Facility Licensing Rule

The Child Care Facility Licensing Rule which was initially made available for review and public comment prior to July 30, 2021 has been adopted and goes into effect as of September 27, 2021


The new Facility Licensing Rule updates the current regulations and merges and consolidates requirements for Child Care Facilities including, Child Care Centers, Nursery Schools, Small Child Care Facilities, and Other Programs.
Substantive changes from the current rules to the proposed rule include adding the federal requirements of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), 42 U.S.C. §9857 et seq., changing requirements necessary to meet the health and safety needs of children in Child Care Facility settings, and removing and modifying provisions in the current rules in order to streamline requirements and processes.
Additionally, on May 10, 2021, the Federal Office of Child Care issued guidance for States regarding requirements for the almost $24 billion dollars in child care stabilization funding included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law No:117-2) that requires Child Care Facilities are in compliance with all CCDBG health and safety requirements in order to be eligible to receive stabilization grant money.

State’s Summary of changes: *note that not all changes are included, just significant changes

  • Reframing the order and language of the rule to describe provider licensing responsibilities more clearly;
  • Removing obsolete definitions, while adding and clarifying other definitions necessary for the rule;
  • Adding that the Department will post all inspection reports to a website available to the public for a period of three years;
  • Streamlining and clarifying requirements for license applications;
  • Eliminating requirements for personal references;
  • Requiring an applicant to complete pre-licensure health and safety training;
  • Adding the requirement for compliance with 10-148 C.M.R ch. 34 Child Care Provider Background Check Licensing Rule, which was effective Sept. 25, 2020;
  • Adding additional requirements for the staff manual;
  • Expanding written policy requirements for handling suspected instances of child abuse and neglect;
  • Adding a requirement to register with Maine’s Quality Rating Improvement System;
  • Adding clarifying language regarding the waiver process;
  • Clarifying inspection and investigation procedures;
  • Adding language to the rule for transparency to reflect current practice of requiring a Plan of Action or issuance of a Directed Plan of Action;
  • Unifying record-keeping requirements and including additional requirements in the program manual and policies;
  • Increasing personnel record retention and child records to three years;
  • Adding the requirement for record of immunization for all children;
  • Clarifying and adding requirements for notifications and reports to the Department including adverse drinking water results;
  • Adding provisions to supervision;
  • Broadening staff qualifications and requirements;
  • Specifying orientation and ongoing training requirements;
  • Adding safe sleep provisions;
  • Adding a requirement for registration with Maine’s Professional Development Network;
  • Adding additional constructive methods of guidance;
  • Clarifying prohibited detrimental practices;
  • Merging Rights of Children;
  • Requiring written instructions regarding child abuse and neglect reporting;
  • Requiring the Child Protective Intake hotline number be posted;
  • Adding requirement that all children have a current record of immunization on file, removing specific exemptions from immunization requirements, per P.L. 2019 ch. 154 §11 (eff. Sept. 1, 2021)
  • For Nursery Schools only, every 2 years each licensee, administrator and other staff members of the Nursery School who provide care for children must be declared free from communicable disease by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Pursuant to 22 MRS §8402, effective September 1, 2021, there will no longer be exemptions from this requirement based on religious or philosophical beliefs;
  • Adding requirement for facilities serving 13 or more Children to have a separate first aid kit and manual in each classroom;
  • Adding a requirement to test drinking water for lead and other specified contaminants;
  • Adding requirement to notify parents when on a bottled water agreement;
  • Adding requirements related to the indoor physical environment to include the requirement for shock absorbing material, requirements regarding power equipment, requirements regarding purses, bags, medications and other belongings;
  • Adding time requirements for outdoor play and limits for television, videos, and hand-held electronic devices;
  • Adding a requirement for a carbon monoxide detector;
  • Decreasing minimum indoor temperature requirement to 65 � Fahrenheit;
  • Increasing requirements for outdoor play areas including specific criteria for fencing, use of helmets, and energy absorbing material in fall zones;
  • Adding requirements for exceeding maximum group size in outdoor areas;
  • Adding requirements for bathing facilities;
  • Specifying and adding requirements for emergency preparedness plans;
  • Clarifying requirements for swimming and wading settings and adding requirements for hot tubs;
  • Adding more healthy meal and snack requirements and limiting consumption of juice;
  • Adding a requirement for documentation of allergy plan;
  • Adding safety precautions in kitchen facilities;
  • Adding disqualifying driving offenses prohibiting provider transport of children;
  • Decreasing restrictions to first floor;
  • Limiting use of infant equipment to 30 consecutive minutes;
  • Adding requirements regarding feeding and storage of breast milk;
  • Prohibiting the practice of swaddling;
  • Adding requirements for nighttime care; and
  • Increasing transparency and clarifying enforcement authority and process.

If you are looking for sample language the resources in the FCC Licensing Rule Toolkit provides a good starting point. Both Licensing Rules are now under the same order of sections.


How does this “Licensing Rule” resource work?

The Licensing Rule has been copied here word for word. For really long and involved sections we have broken sections and subsections out into multiple parts. This structure has allowed us to provide links directly within the Rule sections for resources. These will usually be denoted by a color block., or **.

How can you use this resource?

If you know what you are looking for you can go directly to that section in the Rule’s Table of Contents below. The direct link will be either the Section title or the first subsection found on the page where we have grouped subsections together. The link opens a new tab.

All templates/samples are view only access, we are not able to provide editing access to the original document, so ignore the “Request Edit Access” button! With resources being open for viewing you can copy or download the template/samples as is. You will then be able to adapt using your choice of platform as you need. Here’s a way to copy directly into the Google Drive connected to a gmail account.

