Posted in FCCAM, Legislation

Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) News!

Mid-September, FCCAM submitted the following letter of nomination for the Early Childhood Advisory Council to Ana Hicks, Children’s Cabinet Coordinator. 
Ana Hicks
Children’s Cabinet Coordinator
Sept 12, 2019
My name is Deborah Arcaro, I serve as Chair of the Governance Committee of the Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM). The Family Child Care Association of Maine was formed in 2016 and is registered as a nonprofit organization with the State of Maine and a 501c3 federal nonprofit. In addition, we are the State affiliate of the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). The mission of FCCAM is to unify, promote and strengthen quality professional family child care in the State of Maine. It is our goal to achieve the highest standards in Maine’s diverse legal family child care homes, promoting the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development of children by:
– Enhancing the quality of family child care.
– Strengthening and expanding the family child care network.
– Providing support through mentoring and resources for family child care providers.
– Communicating a positive image and information about the benefits of family child care to the broad community (local, state, federal) through research, advocacy, legislation and effective marketing.
– Coordinating with community and social service agencies at all levels to support children and families.
– Developing leadership and advocacy skills for family child care providers through education, training, exposure and identifying ways to be proactive.

The Family Child Care Association of Maine’s Board believes establishing one Early Childhood Advisory Council to develop and evaluate a plan for the healthy development of the State’s young children and their families is the best use of talents and resources. We know first hand that family child care professionals are an integral part of the child care structure in Maine, providing a much needed service to the diverse communities of our state, which is important in supporting the children, their families and the economy of the state. 

On June 27, 2019, FCCAM sent it’s original request for a seat on the Early Childhood Advisory Council feeling that our mission, goals, and credentials qualified our Association for representation. While FCCAM works in collaboration with other organizations within Maine that are concerned about the health and well-being of children and families, it is the only non-profit professional statewide association in Maine that offers support focused on family child care professionals.  

FCCAM provided testimony on LD 1778 “An Act To Amend the Laws Concerning the Children’s Cabinet and Its Advisory Councils”, recommending the language for (H) specifically require representation from family child care providers. We were very pleased to see the amendment to the Membership section that is requiring (I) Two persons representing statewide, membership or constituent organizations for public and private family child care providers, nominated by their organizations.  

On behalf of the Family Child Care Association of Maine’s Governance Committee, I respectfully submit the following family child care providers for consideration to fill the 2 seats under (I) on the Early Childhood Advisory Council, which will be under the direction of the Children’s Cabinet. Each of these individuals has been intentionally chosen as they not only represent the diversity of family child care providers across the state, but are actively engaged with their peers and continue to show their desire to strengthen family child care in Maine.

Chrissie Davis, Skowhegan, licensed family child care provider since 2001. Currently serves mixed-ages.Chrissie is a Home Start provider. Her program, Bouncing Bubbles Child Care, is NAFCC accredited and Step 4 with Quality for ME (Maine’s Quality Rating System). 
Chrissie’s credentials:
– Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education 
– Family Child Care CDA 
– Maine Youth Development Credential
– CACFP Child Nutrition Professional certification
– Chair of the Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM)
– Chair of FCCAM’s Public Policy Committee
– Member of the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) 
– Member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and it’s Maine affiliate (MaineAEYC)
– Participates in the MRTQ Strengthening Family Child Care Collaboration 
– Participating in the ECE Policy Leadership Program

Sasha Shunk, Portland, licensed family child care provider since 2003. Currently serves mixed ages.Sasha’s program, Shunk Child Care, is NAFCC accredited and Step 4 with Quality for ME (Maine’s Quality Rating System). 
Sasha’s credentials: 
– Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education
– Master’s of Science in Early Education (expected graduation date 2021)
– Treasurer of the Family Childcare Association of Maine (FCCAM) 
– Chair of FCCAM’s Outreach Committee 
– Member of the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
– Member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and it’s Maine affiliate (MaineAEYC) 
– Participates in the MRTQ Strengthening Family Child Care Collaboration
– Westbrook’s Children’s Project Committee Member
– Portland’s Starting Strong Birth-5 School Readiness Committee Member
– Portland’s Workforce Development Team Committee Member

Thank you for the opportunity to nominate active family child care providers who are members of the Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM) for membership on the Early Childhood Advisory Council.  

FCCAM received word in early Oct that the Children’s Cabinet voted to approve the nominations of both Chrissie and Sasha to participate in the Children’s Cabinet’s Early Childhood Advisory Council!

