Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information

Early Childhood Education Workforce Listening Sessions

taken from MRTQ Shortcuts ~

The Office of Child and Family Services, in partnership with the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, will be hosting a series of listening sessions with individuals working in the early childhood education field. In response to legislation introduced this past legislative session, the Office of Child and Family Services and a small team of stakeholders is examining policy options for increasing compensation for Maine’s early childhood education workforce. 

With support from the federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Office of Child and Family Services will be able to offer $200 per month stipends for teachers and staff working directly with children in licensed child care programs.  However this funding will end after one year. OCFS and its partners are taking this time to examine steps other states have taken to boost compensation for early childhood educators and receive feedback from early childhood educators and key stakeholders. The team will pull together this information in a report laying out policy options for legislators and policymakers to consider during the next legislative session. 

These listening sessions will be facilitated by a trained facilitator who will gather input and feedback from child care center directors, family child care owners/directors and early childhood educators working in center-based and home-based programs. 

Three listening sessions will be held via Zoom during the last week in September:

  • A listening session for Child Care Center Directors will be held on Monday, September 27th from noon to 1 pm. To participate in this session, please register in advance at this link.  
  • A listening session for Family Child Care Directors and Owners will be held on Tuesday, September 28th from 6 pm to 7 pm. To participate in this session, please register in advance at this link
  • A listening session for early childhood educators and staff working in child care centers or family child care programs will be held on Wednesday, September 29th from 6 pm to 7 pm. To register for this session, please register at this link

If you have any questions about these sessions, please feel free to email Ana Hicks, Children’s Cabinet Coordinator, at ana.hicks@maine.gov.

Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information, Professional Development

Maine’s 2021 Statewide Early Childhood Education Conference Is Going Virtual

FCCAM’s Professional Learning Committee wants providers to know about the opportunity for more providers to attend the 2021 Statewide ECE Conference for FREE! We also want those that had already registered for this event to have time to make any adjustments needed.


from the Statewide Conference Planning Team:

We have had growing concerns within our conference planning team and from many of our presenters and participants around the Delta Variant. Most of you are teachers, staff, and leaders at child care centers, family child care programs, and public schools who will be going back to spaces with children two days after our event. And, as you know, vaccines for children are not yet available. We don’t feel it is going to be safe to continue with a large indoor event that is only weeks away during a surge in cases in Maine.

We are excited about the excellent keynote speakers and presenters who will be able to bring you great content over the two days as well as new opportunities this will allow for, such as access to sessions beyond the event itself. Below are some details regarding the change from in-person to virtual: 



Registration:

  • The $70 registration cost will allow access to the conference for the full 2 days and beyond!  We are working within our conference planning team to make adjustments to those who have already purchased tickets for two days and paid $140.
  • Exciting news! If you haven’t registered yet, there will be 170 more complimentary registrations available next week on September 16th at 6am. Stay tuned for an email from The Office of Child and Family Services with a code to register for FREE! 

Keynote Speakers and Breakout Sessions: 

  • There will be one keynote and 30 live workshops to choose from each day. Most sessions will be recorded for later viewing so you can attend and engage with even more content for months after the event.
  • LIVE Keynote Address with Walter Gilliam on Friday and Lisa Murphy on Saturday! 
  • Other LIVE breakout sessions with Lisa Murphy on Saturday include Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered and Lisa Murphy On…Play! The Importance of Early Experiences. Please note, these sessions will only run live on Saturday and will not be recorded for future viewing. 
  • Over 50 breakout sessions to choose from over the 2 days including: 
    • Business Basics for Family Child Care Providers 
    • Supporting LGBTQ Families in the Early Childhood Setting
    • Mindfulness: Experience and Inquiry
    • Moving Out: First Steps to Creating an Outdoor Classroom
    • Creating a Trauma Sensitive Classroom
    • And much more! 

Questions? Check out the 2021 Statewide Early Childhood Education Conference Event Page and always feel free to reach out!

