**Please note the language change to “Child’s Parent/Legal Guardian” requirement for contract and handbook language. This change recognizes individual family structure and is inclusive.
The following language sample meets the intention of best practice around inclusion in regards to the changing diversity of our communities. The question is where is it best to place within your care agreement? In your contractual packet, or your handbook? Each provider’s care agreement has a different flow, so only you can decide where this best fits.
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.
The Department will provide by mail one printed hard copy of the Rule to each licensed Facility following the final adoption of the Rule.
Looking for sample language to meet requirements for this area check out the samples developed/shared for this same area in the Family Child Care Rule.
- A corporation, partnership, association, or trust must identify the names and addresses of its officers, partners, trustees, or directors and must provide, where applicable, the charter, partnership agreement, constitutions, articles of incorporation, by-laws, trust document, or other documents governing the legal obligations and authority of the entity.
a. The Child Care Facility must carry a minimum liability insurance of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence; and a minimum of $5,000 property damage.
b. A certificate of liability insurance must be submitted prior to the issuance of a license.
- The Child Care Facility must have a readily accessible copy of this rule on the premises and must make it available to any person upon request.
- The Child Care Facility must allow a Child’s parents/legal guardians unlimited access to visit the Child, to observe the program at any time that the Child is present and provide opportunities to participate in activities.
a. The Child Care Facility must exchange information with the Child’s parents/legal guardians about the Child on a frequency appropriate for the age and development of the Child.
b. The Child Care Facility must advise a Child’s parents/legal guardians prior to taking Children off the premises and must require the parents/legal guardian’s written permission.
c. The Child Care Facility must be directly accessible to a Child’s parents/legal guardians by telephone at all times when Children are present.
d. The Child Care Facility must advise a Child’s parents/legal guardians prior to allowing the Child to participate in any high-risk activity; for example, swimming, horseback riding or using a trampoline.
- The Child Care Facility must encourage parents/legal guardians to visit the Child Care Facility prior to admission.
- A copy of the Child Care Facility handbook will be made available to all parents or legal guardians at the time of enrollment. The handbook must contain, at a minimum:
a. Ages of Children served;
b. Hours of operation and daily schedule;
c. Numbers of Children served;
d. Specific focus if applicable, such as educational focus, religious focus, Montessori, afterschool, summer recreation, teaching site, etc.;
e. Opportunities for Parent/Legal Guardian involvement;
f. A description of the Child guidance methods used by Child Care Staff Members;
g. Services offered, such as: basic Child care, care for Children with special needs, part-time care, infant/toddler care, pre-school care, school-age care, etc.;
h. Fees (if any) including charges for late pick-up of Children;
i. Vacation policy;
j. Terms of any contract or placement agreements;
k. The rights of Children;
l. Emergency procedures and relocation information;
m. Incident reporting and mandatory reporting of Child Abuse or Neglect;
n. Expulsion and suspension practices;
o. Management of communicable illnesses;
p. Medication administration;
q. Annual calendar of closure dates (if applicable);
r. Resources available for developmental screenings; and
s. Reporting of Child death and serious injury.
- The Child Care Facility must be in compliance with applicable provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 328 (1990). Compliance with ADA accessibility standards includes but is not limited to the following:
a. The Child Care Facility cannot require that the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) of Children with physical, emotional and/or mental disabilities furnish the Child Care Facility with information pertaining to the Child’s disabilities but is encouraged to ask pertinent developmental questions about all Children prior to entrance, to ensure appropriate and successful programming.
b. A Child Care Facility must ensure that all Child Care Staff Members are adequately trained and/or have sufficient experience to meet the needs of all Children for whom they are responsible, as the need presents.
- Except as provided by law, confidential information may not be released without a court order or a written release from the parent or legal guardian of the Child about whom the confidential information has been requested. Violation of these provisions is subject to financial penalties as set forth herein and pursuant to 22 M.R.S. §7702-A. Confidential information includes:
a. All Child records.
b. All personnel records.
c. Information that identifies, directly or indirectly, a referent, complainant, or reporter of suspected Child abuse and/or neglect, and/or licensing rule violations, in accordance with 22 M.R.S §7703(2)(G).
d. Information about Children in care (or formerly in care) must be disclosed only upon written authorization of a Child’s legal guardian, except as otherwise specified by law, and must be shared with the Department and Child placing agencies licensed pursuant to 22 M.R.S Chapter 1671, upon request.
e. Personnel records must be provided to the Department upon request, in accordance with 22 M.R.S Chapter 1661.
