Posted in Business Practice, MRTQ-PDN, Professional Development, QRIS

CCDF Health and Safety Orientation Training

*Updated 7/2021 ~~

Questions have arisen about the Health and Safety Orientation training following the email providers recently received about the upcoming Child Care Stabilization Grants.

Here are some points for providers to consider:

To meet requirements to apply for this stabilization grant opportunity all owners, directors, and staff have to complete the State approved health and safety training within 90 days of hire. This training is the free 6 hr Health & Safety Orientation training reached through MRTQ PDN On-Demand. For providers and staff that have been working longer than the 90 days of hire, we believe you will also need to have this training completed.

If you participate in the subsidy program you have had to complete this training, and also complete the annual review training.

If you have opened your program in the past few years you probably took this training as it has been part of pre-licensing requirements.

Having read through the QRIS pilot report, this training was noted as a requirement to maintain Star 2 and up. (Rising Stars for ME has not yet been formally adopted and introduced yet to providers. It is expected to be rolled out Fall 2021.)

When you go to register for this training if you cannot enroll it means you have already taken it and MRTQ has that information. If you are needing to take the annual renewal that is time/date sensitive and you cannot take it before your previous year is met.

*Note: the training title is now CCDF Health and Safety Orientation. It previous was dated and CCDF was not included. It has been the top training listed on the On-Demand site.

To access the CCDF Health and Safety Orientation Training, begin by logging into the MRTQ Registry. If you haven’t joined the Registry yet you will need to do that first. Here’s how to join.

Click the “Access” button under Online Training.

You should now find yourself here:

If the CCDF Health and Safety Orientation Training is not the first training you see scroll down through the listed trainings.

You will see a button below the training description. It will either be a green “Enroll” or a gray “Completed”. If you see the “completed” button it means at some point your took this training and it’s on your Registry record.

Here’s a working link to MRTQ Registry home page.

If you find yourself with time some day explore your training history on the Registry, check out other trainings available at MRTQ PDN and enroll for anytime access to the QIT Toolkit.

Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information

“Where Can I Go For Help?”

Family Child Care providers can find themselves feeling very isolated. This can make it difficult when they find themselves with a challenging situation, questions about policies, implementing the MELDS, or maybe questions around their environment. In Maine at this time, we are lucky to have a variety of options available to us for support. It can start with an online search, or accessing the variety of resources on this website, or asking a fellow provider for help.  You can also join one of the many MRTQ PDN Communities of Practice offered each month. 

What if you find you need more specialized support than those options provide? 

Welcome to the first post in our series about the Technical Assistance offered through Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN). Technical Assistance (TA) is the provision of targeted and customized support to help providers and staff develop or strengthen processes, knowledge application, or implementation of services to children and families. TA is provided through coaching, consultation, mentoring and peer-to-peer networking to providers and staff. 

In Maine, you can request FREE Technical Assistance (TA) through consultation from MRTQ PDN by:

  • Asking a question through phone or email
  • Contacting the “Warm Line” 
  • Requesting On-site Consultation (OC) 

Let’s look at what the “Warm Line” and “On-site Consultation” each provide and how each is accessed.

MRTQ PDN’s Warm Line provides preventative and nonemergency person-to-person support and resources. The Warm Line is NOT a hotline. 

The Warm Line is support that is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (except for holidays). Contact the Warm Line by calling 1-844-209-5964 or email: All phone messages and emails will receive a response within one business day. The Warm Line Coordinator will be the initial contact. They will gather information from you to help identify your needs, at which point you may be connected to one of the Warm Line staff consultants.

The Warm Line is staffed by professionals with expertise in inclusive practices, disabilities, children’s health, social and emotional development, behavior, and early childhood mental health. These professionals can:

  • Talk through an issue or problem with you.  
  • Provide you with resources and strategies that you can use in your program, 
  • Share information about other MRTQ PDN services that could support your program.  
  • Assist you in making connections to other community or national resources. 

The Warm Line is available to:

  • Family child care  
  • Child care centers 
  • Out-of-School time programs  
  • license -exempt practitioners  
  • Nursery schools 
  • Head Start 
  • Public Preschool
  • Families 

MRTQ PDN’s On-site Consultation (OC) isn’t a specialist coming into your program telling you what to do to fix the situation you contacted them about. It’s a working partnership where you and a designated District Coordinator (DC) problem solve together. You are recognized as the expert in your environment with knowledge that they can not replicate. The DC is bringing a new set of eyes and additional resources to support you. They will work with you to problem solve, so you are able to provide the best care you can. You get up to six on-site visits (currently virtual due to COVID restrictions) with an option for renewal based on mutual agreement that ongoing support is required to meet the developed quality improvement goals.