The Children’s Cabinet is established to promote and support active, vigorous and frequent interdepartmental collaboration on children and youth policy development and program implementation supporting the provision of services for Maine families, children and youth that are planned, managed and delivered in an integrated manner to support and enhance educational opportunities, self-sufficiency, safety, economic stability, health and well-being.
The cabinet shall collaborate to create, manage and promote coordinated policies, finances, programs and service delivery systems to support children, youth and families consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
The Maine Children’s Cabinet Early Childhood Advisory Council was created to develop, maintain and evaluate under the direction of the cabinet a plan for sustainable social and financial investment in healthy development of the State’s young children and their families.
Posted in Legislation

Legislative Session Update

The Executive Director of MaineAEYC, Tara Williams, has shared information from Maine Children’s Alliance’s last legislative update on the budget vote and final bill enactments. The Public Policy Committee of FCCAM wanted to share information about the bills we have been active on this legislative session.

Maine State Budget

  • Friday, June 14th, the Maine Legislature passed an almost $8 billion-dollar two-year state budget.
  • Monday, June 17th Governor Mills signed the budget.

Budget

  • $125 million for voter-approved Medicaid expansion
  • $111 million for K-12 education
  • $17 million more for public colleges and universities
  • seeks to move the state toward a $40,000 minimum public PreK-12 teacher salary
  • hires dozens more child protection workers.

Special Appropriations Table

This session Legislators introduced 1,846 bills. The 241 bills that passed in the House and Senate were placed on the Special Appropriations Table waiting on a decision on funding by the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. If funded the bill will be enacted. Members of the Appropriations Committee began meeting on Sunday, June 16th, to review the bills on the Special Appropriations Table. 

Following negotiations between the Governor and legislative leadership, there was approximately $6 million dollars available to support the 241 bills. (The 241 bill needed about $820million to all be funded.) Members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee completed voting on the bills each caucus had prioritized shortly after midnight, June 19th.

Of the bills the Public Policy Committee has informed you on through postings on this website, through our Facebook page and through email, LD 997, the social emotional bill sponsored by Senator Cathy Breen, was the only one out of this legislative session that will be funded.

Child Care Bond

The work on the bond including the proposed $5 million for low-interest loans and grants for child care programs has not been completed yet.

Posted in Legislation

Update on Early Childhood Education and Care Bills

FCCAM Public Policy Committee received an update on the status of 2019 legislation and budget sent out to collaboration partners of Right from the Start.

The state budget will not cover all the bills moved forward from committees. There will be some hard decisions needing to be made among the bills passed by the legislature and placed on the Special Appropriations Table.

Here are the early childhood education and care bills that are believed will make it to the Special Appropriations Table or sent directly for Governor’s signature:

As always, providers are encouraged to become informed about the bills around early childhood education and care. Once informed reach out to your elected officials to be sure they are aware of your interest in specific bills.

Follow this action alert link to send a message to legislators on the Appropriations Committee and leadership:  https://secure.everyaction.com/1hdrpJDGFUa7NHqnNCzHkA2

Posted in Legislation

LD 1584 ~ ECE Workforce Bill Gets a Public Hearing 5/9/19

A public hearing has been scheduled for LD 1584An Act To Attract, Build and Retain an Early Childhood Education Workforce through Increased Training, Education and Career Pathway” on Thursday, May 9th.

This is an Early Childhood Education workforce bill that establishes career pathways, supports career and technical education centers (CTE), an ECE apprenticeship program, funds scholarships, and focuses on compensation with salary supplements. FCCAM has been providing input specifically around family child care to MaineAEYC and the Right from the Start Coalition as they moved forward with this bill

Summary of LD 1584

If bill passes it would:
•    Expand early childhood education programs at career and technical education centers
•    Expand the apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Labor for those working in the field of early care and education
•    Provide comprehensive scholarships for early childhood educators and providers working with children up to age five
•    Provide education and experience-based salary supplements for early childhood educators and providers working with young children up to age five who are employed in licensed centers and family child care 
•    Build comprehensive articulation agreements & stackable credentials for early childhood educators in Maine to improve recruitment and retention of a highly-qualified workforce

FCCAM believes this bill begins to address the early childhood workforce shortage. Public investment needs to occur to help reverse the decline in the number of family child care professionals. Family child care professionals need to be able to support themselves and their families. For many making less than $15 per hour means they are struggling, as much as many of the families they serve, in making ends meet.