- The Child Care Facility must maintain a Child Care Facility Staff manual that addresses the following:
a. Policies and their implementation. This must include, at a minimum, policies for the following:
i. Mandated reporting,
ii. Child guidance,
iii. Child illness,
iv. Fire drill procedures,
v. Emergency and disaster procedures,
vi. Staff qualifications and training,
vii. Supervision of staff/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).
- The facility must adopt written policy for handling all suspected instances of Child abuse or neglect in accordance with Maine statute. Written policy must include, but is not limited to, the following:
a. Internal notification procedure of suspected abuse or neglect;
b. Conditions that require internal notification of the owner, director, or designee;
c. The requirement that any suspicion of abuse and/or neglect must be immediately shared with the owner, director, or designee;
d. The requirement that suspected Child abuse and neglect must be immediately reported upon suspicion to Child Protective Intake hotline;
e. Identification of personnel responsible for contacting the Child Protective Intake hotline;
f. Protocol to notify all relevant parties that suspected Child abuse and neglect has been reported to Child Protective Intake;
g. Completion of incident reports, including: the details of the allegation or suspicion, the date Child Protective Intake was called, which relevant parties were notified the report was filed, and whether or not the parent/guardian was notified of the allegation; and
h. Parental notification, including the determination how and what information will be shared with a parent/legal guardian when Child Protective Intake has been contacted.
- The Child Care Facility must develop a written policy to follow if an allegation of Child abuse or neglect is made against any Child Care Staff Member at the Child Care Facility. The written policy must include but is not limited to the following:
a. Prevention measures to protect from potential allegations;
b. Conditions of continued employment and access to Children during the course of an investigation by the Department;
c. Grounds for termination;
d. The requirement to report suspected Child abuse and neglect occurring at any location in accordance with statute; and
e. Parental notification.
- The Child Care Facility is responsible for assuring that the policies are followed. This includes:
a. Responsibility for establishing and maintaining a sound financial structure;
b. Being qualified to administer the Child Care Facility or employing a qualified person to administer the program; and
c. The Child Care Facility must comply with all local, state and federal laws and rules pertaining to the operation of a Child Care Facility in Maine.
- The Child Care Facility must be responsible for the daily operation in compliance with this rule.
a. If the director is absent from the Child Care Facility, a qualified Child Care Staff Member must be designated to be in charge and be given authority to administer the facility in compliance with this rule.
b. A facility licensed for 13-20 Children must employ at least one lead teacher who may be the same person as the director. Assistants may be employed to complete the ratios.
c. A facility licensed for more than 21 Children must employ one lead teacher per group of Children. Assistants may be employed to complete the ratios.
d. If the Director is absent in a facility licensed for 50 or more Children, a Child Care Staff Member who meets Director/lead teacher qualifications must be designated to be in charge and be given authority to administer the facility in compliance with this rule.
- A sample daily activity schedule must be posted in each classroom. The schedule must include the following, as appropriate to the hours of operation:
a. Times for meals/snacks;
b. Time for sleep, rest, or quiet time; and
c. A period of time for indoor and outdoor activities appropriate to the developmental needs of the Children.
d. When necessary, modifications must be made in the schedule to meet Children’s individual needs.
- The Child Care Facility must enroll in Maine’s Quality Rating and Improvement System.
- Requirement for Prevention of Communicable Disease. 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 M.R.S. §8402. This is a condition for maintenance of a license for Nursery Schools, and Nursery Schools must adequately maintain
records reflecting compliance with this requirement.
G. Change in license. An application to revise a license is required when:
- Request for a Waiver. The Department may, upon written request of any Child Care Facility or applicant, waive or modify a provision of these Rules which is not mandated by Maine or federal statute. The Child Care Facility or applicant shall provide clear and convincing evidence, including at the request of the Department, expert opinion which satisfies the Department that the Child Care
Facility or applicant’s alternative method will comply with the intent of the rule for which a waiver or modification is sought. Application for a waiver or modification must include:
a. A statement of the provision for which waiver or modification is requested;
b. An explanation of the reasons why the provisions cannot be met and why a waiver or modification is being requested; and
c. A description of the alternative method proposed for meeting the intent of the provision sought to be waived or modified.
- Approval or Denial of the Request for a Waiver. The Department will approve or deny a request for a waiver, in writing, within four weeks of receiving the request for a waiver. The written decision of the Department will explain the reasons why the Request for a Waiver were either approved or denied. If approved, the waiver will be limited to the term of the License; and extension will be granted only where the best interest of the Child(ren) is served.