Facility: SECTION 2 / LICENSING REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES /

A. Licensing

  • 1. No person or entity may operate a Child Care Facility for more than two Children without a license from the Department in force, authorizing such operation, in accordance with 22 MRS §7801(1)(E).
  • 2. The Child Care Facility must post the following, where easily seen, at the Child Care Facility:
    • a. The current license issued by the Department;
    • b. The results of the most recent inspection, showing any violations of this rule;
    • c. Any enforcement actions, including a Directed Plan of Action or a Conditional License; and
    • d. Any notices or correspondence required by the Department to be posted, including but not limited to water test results or any lead hazard assessment.
    • e. The Department will post inspection reports to a website available to the general public, for a running period of three years, in accordance with 42 CFR §98.33(4).

**Current posting by Licensing occurs in childcarechoices.me. It is encouraged for providers to themselves periodically check out all the material listed on their program.

When families search for a provider they can research more than location and contact by clicking on either Licensing Details and/or Step Report.

  • 3. The Child Care Facility shall be responsible for assuring compliance with all relevant State and federal statutes and regulations, and this rule.
    • a. All personnel and interns working in a Child Care Facility are responsible for complying with this rule.
  • 4. Licenses are only effective at the location for which they are issued. If the Child Care Facility moves to another location, a new license must be issued prior to operation.
    • a. A license may not be transferred from one Child Care Facility to another.
    • b. In the event of an unanticipated occurrence, such as a fire, that renders an approved location uninhabitable, a Child Care Facility may provide services in an alternative location upon approval by the Department, in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Care Emergency Plan.
    • c. The alternative location must also be approved by the State Fire Marshal’s Office or Child Care Facility’s local fire department prior to the provision of Child care services.
  • 5. When two (2) or more buildings are or will be utilized to accommodate a Child Care Facility operated by the same person, the person must apply to the Department for a single license covering all the buildings, provided that:
    • a. The buildings are on the same or contiguous properties, and the Department determines that the issuance of a single Child Care Facility license would not be detrimental to the health, safety, well-being, and development of the Children served;
    • b. The facilities must have the same Director.
  • 6. No Child Care Facility shall care for more Children than the license allows. Child Care Facilities must only care for Children within the age range of the license issued and within the proper staff Child ratios for those age ranges.
    • a. Changes in capacity or age range may be made at the discretion of the Department, and when necessary, with the approval of the local code enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
    • b. The license may be amended or reissued to increase or decrease the number of Children allowed or to change the age range of Children that may be cared for by the Child Care Facility.

B. Qualifications of the Applicant and Director. The Applicant and proposed Director must demonstrate their willingness and ability to operate and manage the Child Care Facility with mature judgment, compassionate regard for the best interests of Children and consistent compliance with these regulations and all relevant laws. In making this determination, the Department shall consider each of the following factors to the extent that they are relevant to the proposed Applicant and Director of the Child Care
Facility:

  1. Record and reputation of honest and lawful conduct in business and personal affairs, including but not limited to:
    a. Arrests, indictments or convictions;
    b. Investigation by Child Protective Services or the Out-of-Home Investigation Unit of the Department;
    c. The removal of Children from the Applicant’s or Director’s care or custody by court order;
    d. Any protection from abuse order or any other order that makes a finding of domestic abuse or family violence; and/or
    e. Any prior licensing investigations, conditional licenses, license suspensions, application denials, fines and/or revocations regarding a Child care license or approval issued to the Applicant or Director.
  2. Conduct which demonstrates an understanding of, and compliance with this rule;
  3. Information which relates to the ability or willingness to comply with all applicable laws and rules;
  4. Any information reasonably related to the ability to provide safe and developmentally appropriate Child care;
  5. Relevant experience, including the capacity to manage the financial operations and staff of the Child Care Facility for which the license is sought; experience in the field of Child care, Child development or areas related to the provision of Child care services.
  6. The applicant must authorize the Department to review the records of the following entities to determine compliance with this rule, as part of the license application and renewal processes: criminal history and driving record, when applicable; court records; Maine and national sex offender registries; Child Protective Services, and Out of Home Investigations.