Healthy wages supports quality child care programs.

A healthy child care system supports a healthy Maine economy.

Family child care professionals are an important part of the child care system in Maine.

The child care workforce is the workforce behind the workforce!


Please consider write personal testimony in support of this bill. It’s pretty easy to do with the new online submission format.


This bill is being heard by the IDEA committee, so here is how to start your testimony , plus a general testimony template:

Testimony of ___(your name)___

(you can add Member of FCCAM here if you are one of our members)

before the Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business

in support of L.D. 1584 “An Act To Attract, Build and Retain an Early Childhood Education Workforce through Increased Training, Education and Career Pathways”  

(Date)

Senator Herbig, Representative Daughtry, and distinguished members of the Committee On Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business, my name is _____ and I’m __what is your work or role connected to young children___.  I strongly support this proposal to develop career pathways for early educators, including professional supports, and a focus on compensation.

(add a few sentences about personal experiences around wages, education, workforce issues…..)

Maine’s children and families need a strong, sustainable child care system. Without quality child care programs, parents cannot work. Without workers, our state and local economies suffer. We need effective strategies to recruit and retain a strong early childhood workforce. LD1584 will grow our early childhood workforce supporting Maine’s future prosperity.

Signature

Business name

Posted in Legislation

4 Upcoming Public Preschool Bills (updated 5/14/19)

Update: LD 1043 was the Public Pre-K bill that moved forward. Following public hearing 5/6/19 LD 1043 was voted: OTP -AM. Workshop session has not been scheduled as of this posting.


Let’s look briefly at these 4 bills………

LD 1043 changes the start date to 2020/21 school year for all school administrative units to have public preschool programs for children 4 years old. It requires The Department of Education (DOE) will be required to include in their recommendations: the standards that public preschool programs must meet; the process for approval of partnership with community-based early childhood programs; and levels of funding for public preschool programs.

FCCAM is submitting written testimony on LD 1043 separately from the other bills. We are in support of this bill. We believe all children deserve access to quality early childhood education. We are encouraging that DOE and individual school districts look for creative solutions to offering public preschool through partnering with community-based ece programs like Head-Start, centers and family child care. We also feel that part of this is per pupil payment not classroom payment.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: Wednesday, May 1st

The first of these 4 bills that have something to do with Public Preschool will have a public hearing in the morning session at 9 AM.

LD 712 An Act To Fully Fund After-school and Preschool Programs in the School Funding Formula, Increase the Economically Disadvantaged Student Factor in the School Funding Formula and Increase the School Construction Debt Service Limit
Lead Sponsor: Representative Michael Brennan

The remaining 3 bills will have their public hearings during the afternoon session that starts at 1 PM.

LD 468An Act To Require That the State Fund on an Ongoing Basis a Minimum of 50 Percent of the Costs Associated with Public Preschool Programs
Lead Sponsor: Representative Richard Farnsworth

LD 1428An Act To Require the State To Fund 50 Percent of Public Preschool Programs
Lead Sponsor: Senator Rebecca Millett

LD 1043An Act To Establish Universal Public Preschool Programs
Lead Sponsor: Representative Victoria Kornfield

Let’s look briefly at these 4 bills………

LD 1043 changes the start date to 2020/21 school year for all school administrative units to have public preschool programs for children 4 years old. It requires The Department of Education (DOE) will be required to include in their recommendations: the standards that public preschool programs must meet; the process for approval of partnership with community-based early childhood programs; and levels of funding for public preschool programs.

FCCAM is submitting written testimony on LD 1043 separately from the other bills. We are in support of this bill. We believe all children deserve access to quality early childhood education. We are encouraging that DOE and individual school districts look for creative solutions to offering public preschool through partnering with community-based ece programs like Head-Start, centers and family child care. We also feel that part of this is per pupil payment not classroom payment.

LD 712, 1428, and 468, all have to do with funding. LD 468 requires ongoing funding at 50% for public preschool. LD 1428 saying that if funds for essential programs and services do not provide the funding necessary to reach the minimum of 50%, the State is directed to use other funding sources. LD 712 increases funding for economically disadvantaged students, include after-school programs, and raises the maximum debt limit for school construction projects.