Supports offered are generally related to one or more of the Quality for ME standards:  

– Licensing Compliance                                       
– Program Evaluation                                           – Staffing and Professional Development             – Learning Environment/Developmentally  Appropriate Practice
– Family Resources                       
– Family Involvement                      – Administrative Policies and  Procedures                                     – Authentic Assessment
Not sure if you’d ever use OC? Providers from across the state request on-site consultation for support on:
  • Guidance on policies and procedures
  • Arranging the environment
  • Help with accreditation
  • Improving family engagement
  • Implementation of Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards
  • Strategies for supporting children’s positive social and emotional development
  • Problem-solving approaches to prevent expulsion

On-site Consultation is available to:

  • Family child care programs • Child care centers • License-exempt practitioners • Head Start programs • Out-of-school time programs

On-site Consultation includes the following activities through mutual agreement between the DC (Technical Assistance Professional) and Consultee (Technical Assistance Partner):

  • Meeting with owner/director/individual staff / Development and implementation of an On-site Consultation Plan / Tour of facility / Resource/information sharing / Consultation evaluation

Additional activities may include:

  • Attending/facilitating staff/family/board/collaboration meetings / Assisting with referral to and consultation support from other educational and/or child/family serving agencies / Facilitating family involvement / Activities specific to the accreditation process /  Review/assist with administrative/program materials / Professional development / On-site observation

If your program is not enrolled with Quality for ME (QRIS), you will be encouraged to enroll as part of the consultation process. The proposed requirement of all providers enrolling their program in Quality for ME in the proposed Family Child Care Licensing Rule is expected to still be there after adoption of the Rule into law. (*see our post on enrolling in Quality for ME)

Let’s look closer at what a Request for On-site Consultation (OC) involves…..

Providers request On-site consultation (OC) from MRTQ PDN through an online process. 

  • Visit the MRTQ PDN website and click on the link to the On-Site Consultation Request Form.
  • Complete the online request and program profile, including reviewing and agreeing to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
  • The MRTQ PDN Technical Assistance Manager will contact you to gather more information and assign a DC.

The remainder of this first post on TA will expose you to the 3 page OC “Request” process. FCCAM PLC worked through the process taking screenshots of each section. While screenshots lengthen the post we have found providers appreciate this type of walk through. 

If you are logged in to MRTQ-PDN Registry you can request OC from this page ~

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If you are not a member of the Registry now is the time to join. Being part of the Registry is expected to remain as a requirement when the new Family Child Care Licensing Rule is adopted into law. (*see our post on joining the Registry)

Clicking “Complete a Request” under “On-site Consultation” takes you to a MRTQ-PDN page that explains what a consultation is. You will access the 3 page request application next.

You start with the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which you need to sign to participate. You have to be the owner or program director to request OC and complete the Request Application. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about this MOA further into the process.

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Click “Agree and Continue” to access the 3 page Request form. Again these are informational screenshots. They are not linked to the request form itself.

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Submit and your OC Request is completed!

If you didn’t complete it correctly you’ll get this:

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Completed successfully you see this:

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You should also see a notice to Login and complete a Program Profile. This is more detailed information about your program that MRTQ PDN has to collect as part of the consultation request. If you do not complete the profile page from the link provided when you receive the “Thank you” message, you will get an email reminder of the need to do this from Jill Downs, Technical Assistance Manager, who serves as the initial point of contact at MRTQ PDN for all OC requests. The Program Profile needs to be completed within 3 days of your request submission to be valid.

Remember Technical Assistance through On-site Consultation is FREE and there to support providers in providing the best quality of child care they can!

**Providers and staff earn recognized professional development hours for their direct work with the DC (Technical Assistance Professional).

The next post in the series will explain more about entering OC and setting your support action plan up. We are working through that process now.

Posted in Business Practice, Professional Development

Still Need to Join MRTQ-Professional Development Network’s Registry?

In “Section 8: Training”, of the 12/30/2020 proposed Family Child Care Licensing Rule there is a new requirement :

“B. Ongoing Training. 3. All Providers and Staff Members must register with Maine’s Professional Development Network.