Posted in ECE Information, Professional Development

Bangor ECE Conference Planned for Oct is going Virtual

The Maine Early Childhood Conference planning team is working on a process that will move this year’s event from in-person to virtual. We are planning for the virtual conference to take place on the same days, October 22nd and 23rd. We will be in touch next week with more information, but in the meantime, we wanted you to know about this decision right away so that those who have booked hotel rooms can cancel without penalty.

For those who may have booked rooms at the Fairfield Inn or Residence Inn, please be sure to cancel by the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday, September 1st.

For those staying in other hotels, we recommend you cancel ASAP, and let them know this is COVID-related.


We have had growing concerns within our conference planning team and from many of our presenters and participants around the Delta Variant. Most of you are teachers, staff, and leaders at child care centers, family child care programs, and public schools who will be going back to spaces with children two days after our event. And, as you know, vaccines for children are not yet available. We don’t feel it is going to be safe to continue with a large indoor event that is only weeks away during a surge in cases in Maine.

We are excited about the excellent keynote speakers and presenters who will be able to bring you great content over the two days as well as new opportunities this will allow for, such as access to sessions beyond the event itself. Stay tuned for more details and information.

Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information

Saying Yes! To the Stabilization Grant

Conversations questioning whether or not providers should apply for the lastest stabilization grant are going on. Members of the PLC have done research of federal/national resources, and reviewed other states’ approaches. FCCAM PLC is not offering any financial or legal expertise with this post. While FCCAM supports providers applying for this latest stabilization grant, it is up to each provider to make the best decision for their personal position and their small business’ sustainability.


Grants and loans are income for tax purposes, but unlike a loan you do not have to pay a grant back. A comment repeatedly heard in discussions has been in regards to providers not wanting to pay additional taxes. If you take this grant you would be paying additional taxes on the income from the grant, but at the same time you would be walking away with more money than you had without the grant. 

A common figure used for estimating what the extra tax basis would be is 30% – 40%. As self-employed, you have to pay 15% Social Security/Medicare tax; any state tax; and then the federal tax (following the current year tax brackets) on all income, including any grant money. If you are looking for an estimate of what to take off the top, look at 30-40% tax on the grant money.

Thinking of the grant as extra income, not extra taxes, here’s an example:

Provider licensed for 8, needing their full-time equivalent (FTE) to be at 5 to meet their annual business budget. 

“Full-time equivalent(FTE)” is a financial term. For child care it means filling up a care slot. It’s not licensed capacity. It’s how your care slots are filled. We all know we are licensed for a certain number, but we often have more than that enrolled in the program. That’s because if we are doing part-time or before-after school care we are juggling children to fill each care slot as full as possible so we are maxing out the potential income.

Do you turn away children when full-time equivalent is reached? For most the answer would be “No”. Extra income is made from those additional children in care, even minus the 30% paid in taxes. That extra income can be used for such things as a new car, kids travel teams, college tuition, home renovations, and retirement. 

In researching, there were only 2 examples provided where the grant might have a negative impact. One is if your health insurance cost is figured off your income. Any increase in income could cause you to have higher insurance costs that would outweigh the financial gain. The other is if your income is used in applying for financial scholarship relief for a child in college or preparing to attend college, or even yourself if you are in a degree program. In either of these situations you should contact the party that oversees them for more information.

Sole provider / licensed for 8 / no subsidy / Quality for ME Step 1

  • capacity: $800
  • staff: $200
  • subsidy: $0
  • Step 1: $50

Monthly total: $1050

*Payments of this grant which start Oct. 2021 are expected to last a year ending in Sept. 2022. Income received is thus split over 2 tax years: 3 months for 2021 and 9 months 2022.

  • Oct/Nov/Dec 2021: $3150 / 30% is $945 / income gained $2205
  • Jan thru Sept 2022: $9450 / 30% is $2835 / income gained $6615

From 8/3/21 OCFS memo: Grant funds are meant to cover COVID-related costs for the following:

  • Rent, utilities, facilities maintenance, and insurance
  • Reduction in family cost (i.e. registration fees, weekly child care cost for private pay parents)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning, and other health and safety needs
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Goods and services
  • Mental health services
  • Paying for past expenses
  • Additional administrative expenses due to COIVD-19
  • COVID-19 testing and contact tracing
  • Additional food cost due to COVID-19; and/or
  • To prevent hardship due to closings in response to positive cases of COVID within programs or decreased enrollment
  • Hazard pay or bonuses to staff.
    • Staff support can include but not limited to staff sign-on bonuses, current staff bonuses, increased wages, hazard pay or back pay from March 11, 2021 on.
    • Grant funds may be used to support staff not eligible for the individual grant staff bonuses.

