

  • The key word is evacuation
  • 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?
  • As for fire drills, you should use different exits.
  • You can also 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.
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

Latest CDC COVID -19 Guidance

What to do about COVID-19 continues to be an area of discussions among providers. The most recent is about whether to follow the new CDC guidance on COVID-19 or continue with the current practices. First, a reminder that CDC recommendations do not supersede state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. As long as providers comply with state and local regulations, as small business owners, we are able to make the decision that works for our individual situation/program.

Whatever you decide works for you, please remember to have it as part of your written policies. With any change to policy, it is best practice to have parents sign off on being informed of the change. This is easy to do with a simple 1 page signature sheet you keep with your records.

Both the past guidance and new recommendations will continue to be available on the website. You can find them in the Menu under “Current Covid Info”.


Here’s what we’ve pulled from the CDC site as of 12/27/21:

CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation, if asymptomatic, from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days. Isolation is to be followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others, to minimize the risk of infecting others.

The ongoing scientific studying of COVID-19 and the current Omicron variant, is demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness. This is generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. The change in isolation recommendation reflects this.

The CDC also updated the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19.

  • For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days.
  • If a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. 
  • For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure.
  • If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

Data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccine effectiveness against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is approximately 35%. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%.

COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

CDC strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 16 and older.

Posted in Business Practice, MRTQ-PDN

Business Practices Training

UPDATE (12/22/21): APPLICATION is now available! Submit application by January 14, 2022. Those selected will be notified by January 22, 2022.


FCCAM has encouraged providers to be looking for and opening the weekly “Shortcuts” email that comes from MRTQ PDN. It’s a longer email, but easy to scan through. It shares tons of information about training opportunities all in one place. We are sharing information from the 12/15/21 “Shortcuts” just in case you missed it.


MRTQ PDN is offering a pilot of the Strengthening Business Practices for Child Care Programs Initiative.

This unique professional development opportunity includes a virtual training series with an additional two meetings in the form of a Community of Practice, specifically for those participating in the pilot. These COPs will focus on business practices allowing time for peer-to-peer support, sharing of knowledge, and problem-solving.

Additionally, upon successful completion of this pilot program, participants will be offered on-site consultation and will receive a Quality Improvement Award of computer hardware and/or software.

This free training is open to family and center-based child care as well as to out-of-school time programs.

The goal of the training is to strengthen program leaders’ foundational knowledge of fiscal terms, concepts, and practices.

The four modules on this virtual training will focus on:

  • Developing a budget and using it for decision-making throughout the year, 
  • Understanding how to project business costs, generate additional income, and plan strategically for future goals,  
  • Using fiscal reports and understanding internal controls to strengthen your program’s fiscal health,  
  • Using data and articulating features and benefits of your program for marketing purposes 
  • Understanding best practices for hiring and training staff and becoming familiar with developing a staff handbook and strategies for staff feedback.

Virtual sessions will be held 6:30 to 8:30 pm on:

  • Feb ’22: 2nd & 16th
  • March ’22: 2nd, 16th & 30th
  • April ’22: 13th & 27th
  • May ’22: 11th

Community of Practice meetings to be held in March and May are TBA for evening or Saturday morning.

For more detailed information check out the Strengthening Business Practices Talking Points.

If you have questions, please contact Karen Bergeron, Statewide Quality Initiatives Manager at karen.bergeron@maine.edu.

Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information

Still Time to Enroll in Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace!

As self-employed small business owners, family child care providers today have 2 options for health care coverage: insure under a partner’s employer-sponsored coverage or purchase our own through an Affordable Care Act Health Care Marketplace. In the past, many providers found ACA coverage while an option, still expensive and/or had high deductibles. If we have employees we are not usually in a place to provide them with health insurance and they face the same options: self coverage or partner’s. It’s important to know that with changes to the law, the Affordable Care Act Health Care Marketplace has become more affordable.