FCCAM is writing 1 letter of support for all 3 of these funding bills. (We will be submitting the same letter twice, because of the split in morning and afternoon hearings and the structure of the online submission process.) If Maine is going to have public preschool than it needs to be adequately and equally funded. This funding also needs to be ongoing. We know that the positive return on monies invested in early childhood education is significant. Using tax dollars to invest in public preschool, means needing a mixed delivery system offering quality programs that will meet the needs of all Maine’s 4 year olds.


We encourage you to write testimony on any of these bills. Not sure writing testimony? Check out this previous post.


Maine now requires submission of written testimony be online. The process is pretty easy. Click on committee, date of hearing then bill(s). Then add testimony into the text box. To be sure you do not lose your work we suggest to add testimony by file or copy and paste into the text box.

Posted in Legislation

New On-line Process to Submit Testimony on Bills!

Beginning April 22, 2019 the Maine Legislature will no longer accept testimony through e-mail. 

With the large numbers of individual testimonies being submitted by emails to committee clerks, the Legislature has created a new process to submit testimony online. With this change, if you plan to provide testimony in-person you should not use the online system.


How to use this new submission process:

  • Access the page to submit testimony online
  • Choose the committee
  • Choose the date/time of the public hearing
  • Check the bill for which you plan to provide testimony from the list provided.
  • Cut and paste your testimony or attach a file.
  • Supply your name, town/organization, and email address.

For your convenience, a new submission form will be available 24/7 through the Maine Legislature’s website athttps://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony. This system will automate the distribution of electronic testimony to the committee members, analyst and clerk. Testimony will continue to be included in the public record for committee meetings. Do not include personal information that you do not want made public. Testimony emailed directly to the committee clerk will not be included in the public record or posted to the web page.

If you are planning to attend the hearing and provide paper copies, please do not submit your testimony electronically.

Links to the new submission form will be available on both the home page and committee pages.

For questions or assistance, please contact the Legislative Information Office at 287-1692.

Maine’s citizens are engaging beyond just voting. Our voices are being heard on specific bills through our written testimonies.

Posted in Legislation

3 More Bills to Know About

There are 3 bills heading to committee and public hearing that the FCCAM’s Public Policy Committee is currently following. We do not have the hearing date for all 3 at this time, but wanted providers to have the time to: digest the bills; be aware of the thoughts raised in Public Policy Committee discussions; and have time to write their own personal testimony regarding their stance on a particular bill.

L.D. 997 ~ An Act To Promote Social and Emotional Learning and Development for Young Children

Our first bill is before the JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS and now has a PUBLIC HEARING scheduled for Monday, April 1, 2019, 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 208 // FCCAM Public Policy Committee will be submitting written testimony in favor of this bill.

This bill requires the Commissioner of Education to implement, beginning September 1, 2020, a statewide voluntary early childhood consultation program to provide support, guidance and training to families, early care and education teachers and providers working in public elementary schools, child care facilities, family child care settings and Head Start programs serving infants and young children who are experiencing challenging behaviors that put them at risk of learning difficulties and removal from early learning settings. The bill requires the Department of Education to design and implement the program and to report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters on the implementation of the statewide voluntary early childhood consultation program.

Additional information/notes:

  • Important that it is voluntary and free.
  • State will be designing the program in consultation with Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and key stakeholders. If the program is modeled after one in Connecticut, we believe it will possibly follow SAMHSA programs. Example: Project LAUNCH
  • Consults would provide tools and skills for the programs that utilize it to work with children with challenging behaviors. Team effort includes provider, family, educational specialist and mental health consultants.
  • Recognizes needs of rural communities
  • Maine Roads To Quality has 1 person who is trained in Mental Health.
  • Maine has 2nd highest expulsion rates in the country.
  • Licensing requires providers to now have expulsion policy. Good to have support providers can incorporate into their policy.
  • Where does CDS fall in this?

LD 1012 An Act To Provide Stable Funding and Support for Child Care Providers

At this time there is no scheduled public hearing or workshops for this bill. // FCCAM supports the ideal of this bill. There is effort underway to gather more information around questions discussions have raised.

  • It establishes graduated quality differential rates for steps 2 to 4 in the 4-step child care quality rating system currently required by law;
  • It requires that contracts with providers of child care services prioritize infants, toddlers and preschool children up to 4 years of age in a variety of ways;
  • It directs the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a shared services program for providers of child care services to realize efficiencies and achieve financial sustainability by sharing administrative and program services and costs.