For the staff bonus you need to be sure your employees meet the federal definition: Employees are defined as individuals for whom you withhold and pay any federal and state payroll taxes. Independent contractors or anyone you provide a 1099 Form to are not considered employees. 

Here’s a Family Child Care Expense Tracking Tool which might help providers estimate their total of their program’s monthly expenses that the Maine application is asking for. 

If you have a wish list of items for future purchase, using grant money is an option. From the research, other states are allowing providers to take the full grant as income for themselves. It is not clear if this will be allowable in Maine. Most providers’ annual business expenses are already covered by collected parent fees. With receipts the grant amount can be used to cover your normal annual business deductions and parent fees would now be your income/profit. It’s all the same total money, just assigned different roles/purposes. Funding a retirement account with the grant may also be allowable. If you have debt for such things as medical expenses, or credit cards, paying those off might be better usage of funds. Paying off accounts like this (with accruing interest) you realize more return on that extra income in the long run. Then you might consider just setting extra income aside for that. All indications are that major renovations are not allowable as a usage for this money. Our situations are all unique and thus how we decide to proceed in usage of the extra income from this stabilization grant will vary

For a number of the business expenses fcc providers can write off as deductions the Time-Space % must be used. Consider that to cover or pay $0 in taxes on $3000 of the grant (at 30% tax) you would need to have deduction receipts that total $10,000. That means an additional extra $10,000 in receipts. Using the scenario of $3450 extra income for 2021, after just paying the 30%( $1035) for taxes you’re ahead $2415 for 2021 if you take the grant.

Many providers do not take all the deductions they are legally able to. Tom Copeland has some strong thoughts on this and has written many posts about taxes and deductions. Check out his posts.


Having some basic knowledge of tax brackets and how they work might help answer additional questions.

Your total income is not what you pay taxes on. Your taxable income is determined by finding your adjusted gross income and then subtracting either the standard deduction or itemized deductions. Here are the 2021 standard deductions amounts for each filing status:

Filing StatusStandard Deduction
Single$12,550
Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)$25,100
Married Filing Separately$12,550
Head of Household$18,800

The IRS requires receipts for items that are claimed as deductions to be maintained for 3 years. States may have another standard. If you have staff you need to keep those payment records for 4 years. 7 years is only required if you claim a loss or bad debt as a deduction.

The tax you owe is figured by adding the amount for each of the brackets your income falls under. If you fall into 3 different tax brackets, you pay at those 3 different rates. It is a common misunderstanding that all of your taxable income is taxed at the highest rate. You would add them all up to find your total income tax owed. If you make just enough to fall into a higher tax bracket only the amount you made just over a bracket will be taxed higher. Check your copy of your federal and state tax returns for the last couple of years. You can see if your income and business expenses are aligning or if there is a major change in either. You can estimate what the grant income might do. 

You can find charts for all the 2021 tax brackets here.

Here’s how it would work for Married filing jointly:

$0 – $19,90010%
$19,901 – $81,050$1,990 + 12% of the amount over $19,900
$81,051 – $172,750$9,328 + 22% of the amount over $81,050
$172,751 – $329,850$29,502 + 24% of the amount over $172,750
$172,751 – $329,850$67,206 + 32% of the amount over $329,850
$418,851 – $628,300$95,686 + 35% of the amount over $418,850
$628,301 or more$168,993.50 + 37% of the amount over $628,300

For providers that are thinking about lowering their costs for parents for the year or not raising rates as planned, 2 points to consider: 

1 – It’s good business practice to keep your rates at least at the market rate for your county or raise your posted rate yearly considering the annual inflation rate. You do not have to charge families your posted rate. You can apply discounts per family as desired. Annual update of rates helps eliminate big rate changes.