Many providers already meet this new requirement, as they are already part of the Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network Registry.

For those who have not joined the Registry here’s the link to get you started. The MRTQ Registry is FREE.

Look for….

…. and click the “Join” button.

Complete the information asked for and click “CREATE” for your Registry account. Opening your Registry account is that easy.

Once you have created your account you will be able to add information about your educational background and trainings. You can come back at any time to add or update your information. If you can set aside even 15 minutes you can get a good amount of your information in place. Listing elective training is optional and that is where most time will be needed if you want to post any you have taken in the past 5 years. Please know you do not need to list past trainings.

Let’s look at what some of the informational input pages (found in the top menu – highlighted blue) look like…….

Notice, if you attend any of the Community of Practices (CoP) that MRTQ facilitate those hours are automatically added to your elective hours record.

Licensing accepts this record from MRTQ for tracking your annual training hours required to maintain your license.

Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information

Quality Initiatives Awards

Sharing from Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network ~

Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN) is partnering with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services (DHHS OCFS) to offer Quality Improvement Awards (QIA) and Quality Improvement Mini-Grants (QIMG) to early childhood and out-of-school time programs in Maine. The funding period is July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021; awards are first-come, first-served until funds are expended.

Quality Improvement Mini-Grants must be spent on purchases aligned with the appropriate accreditation standard and must be approved by an MRTQ PDN Accreditation Facilitator.

Quality Improvement Awards: This funding is for programs moving from Step 1 to Step 2 and/or Step 2 to Step 3 with Quality for ME.

  • Programs moving from Step 1 to Step 2 are eligible for a one-time award of $300.
  • Programs moving from Step 2 to Step 3 are eligible for a one-time award of $400.

For Frequently Asked Questions and Instructions around QIAs: CLICK HERE

Quality Improvement Mini-Grants: This funding is for programs that are currently in an accreditation cohort (for at least six months) OR that have submitted for their final accreditation observation, OR that have maintained a Step 4 during the funding period.

  • Programs are eligible for a one-time mini-grant of $1,500.
  • The amount is the same regardless of the type of program.
  • Purchases must be linked to accreditation standards and approved by an MRTQ PDN Accreditation Facilitator.

For Frequently Asked Questions and Instructions around QIMGs: CLICK HERE

Not a member of the MRTQ Registry? It’s easy to join online and it’s FREE. Click HERE to go directly to the page on the MRTQ website where you can join.

Posted in Business Practice, ECE Information, Professional Development

Providers Watch for These Changes!

UPDATE (8/12)*** Program Portal is active and the Quality Improvement Awards and Minigrants will officially open on Wednesday, August 26!

Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN) has recently announced in their weekly “Shortcuts” email 2 changes that re coming soon and are important for providers to be aware of as both have to do with your business.

Program Portal on Child Care Choices

The Program Portal will allow individual programs to update the information displayed on the Maine’s online search for child care programs: Child Care Choices.

Beginning in August of 2020, programs will be able to update the following information:

  • Number(s) of openings, listed by age:
  • If the program accepts Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) funding.

More information will be coming in SHORTcuts in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!.


Quality Improvement Awards and Minigrants

MRTQ PDN is excited to announce that additional funding through the Child Care Development Block Grant has been designated for Quality Improvement Awards and Minigrants!

Coming in August, programs that have moved up from Step 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 with Quality for ME, are pursuing national accreditation and Step 4, or have maintained a Step 4 will be eligible to apply for a one-time funding award. The grant period will extend back to July 1, 2019.

FCCAM encourages all providers and staff join the MRTQ Registry.

Posted in Business Practice

MRTQ PDN Registry Application is now Paperless!!!

The MRTQ PDN Registry is happy to announce that new applicants now have the option of submitting their Registry applications completely online!

The last page of the application now includes a section to sign electronically with nothing more than a mouse.

Once submitted, the application will be processed within 5 business days.

Supporting education and documentation for new applications should be submitted via email (, fax (207-780-4511), or US mail within two weeks of submission of the application to ensure applicants are listed accurately on Career Lattices.

If you have any questions, please contact Eric Norgaard, Registry Coordinator at or 207-780-4367.

The Family Child Care Association of Maine strongly encourages all individuals working in early childhood education to join the Registry. There is no cost to join.

Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network is here to promote and support professionalism in the early care and education field. It’s work is about Professional Development, not Political Advocacy.

Anyone working or supporting early childhood professionals including those who own a family child care home, works in a center of any size, works with children in an out-of-school time setting, or cares for 2 unrelated children as a legal, licensed exempt provider can be part of this free, voluntary registry.  

Posted in Professional Development

Changes to Maine’s Community of Practices

Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN) has been supporting the development of Communities of Practice in all regions within Maine.   The formation of the Communities of Practice group taps into existing provider groups, groups with a specific early childhood focus and/or support for forming groups to bring those in the early care and education field together.  A facilitator is contracted by MRTQ PDN and groups are given opportunities for networking, topical information sharing and/or elective training.

Like so much of our professional and daily life, COVID-19 has impacted the established face-to-face Communities of Practice. As of 3/16/2020, all Communities of Practice (CoP) meetings are happening via Zoom video conferencing. In response to provider requests, MRTQ PDN has added new CoPs and increased the frequency of others.  You can find the the complete updated list of these FREE offerings HERE.

Here’s some highlights about the new CoP meetings ~

NEW Statewide CoP –  Well-being in the Time of Social Distancing and COVID- 19

We know this is a challenging and confusing time for all of us.  MRTQ PDN is offering a weekly CoP focusing on health and well-being during this difficult time which is open to anyone who wants to register. In April, weekly on Wednesdays via Zoom from 1:00 – 2:30 pm. There is a limit of 20 registrants each week.  Register Here
This is a chance for us to share our thoughts and feelings about what is happening in our programs, in our relationships with kids and families, and most of all to offer a listening ear and compassion to each other. The facilitators will have resources to share that you can pass along to staff and families.  

Facilitated by: Jennifer (Jen) Maeverde ((207) 581-1382 – & Marnie Morneault ((207) 240-9135 –

Both Jen and Marnie have education and experience supporting mental health and well-being with kids and adults.  Jen’s background is in early childhood mental health.  As a clinician, Jen has worked with kids and families in many mental health settings.  Marnie’s background is in special education specifically working with children with emotional disturbance and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

We will make adjustments to the CoP as we go along and learn more about what is needed from the community.  We want you to know we are here for you. Join us if you can.

“Hi 🙂 If you don’t know me, my name is Jen Maeverde. I am one of the District Coordinators at Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network. I work with providers all over the state to support social and emotional teaching practices, problem solve situations of challenging behavior, create inclusive settings for kids with mental health and behavioral challenges, and to support all of you in your own stress management and wellness. During this unpredictable and challenging time, I wanted to reach out and offer my support in any way that would be helpful to you. I’ll be taking calls, answering email and having video chats with anyone who is interested. Of course, you can reach out to me at any time: and I’ll also be dedicating time during the week to connect with folks. For the month of April, I’ll be available on Thursdays from 10:00 to 11:30 and from 12:30 to 2:00. If you’d like to schedule a time to talk or video conference on Thursdays at these times, please send me an email. Best, Jen”

NEW – All as One
(Cumberland, Kennebec, Piscataquis, Somerset and York Counties)

Center based, Family, and Out-of-School Time Child Care practitioners from Cumberland, Kennebec, Somerset, Piscataquis, and York Counties. 

Meets weekly on Thursdays for 3 weeks (then reassess) at the following times:

6:30 – 7:30 am  Register here

12:30 – 1:30 pm  Register here

6:30 – 7:30 pm  Register here

Each meeting is followed by an hour of time in which practitioners can set up private meetings with the facilitators: Tammy Dwyer ((207) 956-2937 – / Diane Hancock ((207) 560-7325 – / Robin Holman ((207) 956-2410 –

NEW – Midcoast Regional (Lincoln, Knox, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties)

Center based and Family Child Care practitioners from Lincoln, Knox, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties.  

In April, weekly on Tuesdays via Zoom, 1:30-2:30 pm.  Register here

Facilitator: Lee Lingelbach ((207) 233-5821 –

NEW – Open CoP (Hancock and Penobscot Counties & Center based Directors from Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties)

Center based and Family Child Care practitioners in Hancock and Penobscot Counties & Center based Directors from Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties. 
Wednesday, April 1st, via Zoom from 10am-11am.