C. Application

  1. Application for an initial license must be made to the Department of Health and Human Services, on forms furnished by the Department, and the appropriate fee must be included.
    • a. The check must be made payable to the Treasurer, State of Maine, and is non-refundable.
    • b. Incomplete applications on which no action has been taken by the applicant shall be void after sixty (60) days.
    • c. A license must be issued prior to the commencement of operation of a Child Care Facility, or the Applicant may be subject to sanctions.
  2. At least sixty (60) days prior to the expiration of a license to operate a Child Care Facility, the Child Care Facility must submit an application and the required fee for renewal to the Department on a form supplied by the Department, accompanied by all additional information as may be required. It is the responsibility of the Child Care Facility to make timely application for renewal.
  3. Upon receipt and review of application and determination of compliance with the requirements of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated and any rules adopted pursuant thereof, the Department shall renew such license for a period of two (2) years, unless it finds that there are specific and sufficient grounds either for denial of the application for renewal or for renewal of the license on a temporary
    or conditional basis.
  4. If timely application for renewal is made, the existing license shall continue until a final decision on the renewal is made, in accordance with 5 M.R.S §10002.
  5. The applicant must complete Department-approved training as required by Section 8 of this rule before a license may be issued.
  6. The Child Care Facility must comply with the Life Safety Code of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Public Safety.
    • a. The Department must receive a written statement, furnished bi-annually by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, indicating that the Child Care Facility has complied with the requirements of the Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association.
    • b. No license to operate a Child Care Facility at any location shall be issued until such Child Care Facility passes a satisfactory inspection for fire safety and fire protection, including working fire detection apparatus as required.
    • c. As an ongoing condition of licensure, the Maine Department of Public Safety, Office of the State Fire Marshal, must inspect and approve the Child Care Facility premises at least every two (2) years.
    • d. The Child Care Facility must obtain approval from the Maine Department of Public Safety, Office of the State Fire Marshal or designee, which specifically notes where Child care may be provided (basements, specific rooms within property, and second or higher floors, including any restrictions on the ages of Children).
    • e. An additional fire safety inspection must be done when a heating system is changed, when major structural changes are made on the premises, and prior to use of new rooms on the premises. The Child Care Facility is responsible for notifying the Department of any changes that require inspection 10 days prior to installation.
    • f. Child Care Facilities must establish and maintain compliance with all corrections, restrictions, or conditions specified by the Maine Department of Public Safety, Office of the State Fire Marshal or designee in the Plan of Correction resulting from identified deficiencies in the course of the fire safety inspection, within the time frames identified.
  7. The Child Care Facility must maintain, and provide to the Department on request, documentation that indicates that the Child Care Facility complies with local codes and ordinances, including zoning, or a statement from the locality that no approval is required.
  8. Requests for an increase in the number of Children the Child Care Facility is licensed to serve must be made in writing to the Department with applicable fee. No increases in the number of Children a program is licensed to serve shall be made without written prior approval from the Department, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and local code enforcement, where applicable.
  9. The Child Care Facility must secure, in writing, the approval of the landlord for any rented or leased space for use as a Child care.

** Zoning and Code Compliance Letter (PDF)

D. Comprehensive Background check. Child Care Staff Members over the age of 18 must comply with all provisions pursuant 10-148 C.M.R Ch. 34 Child Care Provider Background Check Licensing Rule.

  1. When disqualifying information is found in any of the registries, repositories, and databases required for the background check for an Applicant or if the Applicant is otherwise ineligible because of refusal to consent to a background check or knowingly makes materially false statements in connection with such a background check, no License shall be issued to that Applicant.
  2. No Child Care Facility shall employ a Child Care Staff Member, over the age of 18 years old who has not furnished a Provider Letter of Eligibility indicating that the Child Care Staff Member is eligible, nor allow any individual known by the Child Care Facility to be ineligible under this Rule to have access to any Child in the Child Care Facility’s care.

** RESOURCES: Child Care Background Check process. This State of Maine page provides direct links to the fingerprinting process and appointment scheduling

E. Type and term of a license. The type and term of a Child Care Facility license issued by the Department must comply with the provisions of this rule.

  • 1. A provisional license shall be issued by the Department to an applicant who meets all the following applicable criteria, in accordance with 22 MRS §7802(A):
    • a. Has not previously operated a Child Care Facility in Maine, or has relocated to a new property, or has closed a program and is reopening;
    • b. Complies with all applicable laws and rules for a provisional license; and
    • c. Demonstrates the ability to comply with all applicable laws and rules for a full license.
  • 2. A written provisional license may be issued for a term of no less than three (3) months and no more than 12 months.
  • 3. A full license shall be issued by the Department to an applicant who complies with the requirements set out in this rule, in accordance with 22 MRS §7802 (1)(B).
  • 4. A full license shall be issued for a term of two (2) years, in accordance with 22 MRS §7802 (2)(B)(5).
  • 5. A written conditional license may be issued when the Department determines that the Child Care Facility has failed to comply with applicable rules and laws. The conditional license must specify the corrections that must be made and the deadline for making each correction, in accordance with 22 MRS §7802(1)(C).
  • 6. A conditional license shall be issued for a specific term not to exceed twelve (12) months, or the remaining portion of the term of the previous full license, whichever the Department determines appropriate based on the violations set out in the Directed Plan of Action, in accordance with 22 MRS §7802(2)(C).
  • 7. When a licensed Child Care Facility plans a move to a new location, the Child Care Facility must submit an application for a license for the new location. A temporary license may be issued by the Department for the new location, in compliance with 22 MRS §8301-A(6), when:
    • a. All applicable requirements set out in this rule have been met, except an inspection or other action by a state agency or a contractor of that agency that is required by this rule is delayed; and
    • b. No action or inaction by the applicant caused a significant delay by that state agency or a contractor of that agency.
  • 8. A temporary license shall be issued for a specific term, not to exceed six months.