2 – If you decide to reduce costs for families this year, you will not show an increase in your income and thus no taxes will be paid on grant money received. What will the impact be on your rates after this grant has ended?

Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information

A Conversation with Licensing Around the FCC Rule

The Professional Learning Committee recently met with Licensing Supervisors, Pattie Collins and Jennifer Welch. This meeting was a chance to ask about the process behind the FCC Licensing Rule and to get clarification on regulations that have been raising questions among providers old and new.


We started out passing along some simple editing notes providers had shared with us:

  • Section 8/Training A(10):  “Transportation of Children (if the individual will be responsible for the transportation of children; required biannually thereafter) 

This training is required every 2 years, not twice a year. “biannually” is an editing error and will be corrected in the final printing.

  • Section 2-G misnumbering after 8

We pointed out our note on this in the “Licensing Rule”. They were aware of this and noted it was listed for correction.


Then we asked for clarification around the changes for immunizations. The changes having to do with immunizations are driven by the new Maine Vaccine Exemptions Law which requires all DOE and DHHS rules to be amended to fit under this law in regards to only medical exemptions being acceptable for lack of immunization by Sept 1, 2021. This exemption applies to both children attending child care and adults providing child care. So yes,

  • All children need to have complete immunization records on file, even school-age.
  • All adults providing care need to be immunized and their records also on file.

Maine Child Care Immunization Standards

Maine-AAP vaccination exemption form for child care.

“Properly immunized” for adults means Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccination (Tdap) and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) for those born after 1956..  More information about adult vaccination schedules can be found here: Adult Immunization Schedule by Vaccine and Age Group | CDC


Next we discussed what was meant by a provider handbook for staff vs a manual in Licensing Requirements and Procedures 2:G7. This requirement is causing a lot of anger/frustration among providers that are sole providers and we wanted to be sure the information we have been and will provide is correct.

We shared examples from FCCAM’s “Licensing Rule” and from a provider’s business website. The examples are for a sole provider without staff or volunteers who closes when they cannot provide care. Language samples also covered what would happen if that changes. Individual policies included provider/staff/house member as appropriate when referring to who had responsibility to carry out a policy. What Licensing made clear is that sole providers do not need a separate staff handbook or manual as long as they make it clear to parents that they work alone, they will comply with regulations about staff if that changes, and their policies clearly state who has responsibility to carry out the policy as required in rule.

In reading the Licensing Rule, you will notice that many of the policies listed for the parent handbook and the staff handbook are duplicated. If you have one handbook you need to be sure to have a policy for everything listed for the staff manual as well. 

If you have staff and your parent handbook is written in such a way that this policy also applies to staff, you can use your parent handbook.  If your current parent handbook does not have the required policies, you can either add the additional policies needed or if you feel the policies are really only meant for employees to see then create a smaller separate handbook for staff.  

Again, providers need to be sure to have a policy for everything listed for the staff manual. Policies shared with parents need to be clear about who has responsibility within the policy language. With that a separate manual is not needed.


From a quick review of the Licensing Rule Toolkit, Licensing felt the general format appeared to covering the Rule, Licensing’s responses and FCCAM resources. We also explained that the PLC is taking opportunities to raise awareness of best practices by adding suggestions for providers to add to Rule requirements for items such as the sunscreen policy by including bug spray also.

We shared our inclusion of the spreadsheets for 3 checklists that providers seem to be asking for: Records need / Handbook / and Staff

Licensing informed us that Licensing Specialists are informing fcc providers of the website and the Licensing Rule tool.

Under Section 7(F)(1) The Provider and All Staff Members must have a high school diploma or equivalent, be attending high school, or be enrolled in a General Educational Development (GED) preparation program. This requirement was consistent in Rules prior to 2017, but not in the 2017 Rule. This requirement on education level is not Maine statute, so it is possible to get a waiver. 

Licensing wants to be sure that providers are aware that they need to be registered with Maine Roads to Quality and each program must sign up for the Maine Quality Rating System.  


The PLC and Licensing then talked about the process that happened for this Rule and should be happening for Rule proposals. There has been a good deal of questioning about provider input and the timeline for this Rule, especially with everything providers have dealt with this past year around COVID.