We will continue to adjust and add resources as they become available. We are also happy to look for specific resources that providers might find they need, so please email the PLC at fccam.professionallearning@gmail.com with any questions, or needs.

Disclaimer: All material here is being shared to support your business practices and work with children. With the sharing of these resources, FCCAM is not rendering legal or tax advice. If you require more specific assistance, please consult a legal or tax preparation professional to represent you.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION 1. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND DEFINITIONS

A. Statement of purpose 

B. Definitions 

SECTION 2. LICENSING REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES

A. Licensing

B. Qualifications of the Applicant and Director

C. Application

D. Comprehensive Background check

E. Type and term of a license

F. Administration

G. Change in license

H. Waiver

SECTION 3. FEES

A. Fees.

B. Fees for facilities serving 3-12 Children.

C. Fees for facilities serving 13 or more Children.

D. Fee for Nursery Schools

SECTION 4. INSPECTIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS

A. Inspections.

B. Right of entry

C. Elements of an inspection.

D. Inspection report.

E. Directed Plan of Action.

F. Investigations.

SECTION 5. RECORD MANAGEMENT AND RETENTION

A. Record management.

B. Falsification of records.

C. Inspection of records.

D. Child records.

E. Personnel records.

SECTION 6. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

A. Child care changes.

B. Mandatory report of suspected Child abuse and/or neglect.

C. Reporting adverse drinking water results to the Department.

D. Reporting wastewater failure.

E. Reporting legal actions.

F. Other Notifications.

SECTION 7. STAFF-CHILD RATIOS, SUPERVISION, AND QUALIFICATIONS

A. Children under six weeks of age.

B. Limitations on capacity.

C. Staff-Child ratios.

D. Supervision.

E. Crisis plan.

F. Personnel Qualifications.

SECTION 8. TRAINING

A. Child Care Facility Responsibility.

B. Orientation training.

C. Ongoing Training.

D. Documentation of training.

SECTION 9. CHILD GUIDANCE

A. Positive methods of Child guidance.

B. Consistent and reasonable application of program rules.

C. Constructive methods of guidance.

D. Detrimental practice.

SECTION 10. RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND PARENTS

A. Rights of Children.

B. Rights of parents and legal guardians of Children receiving Child care from Child Care Facilities

SECTION 11. REPORTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

A. Requirement to report Child abuse or neglect.

B. Child Care Facility requirement to inform.

C. Written instruction provided.

D. Hotline number posted.

SECTION 12. HEALTH AND MEDICAL

A. Immunization.

B. Evaluation requirements. W

C. Health care consultation.

D. Health monitoring.

E. Dismissal of Children due to illness.

F. Illness, serious injury, incidents, and accidents.

G. First aid.

H. Medication administration.

I. Handwashing.

J. Prevention of exposure to blood and bodily fluids

K. Emergency procedures.

SECTION 13. DRINKING AND WASTEWATER

A. Drinking water.

B. Ongoing annual water tests for Child Care Facilities with wells.

C. Five-year water tests for facilities with wells.

D. Bottled water agreements.

E. Non-transient, non-community water systems.

F. Water and Sewer.

SECTION 14. ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY

A. General condition of the building and surrounding premises.

B. Outdoor playtime and rest required.

C. Satisfactory lead levels.

D. Carbon monoxide.

E. Building temperature.

F. Lighting and Ventilation.

G. Minimum Usable Space.

H. Outdoor play areas.

I. Weapons.

J. Materials, toys, equipment and activities.

K. Furnishings.

L. Cribs, cots, and bedding.

M. Toilet facilities.

N. Diapering/Toileting

O. Pets.

P. Fire evacuation drills

Q. Emergency preparedness plan.

SECTION 15. SWIMMING AND WADING

A. Policies regarding water activities and safety procedures.

B. Parental permission.

C. Surfaces.

D. Minimum training and certification required for water activities.

E. Cleanliness.

F. Pool Accessibility.

G. Emergency preparedness and drills.

H. Staff-Child ratios during water activities.

I. Swimming Pools.

J. Off-site Pools or natural bodies of water

K. Non – Swimmers.

SECTION 16. FOOD AND KITCHEN FACILITIES

A. Well-balanced meals and snacks.

B. Handwashing.

C. Allergies.

D. Child Care Staff Member Responsibilities

E. Food Storage

F. Food Preparation

G. Equipment and Utensils

H. Kitchen facilities

SECTION 17. TRANSPORTATION

A. Driver requirements.

B. Vehicle capacity not to be exceeded.

C. Safety in vehicles.

D. Field Trips

SECTION 18. INFANT/TODDLER CARE

A. Additional rules for programs serving infants and toddlers.

B. Restriction to first floors.

C. Promoting developmental needs.

D. Feeding

E. Napping/Resting.

SECTION 19. NIGHT TIME CARE

A. Additional rules for nighttime care.

B. Individualized care.

C. Rooms used for sleeping or napping.

D. Beds and bedding.

SECTION 20. SCHOOL AGE AND OCCASIONAL CARE PROGRAMS

A. Additional rules for school-age Child Care Facilities.

B. Occasional Care Programs.

SECTION 21. ENFORCEMENT, SUBSEQUENT REAPPLICATION, AND APPEAL RIGHTS

A. Enforcement.

B. Civil Penalties.

C. Conditional license.

D. Suspension of a license.

E. Referral to and Authority of the Office of the Attorney General.

F. Refusal to issue or renew a license.

G. Revocation of a License. T

H. Voiding of a Conditional License.

I. Consent Agreement.

J. Limitation on reapplication after denial or revocation of a license.

K. Subsequent application for a full License.

L. Full licensure after deficiencies corrected.

M. Right to appeal.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY AND REGULATORY HISTORY