Maine now has their own Health Insurance Marketplace: CoverME.gov. Providers and their staff should check out their options before enrollment ends. It’s pretty easy. Create an account, fill out an application, and enroll in quality, affordable coverage.

Some Things to Know about the Marketplace Open Enrollment:

  1. Open Enrollment Period started on November 1 and runs until January 15, 2022.
  2. Consumers who enroll by December 15 can get coverage that starts January 1, 2022.
  3. The American Rescue Plan has provided increased financial assistance to lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs, making coverage more affordable.
  4. Health plans are available that offer doctor visits, emergency care, behavioral health care, preventive care , hospital care, and prescription drugs.
  5. There is more help available. To shop and compare health plans use Maine’s Plan Compare tool. It will take you through a few simple steps to find the right health insurance plan for your needs and budget.

*Sample of what might see as a plan from the Plan Compare tool for a single individual 57 years of age with income at $45000. There were 49 plan options.


CoverME.gov is operated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services P.O. BOX 616 | AUGUSTA, ME 04332-6626 | 1-866-636-0355 | TTY: 711

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, ECE Information

ARPA Stabilization Grant 1st Payment is Almost Here!

FCCAM Professional Learning Committee reached out on the ARPA Stabilization Grant to see if we could get a couple of questions being raised by providers answered.

Our email: “The PLC has received questions about how providers will receive payment and when it will start. We have previously posted for providers to watch for regular mail containing information they would need to the grant application and the email that their application submission was received. We have been reminding providers to retain all communications around this ARPA Grant. 
We are wondering if you have future directive we can provide regarding email notification, regular mail payments, etc. Any informed information we can share with providers would be appreciated.”

The response: “If they are set up for direct deposit they will receive payment that way, if not they will receive a check in the mail.  Payments will start at the end of October.  We will be updating info /FAQs/ etc within the next few weeks.”


Providers are also asking about the amount stated on their email about approval of their grant application. This is not the first email that states your application submission went through ~

It’s the email saying after review your application is approved. This approval email will list the amount of your grant. This amount is the monthly amount, not the total amount of grant. Your total amount will depend on when you apply for the grant and are approved. If you got in before Sept. 30th, your first payment will be coming the end of Oct. ’21. If you continue to provide direct care you will get monthly payments of the grant through Sept. ’22. This ARPA Stabilization grant is to run from Oct. ’21 to Sept. ’22, a maximum of 12 months. With this being a rolling grant providers who did not apply before Sept. 30th will be able to apply going forward.

Also note that your business situation might change over the length of the grant. You will be able to update your application through self-reporting. Details on this will be coming.

Some providers have asked about the listing of dollar amounts for each of the QRIS Steps. This indicates what the increase you would see each month would be if you raise your QRIS Step level. The amount is a monthly amount, not per child. With the incentives available from MRTQ PDN for moving up Steps, providers might find this a good time to look at what is needed to move up QRIS Steps. FCCAM PLC is happy to help any of our members looking at this. MRTQ PDN also has free Technical Assistance(TA).

Is award based on capacity? No the monthly amount is based of the number you are licensed for. In our discussions the PLC figures the questions around capacity are there to gather data about what is happening in Maine around care availability. Are workforce shortages impacting this? Is Maine’s workforce getting back to normal? Are there child care deserts, where future funds need to be focused? Etc. Federal money has requirements attached to it.

Estimation of your expenses falls into the same place. Why is this asked? What if I don’t have a lot of expenses? How do I use up the money? Etc. Don’t worry about the amount of the estimated expenses, just be sure you track what you spend the grant money on. A previous posted resource about allowable expenses is a place to start.

We also want to remind providers that you need to:

This is a perfect time to look further at how you maintain your small business records. Record keeping is recognized as one of the best returns in increasing your income for time spent. It will be especially important to have a solid tracking system in place to track the ARPA Stabilization grant funds vs expenses.


FCCAM will continue to share updates on the grant through blog posts, on our Facebook page and under the “Stabilization Grant” menu tab. You can find additional resources under the “Stabilization Grant” menu tab.