Let’s start with why Licensing doesn’t answer question about the proposed Rule. Legally, once the public is informed of the proposed Rule Licensing can only take questions during the public comment period through the process in place (email address set up for comments/question) until the Rule is in effect. They cannot respond directly to those questions about the Rule only about the rule making process until after Rule is in effect. 

Each Administration can impose additional restrictions on development of rules.  

Federal requirements can also impact stakeholder engagement because of shortened or limited timelines. 

In building any new Rule outdated requirements need to be removed or adapted to comply with current child care standards. 

The Rule is impacted by statutes from across Maine law.

In Maine there are 3 Rules that cover the child care system: FCC, Facility (which will combine Centers and Nursery schools once in effect) and Background Checks. The Background Checks Rule is separate because of how it is covered in state law/statutes. 

The best practice is to have Rule revision every couple of years, with ongoing review. The Department goal is to have all Rules – FCC and Facility all align and that all three rules are updated on a regular basis. This would support consistency. Alignment has not been the previous practice. 


Our conversation with Licensing was only able to touch on a few items. While we picked the ones raising the most questions, please remember there are many other changes to the Rule as well, and you are best served by reading the Rule.

If you haven’t gotten to 2(G)(8 and 10), please be aware you need a new policy around mandated reporting. Just listing you are a mandated reporter is no longer enough.


We hope this post has clarified some areas of concern. Please know you can reach out to the PLC at any time.

Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information, Legislation

Child Care Provider Stabilization Grants

notice from OCFS ~

Congress approved the Child Care Stabilization Grants appropriated in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) (Public Law 117-2) signed into law on March 11, 2021. The nationwide funding includes $23.975 billion in additional funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to provide grants to providers assist with stabilizing child care across the nation.
Maine has received $73 million from that total for ARP Act Stabilization Grant funds. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) will distribute the grants to child care providers to stabilize Maine’s child care market.

Who is eligible?

All licensed child care providers and Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) license-exempt, nonrelative providers are eligible to apply. Approved grantees will receive monthly payments. Total payments are based on the following:

  • Licensed capacity
    • $100 per licensed slot per month
    • license-exempt, nonrelative providers will be reimbursed based on capacity of 2 slots
  • Additional funds for higher quality levels
    • Step 1- $50 per month
    • Step 2 – $100 per month
    • Step 3- $150 per month
    • Step 4- $200 per month
  • CSP providers
    • $150 per month
  • Providing nontraditional hours of care
    • 6PM to 6AM or weekend hours will receive $100 per month
  • Staff bonuses
    • $200 per staff per month and funds must be paid directly to staff

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Providers must be open and providing direct child care on a regular basis at time of the application.
  • Programs must be in compliance with licensing rules.
  • Programs must have a valid Vender Code with OCFS.
  • All program staff must be active members in the Maine Roads to Quality.
  • Licensed programs must be active in the Quality for ME Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS)
  • All owners, directors, and staff have completed the State approved health and safety training within 90 days of hire.

What are allowable uses of funds?

Grant funds are meant to cover COVID-related costs for the following:

  • Personnel costs – include but not limited to
    • Hazard pay or bonuses to staff
    • Sign on bonuses
    • Increased staff wages
  • Rent, utilities, facilities maintenance, and insurance
  • Reduction in family cost (i.e. registration fees, weekly child care cost for private pay parents)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning, and other health and safety needs
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Goods and services
  • Mental health services
  • Paying for past expenses

Who do I contact?

For questions regarding your status on any of following contact:

  • License status please contact your Children’s Licensing and Investigation Services Licensing Specialist
  • For information on Vendor Codes contact Vickie Bussey at (207) 624-7909 or Vickie.Bussey@maine.gov
  • CCSP provider status contact OCFS CCSP at 1-877-680-5866 or Augusta: (207) 624- 7999 or email: CCSP.DHHS@Maine.gov
  • Quality for ME certificate status contact Vickie Bussey at (207) 624-7909 or Vickie.Bussey@maine.gov
  • Maine Roads to Quality Registry contact MRTQ at 1-888-900-0055 or mrtq.registry@maine.edu
  • Health and safety training status for yourself or your staff contact Vickie Bussey at (207) 624-7909 or Vickie.Bussey@maine.gov
Stay tuned for updates on when and how to apply!
Posted in ECE Information, Professional Development

Are You Ready for These Conferences?