Facilitator: Jamie Spencer ((207) 956-3066 –

NEW – Downeast Regional (Washington County)

Center based,  Family Child Care, and Out-of-School time practitioners throughout Washington County /  Mondays, April 6th and 20th, via Zoom at 6:00 pm. Facilitator: Theresa Fisk ((207) 956-2070 –

Again all CoP meetings continuing to meet will be by Zoom. Following are other changes to existing CoP meetings:

License-Exempt practitioners (family, friend and neighbor care) in Androscoggin County is on hold at this time . Contact the facilitator: Marnie Morneault ((207) 240-9135 – for questions and support.

The Caribou, Houlton, and Presque Isle Center based and Family Child Care practitioners CoPs will meet together via Zoom on Wednesday, April 8th, at 6:30. Facilitator: Cathy Bohls ((207) 473-0062 –

August Out-of-School Time Child Care practitioners see the new All as One CoP above.

Statewide Family Child Care (online) see the new All as One CoP above.

Skowhegan (Somerset County) Center based and Family Child Care practitioners see the new All as One CoP above.

Kennebunk – Saco (York County) Center based and Family Child Care practitioners see the new All as One CoP above.

Posted in ECE Information, Professional Development

Just What is MRTQ PDN?

Our next series of posts will focus on the professional side of child care in Maine.

Who knows what “MRTQ PDN” stands for and who can be part of it?

~ Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network ~ here to promote and support professionalism in the early care and education field. Professional Development, not Political Advocacy.

~ Anyone working or supporting early childhood professionals including those who own a family child care home, works in a center of any size, works with children in an out-of-school time setting, or cares for 2 unrelated children as a legal, licensed exempt provider can be part of this voluntary registry.  

How does MRTQ PDN support providers?

It starts with the Registry, which is a professional recognition system for individual providers. The registry tracks members’ work, trainings, Early Childhood credentials, and educational history. The accumulated experiences meet different professional levels on an established career lattice. As members add to their professional experiences they can advance on the career lattice. The Registry is a convenient way of keeping track of your trainings and educational accomplishments. Print off a hardcopy to have for licensing. It’s FREE. All you need to do is sign up!

Career lattices help people visualize and learn about the job options that are available as they progress through a career. Career lattices may be used to:

show potential career progression,

inform about the training, education, and developmental experiences that support career objectives, and

focus workforce development efforts.

Trainings are offered across Maine (e.g., one-day workshops, graduate-level college course work, Online, ITV, and face-to-face trainings).

For a full list of current training opportunities and links to register search the MRTQ PDN Online Training Calendar.

Maine Credentials are statewide credentialing options for providers who wish to focus their training on a specific age group or population. Maine offers the following Credentials administered by MRTQ PDN:

  • Infant/ Toddler I & II
  • Inclusion
  • Youth Development
  • Director

Technical Assistance supports providers improve the quality of their programs, find solutions to challenges, and/or sustain best practices. This support is provided by the 8 District Early Childhood and Youth Coordinators.

“District Early Childhood and Youth Coordinators (DCs) serve as a resource to the early childhood and youth workforce to support quality improvement in all areas of Maine. The DCs are professionals with extensive experience working in early childhood and out-of-school time settings. Our goal is to build strong relationships with practitioners and programs. The primary function of each DC is to provide TA, which includes on-site consultation (OC) and facilitating peer-to-peer networks (e.g., Communities of Practice or Maine Credential cohorts).”

The Warm Line can be the first step when you need accurate information to support the inclusion of children with special health needs, disabilities, mental health concerns, or challenging behavior in your program.

The Warm Line is NOT a hotline.  If your situation is serious and urgent, treat it as an emergency and CALL 911.

Use this resource which is there to provide 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. Advice is just a call or email away! Email: or call 1-844-209-5964. Office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm
(except for state and federal holidays and University of Maine system wide snow days).

If you are not already on the Registry, FCCAM and MRTQ PDN are happy to provide any help you might need.

Do this for yourself as a Family Child Care Professional!

UPDATE (June 13, 2019) ~

MRTQ Registry has a new look and changes regarding use of the Registry.

Password Security – new requirements to the Registry password to improve security:

  • Be at least 8 characters long
  • Include at least one uppercase and one lowercase letter
  • Include at least one number (digit)
  • Include at least one special character (!@#$%^&*)

Registry Access to MRTQ PDN Trainings – On-Demand and Online Training Access is now a one-step process. Registry members can simply click a button from the Registry to enroll and access their Moodle account.