Child Development Services (CDS)

Family Child Care providers are required by the current (2021) FCC Licensing Rule to provide information to child’s parents/legal guardians information about the services available when there is any concern about a child’s development.

Child Development Services (CDS) is the Educational Unit in the state of Maine
mandated to find children (ages birth through 5) that have a developmental
delay or disability.

For infants and toddlers (ages birth through 2), CDS provides Early Intervention
Services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). There are 9 CDS sites across the state. CDS Two Rivers covers Penobscot and Piscataquis counties with a main office in Brewer and a satellite office in Dover-Foxcroft.

They have a team of professionals who specialize in Early Intervention. This team
consists of:
• Special Education Teachers
• Speech/Language Pathologists
• Occupational Therapist
• Physical Therapist
• Social Worker
• Teacher of the Deaf
• Registered Dietician

CDS uses an evidence-based approach to delivering services for infants/toddlers and their families that is based on:
– The principle that infants and toddlers learn best through everyday experiences and
interactions with familiar people in familiar settings (natural environment).
– A transdisciplinary approach in which one professional has ongoing contact with the family and is supported through consultation from other team members.

To meet the Licensing Rule requirement it is also best practice to include within your policies language that explains to parents your thoughts and practices around collaborating with parents to share observations and information from the start to help build a firm foundation and partnership. The firm foundation and partnership will help when navigating the difficult conversations if and when they should arise.

Additional resources:

FCCAM PLC has gathered a variety of resources and informational pieces about CDS that can be shared with a child’s parents/legal guardians and used for conferences with parents.

2019 CDS Powerpoint on the program

Maine’s January 2020 Report: Resolve, To Improve Access to Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Services for Children

CDS – Maine government site within the Department of Education

Authorization to Request and/or Share Information and Records form

Child Intake form

Early Intervention Program (birth to age 3 yrs.) brochure

Learning how to monitor each child’s development with CDC’s FREE
1-hour online training, Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing

CDC’s free Milestones Track App

Cara’s Kit is a tool to help practitioners think through simple changes they may make that might benefit all children. This tool only helps you think through steps but it also helps you track what changes you have made and how the child is reacting to the change.

Maine’s Warm Line serves as the first step in providing practical, accurate information to support the successful inclusion of children with special health needs, disabilities, mental health concerns, or challenging behavior. It provides preventative and non-emergency person-to-person support and resources, The MRTQ PDN Warm Line is jointly staffed by professionals with expertise in inclusive practices; disabilities; children’s health, social, and emotional development; behavior; and early childhood mental health.