Our first conference might be new to many family child care providers.

PYDI 2021| The Science of Learning and Development! This virtual conference will be held “live” on July 22 and 23.

The PLC encourages you to read through what the purpose is and what is being offered.

The PLC is sponsoring 5 conference scholarships for members. These can be used for the 2 “live” days or the month availability of all presentations as recordings. There will be professional development certificates awarded. The first 5 members who complete this PYDI scholarship form will be emailed a promo code for 1 free registration.


2021 PYDI Conference Registration is Now Open!

So lets that a look at our first conference ~

This is not your normal Zoom conference. PYDI will be hosted on a cutting edge easy-to-use platform called DCPV360. In addition to live keynotes and breakout sessions, conference goers will have the option to take advantage of many features including a member hub and virtual lounge.

Can’t make the conference on the 22 and 23? If you register by the conference date, you will have access to the entire conference for FOUR weeks.

Conference Purpose: To enable adults who work with young people to expand their understanding of the methods, theory, and data-informed practices that support effective youth engagement, positive climate and overall youth development. An emphasis is given to practical strategies shown to result in meaningful improvement.

Target Audience: The target audience for the PYDI conference is the Allied Youth Fields: Child Care, Cultural Institutes, Juvenile Justice, Schools, Child Welfare, Service, Youth Employment, and Afterschool.2021 Topic: The Science of Learning and Development (SoLD)The SoLD Alliance combines findings from diverse areas of research into an integrated science of learning and development and to apply science-informed strategies to practice

.

Conference Vision: Participants will expand their knowledge of the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) and integrate as a defining measure of whole child personalization of learning and how to support Safe, Stable, Happy and Healthy youth.

PYDI Virtual Lounge: In the virtual lounge, attendees can to experience more than just watching virtual sessions. The virtual lounge feels a little bit like an interactive version of Google street view, or, a video game. In the virtual lounge you can learn something new, see what some afterschool programs are currently doing, and chat with others in this space.

PYDI Member Hub: Each attendee will create their own profile. If desired they will be able to interact and network with others through these profiles. In the hub, attendees can also preview sessions they have signed up for as well as add them to their personal calendar.


Our second conference is the ECE Statewide in-person conference in Bangor, Oct. 22nd and 23rd.

It’s exciting to be getting back in person for Maine’s 2nd Statewide ECE Conference. With an exciting lineup of keynote speakers, break out sessions and networking opportunities we hope to see many of you there.

We are delighted to announce that this year our keynote speakers will be Walter Gilliam from Yale School of Medicine, on Friday and Lisa Murphy, The Ooey Gooey Lady® on Saturday.

This year conference registration has a limited number of FREE registrations for those working in licensed child care programs in Maine, including family child care, center-based programs, Early Head Start and Head Start, and license exempt providers! Thank you to the DHHS Office of Child and Family Services and DOE Head Start Collaboration Office for providing this opportunity to child care educators in Maine!

Pre-Registration for Maine’s 2nd Statewide Early Childhood Education Conference will open ~

June 14th at 5:30am for Family Child Care providers and staff, and License Exempt family friend and neighbor providers

A promo code to register for FREE will be emailed to licensed child care programs on Friday May 11th from the DHHS Office of Child and Family Services.

Owners will be able to register their staff with the promo code sent using staff’s name and email addresses. Open your emails this week from DHHS!

Didn’t get or find your letter?

We have the registration information and promo codes for Family Child Care in our Special Events and Trainings section.

Be sure to enter the code that corresponds to the day you are trying to register for (Friday or Saturday). You can register for both days. It just needs to be done separately. The registration process secures your daily ticket.

To register for the second day, click on the website link again, and repeat the process using the other code you were given that corresponds with the 2nd day you are registering for. Again the registration process secures your daily ticket.

Participants will select breakout sessions for the conference at a later date.

