Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!
|Innovation Name||Innovation Type||Innovation Subtype||Features at a Glance||Strategy Summary|
|Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program||Expansion||Physical Space and Facilities||
In 2022, under Governor Janet Mills, Maine’s Office of Child and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services established the Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program. The program is part of a $25 million child care initiative in the governor’s Jobs Plan that includes $15 million for early childhood education. The grant program allows Maine residents to open child care businesses in their homes, transform existing buildings into quality child care spaces, and construct new child care facilities; existing child care providers may expand the number of children they serve. Priority is given to sites in rural areas that care for infants and toddlers, and that participate in the child care subsidy program. Home-based child care businesses may apply for 75 percent of their start-up costs (up to $8,500). Grants are available through 2024 or until all funds are awarded, whichever comes first. In total, the funds awarded through the Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program are expected to add more than 3,500 child care slots.Learn More: Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program
State Government of Maine. (n.d.). Child care infrastructure grant program.
|The University of Maine at Farmington Early Childhood Special Education program||Workforce||Professional Learning||
Includes training, university partnership, and facilities improvements
Maine Governor Janet T. Mills, supported by the Maine Legislature and authorized by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, invested a share of federal American Rescue Plan relief funds in an early education training program in partnership with the University of Maine at Farmington. To help develop and retain early education professionals, UMF is renovating a former call center into a center for its nationally accredited Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center. The Center is expected to open in the summer of 2023 as a state-of-the-art child care and academic facility to train more skilled child care staff to enter and stay in the workforce. Previously, the Sweatt-Winter expansion project received $1.4 million from a bond for UMaine System workforce development infrastructure approved by voters statewide in 2018. The Lennox Foundation also contributed $100,000.Learn more: University of Maine Early Childhood Special Education
University of Maine Farmington. (n.d.). Early Childhood Special Education.
State of Maine Office of Governor Janet T. Mills. (2022). At University of Maine Farmington, Governor Mills Highlights Investments to Expand Child Care in Maine, Increase Pay for Child Care Workers.
|Maine Data Dashboards||Infrastructure Systems||Data Systems||
Data Visualization Tool
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Children and Families hosts three dashboards: the Early Childhood Education Dashboard; Child Welfare Dashboard; and Children's Behavioral Health Dashboard. These dashboards are data visualization toolsthat provide public-use demographic and program data on multiple services for young children, including high-quality care, QRS ratings, early childhood services, evidence-based services, foster care, and licensed early childhood providers.Learn more: Maine Child Welfare Data Dashboard
Demographics Link copied!
1,385,340 Source U.S. Census, 2022
61.4% Source U.S. Census, 2020
38.6% Source U.S. Census, 2020
Number of children age 0-4
62,340 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty
34% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Median family income among households with children
$84,800.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
3.8% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022
Unemployment rate of parents
4% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force
69% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden
23% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Race and Ethnicity
- American Indian and Alaska Native (1%)
- Asian (1%)
- Black or African American (3%)
- Hispanic or Latino (3%)
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (0.49%)
- Two or More Races (4%)
- White, not Hispanic or Latino (87%)
Political Landscape Link copied!
Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!
Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023
- 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0%)
- 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (7%)
- Other/none (93%)
Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Program Source: NIEER 2023
- 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (41%)
- 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (3%)
- Other/none (56%)
Workforce Link copied!
2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020
- Child care workers
- Preschool teachers
- Preschool or child care center directors
Funding Source Link copied!
Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022
- Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($44.3)
- CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($25.7)
- CCDBG State Match ($2.4)
- CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($160.3)
- State-Funded Pre-K ($25.7)
- MIECHV ($6.1)
- IDEA Part C ($3.6)
- IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($3.9)
- TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($20.5)
The COVID Funding Cliff
All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 13,000 children in Maine.