This bill amends the child care services provisions (subsidy):

Additional Information/notes:

  • FCCAM likes that “Continuity of care” is a main piece or focus and stated right off.
  • Special increase in differential rates for infants might encourage more providers to provide infant care. There is a significant need for both regular and subsidized infant care across Maine.
  • What does “additional training” look like? Is it already aligned with the required training programs providing subsidy care currently have to take?
  • How does age assigned care slots work as child ages?
  • Concern with the age 4 language, as question how that works with a child who turns 5 before entering public school as a Kindergartner.
  • Question sharing of services and how that will work with family child care providers. Is it modeled off the original Shared Services Leah Parker established under grant. Or are we looking at establishing resources referral centers that are only accessible to providers that have contracted to provide subsidized care?

LD 1043 An Act To Establish Universal Public Preschool Programs

UPDATE: Public Hearing May 1st / 1 PM

At this time there is no scheduled public hearing or workshops for this bill. // FCCAM supports the ideal of every child having access to quality child care and early childhood education. There is ongoing discussion about what public preschool will look like and where family child care will fit in.

The topic for the April 8th online FCC Community of Practice (facilitated by Tammy Dwyer of MRTQ) is: Public Pre-K. Registration link for the CoP will be posted in the sidebar once available.

This bill specifies that it is the goal of the State to ensure that public preschool programs for children 4 years of age are offered by all school administrative units by the 2020-2021 school year. In order to achieve that goal, this bill requires the Department of Education to develop recommendations and report back to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by January 1, 2020. Recommendations must include:

  • Standards for public preschool programs;
  • A process for approval and certification of programs not operated by a school administrative unit, including, but not limited to, a Head Start program or other program affiliated with the school administrative unit; and
  • Funding for public preschool programs.

The Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs may report out legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature to implement the recommendations in the report.

Additional Information/notes:

  • Family child care must be explicitly mentioned in this bill.
  • REQUIRE the school departments who take this money ensure a portion will be used to include FCC providers through community collaboration as part of the solution to providing public Pre-K.
    • FCC provider could be required to meet the state requirements of having the required teaching degree.
    • Nationally accreditation could be required.
    • Could FCC provider work as subcontractor under supervision of school system, thus not requiring Step 4 on QRIS, teaching degree or national accreditation?
    • Funding to support FCC providers meet increased requirements such as degree, accreditation.
Posted in FCCAM, Legislation

Right from the Start Coalition

In an earlier post we introduced 3 groups that offer education and advice to the Department of Health and Human Services and the legislature. In this post we’d like to look at support for child care in Maine from the advocacy viewpoint.

Think child care and then think Police, American Heart, Chamber of Commerce, Equal Justice…….. What?

Supporting children and families is the work of the Right from the Start Coalition. This diverse coalition is working to ensure that all Maine children have equal opportunity for healthy development through advocacy efforts. Having a strong and sustainable early care system that is available for all Maine’s children is an important part of the work this coalition is engaged with. members of the coalition work together in many different ways. Skills and resources are shared bringing many different perspectives to the issues impacting the healthy development of Maine’s children.

Why is having this diverse group together important? Maine having a strong future means Maine needs its children to have a positive start, support along the way as they grow and a strong economy so they can afford to stay and thrive as adults. The partners in this coalition have roles that are important to different parts of the whole journey, but all understand the importance of that strong start for children. The value of the coalition to the children of Maine is why FCCAM is an Endorsing Partner.

LEADING PARTNERS
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Maine
Maine Association for the Education of Young Children
Maine Children’s Alliance
Maine Community Action Programs
Maine Head Start Directors Association
Mission: Readiness Maine
Ready Nation Maine

ENDORSING PARTNERS
American Heart Association, Maine
Community Caring Collaborative
Educare Central Maine
Educate Maine
Family Child Care Association of Maine
Maine Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics
Maine Chiefs of Police Association
Maine Children’s Trust
Maine Community Foundation
Maine Education Association
Maine Equal Justice Partners
Maine Resilience Building Network
Maine Sheriffs’ Association
Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Maine Women’s Lobby
United Ways of Maine
YMCA Alliance of Maine

SUPPORTING PARTNERS
Faith Linking in Action
Food AND Medicine
Kennebec Valley Organization
Maine Early Learning Investment Group (MELIG)
Maine Center for Economic Policy
Maine Montessori Association
Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce
United Way of Androscoggin County
United Way of Aroostook County
United Way of Eastern Maine
United Way of Greater Portland
United Way of Mid Coast Maine
United Way of Mid Maine
United Way of the Tri-Valley Area
United Way of York County

The 3 priorities guiding the work are:

  • Support and Value New Parents
  • Strengthen Early Care and Education
  • Bring Public Preschool to Scale

Advocacy is important to the improvement of the lives of children and families. Providing legislators’ and policymakers’ with facts/data from reliable sources helps their decisions to be informed. Providing facts/data to the right committees at the right time is advocacy at its best.