Posted in ECE Information, Legislation

State of Maine Child Care 2020-2021 / One Year in a Pandemic

Public Policy Committee ~~

The Maine Association for the Education of Young Children (MaineAEYC), Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM), Maine Head Start Directors Association (MHSDA), and YMCA Alliance of Maine conducted a child care survey this spring. It was sent by email to all licensed child care programs in Maine in April 2021.


FCCAM would like to thank all programs that completed the survey. The information you shared was impressive and has moved the discussion forward.


The Public Policy Committee would like to thank MaineAEYC for generating the final report from all the data collected. We encourage providers to take the time to read the report and look at the survey data.

DOWNLOAD REPORT
SURVEY DATA DASHBOARD

The results of the survey highlight why the significant amount of federal funding coming to Maine this year is so important for the recovery and stability of the child care sector.

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

Posted in DHHS / OCFS, ECE Information, Professional Development

Conferences Coming This Summer and Fall……….

After a long year it’s great to see conferences within Maine happening again. FCCAM has previously sent out “Save the Date!” notices for the 3 conferences you’ll find below. If you didn’t mark your calendars then, be sure you do now, so you can enjoy the unique professional development opportunities conferences provide.

The Maine Statewide ECE Conference returns for 2021 !

With support from the DHHS Office of Child and Family Services family child care providers will be able to attend the 2021 Statewide ECE Conference for FREE! You will be able to attend either 1 or both days for FREE. OCFS will be providing the promo code to all providers, so be watching for that email!

DOE Head Start Collaboration Office will be joining with OCFS so any provider working in licensed child care programs in Maine, including family child care, center-based programs, Early Head Start and Head Start, and license exempt providers will be able to attend FREE! 

Thank you DHHS Office of Child and Family Services and DOE Head Start Collaboration Office for providing this opportunity to child care educators in Maine!

Registration for Maine’s 2nd Statewide Early Childhood Education Conference will open the week of June 14th! 

Registration will open in the following order: 
June 14th: Registration opens for Family Child Care providers and staff, and License Exempt
June 15th:  Registration opens for center-based child care teachers, staff, and administrators, license exempt (non-relative), and Head Start & Early Head Start teachers, staff, and administrators
June 16th: General Registration Opens  

We will post information soon on how to register through eventbrite, but you can see more information on the event in general now.


Our next conference is not one very many family child care providers have attended in the past because it occurs during the week in the summer. PYDI is an annual professional development conference that enable adults who work with youth of all ages to expand their understanding of the methods, theory, and data-informed practices that support effective engagement, positive climate and overall youth development. 

However, this year PYDI will be virtual! Not your normal Zoom conference, PYDI will be hosted on a cutting edge easy-to-use platform called DCPV360. In addition to live keynotes and breakout sessions, conference goers will have the option to take advantage of many features including a member hub and virtual lounge featuring presentations from Maine youth. Click here to learn more.

If you register, not only will you be able to attend while the event is “virtually live”, but you will have continued access for 2 more weeks. That means you can attend as you wish for 2 weeks.

Virtual PYDI 2021 focuses on the theme of The Science of Learning and Development. The SoLD Alliance combines findings from diverse areas of research into an integrated science of learning and development and to apply science-informed strategies to practice. Click here to learn more about PYDI 2021.

FCCAM is happy to be participating with PYDI this year. We will post information soon on how to register.


Our last conference is another Fall in-person conference being held in Calais. We don’t have more specifics at this time, but will be sure to post as we get it.


As we said in the opening paragraph, it’s great to have these professional development opportunities happening again in Maine and we hope many family child care providers will be able to take advantage of them. Reminder that conferences have capacity limits so when you get the registration information be ready to act on it!

For providers wondering how they can attend a weekday or even travel for a Saturday conference, we recently had a great idea shared with us that we are adding to the FCCAM Business Toolkit: built in professional development closure days for yourself and staff. They are included as part of her holiday/vacation/personal day. They are listed separately and paid for. What a great way to let families know about the professional development requirements licensing requires. As you are updating your Care Agreement awaiting implementation of the new Licensing Rule, this may be a great addition.