Right from the Start understands how important it is for the public to be engaged. How important it is for elected officials to hear directly from those working with children and families and from the families themselves. Right from the Start has a free early childhood advocacy toolkit available to help you learn how to frame your message and prepare yourself to advocate on policies important to you.

You can find a wealth of current data on what the landscape looks like for children and families in Maine on the data visualization page. To get into the site click on an area of interest and you will arrive at a menu listing and connected data.

Posted in FCCAM

Hello, Health and Human Services Committee!

The Health and Human Services committee sent out an invite to interested parties to come introduce themselves this week. FCCAM was happy to be able to take advantage of this opportunity this year. Sasha Shunk, FCCAM Treasurer and Chair of the Outreach Committee, was able to attend yesterday afternoon, speak in person and provide written materials to HHS committee members.

The response from committee members was very positive. This in person meeting provided them a better understanding of the work we do, how we differ from centers, and why it’s nearly impossible for us to give testimony in person. Legislators who have served previously on the committee mentioned they have been appreciative of the written testimonies FCCAM has provided, in past years, during public comment on bills. HHS committee members mentioned to Sasha they have a new appreciation for us! They were thankful a representative of FCCAM and family child care providers in Maine was able to attend.

Sasha relayed a verbal invitation for any member of the committee to visit any of our programs. FCCAM will be sending an official invitation to invite them to visit family childcare programs to see us “in action.”

For a copy of the written material we provided HHS committee members click here.

Posted in Legislation

Following the Work of the 129th Maine Legislature

Since our formation, FCCAM is had an active Public Policy Committee. This committee has also worked jointly with MaineAEYC on bills that impact children birth through age 8. While the Public Policy Committee works year round it is busiest when Maine’s Legislature is in session.  With the convening in December of the 129th legislature (2019-2020), it’s time again to start paying attention to what is happening around committee work and the legislative bills that might impact our profession, the children in our care and their families.

FCCAM continues to encourage providers to stay informed and to reach out to their respective elected officials to make their views heard. Hearing from constituents really makes a difference.

Following are links to the pages for the committees that are usually hearing bills that involve our profession. You can find committee members and schedule of upcoming bills on each committee’s page. There is also the contact information needed if you are sending testimony to the committee. The Maine Legislature also has a main legislative homepage that provides links to most of the resources you could possibly want to understand, follow and find information on their work.

Committee on Health and Human Services

Education and Cultural Affairs

Labor and Housing

Appropriations and Financial Affairs

Here’s a link to the complete glossary of terms for the Maine State Legislature. Where FCCAM’s PPC is primarily concerns is with bills we watch the LR – Legislative Request Number: Assigned by the Revisor of Statutes when a request for a bill is made to track a bill until it is printed as a Legislative Document; and LD – Legislative Document: the number assigned when the bill is received by the Clerk or Secretary, printed, and distributed to the public.

With the LD number you can directly search for a bill and all available information. Let’s start with one bill FCCAM will be watching: LD 45 – An Act To Amend the Law Regarding Maine’s Background Check Center. Starting on the Legislative homepage type in the LD #:

You will be taken here. Depending on what has been happening the amount of information available will vary. The sidebar provides you with the next link you are looking for. For most searches you will click on “Bills Text and Other Docs”.

This is the page where you can access the bill in it’s written form.

From the summary LD 45 grants the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to request state and national criminal history records, including fingerprint-based criminal history records, for direct access workers undergoing a background check under the Maine Background Check Center Act. This bill could be the step needed to clarify and complete the structure for the Licensing required Background Check.

The process by which an idea becomes a law in Maine involves many steps. It is designed to prevent hasty or uninformed decisions on matters that can affect the lives of every Maine citizen. Although the process may seem confusing at first, rules and procedures clearly define the steps that apply to every bill. Understanding this process helps us follow and influence bills as they move from idea forward.

Although there are many steps from idea to the public hearing in Committee, bills can move very quickly through Committee once they are there. FCCAM will do our best to keep our members and other family child care providers throughout the state as informed as possible.