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

One-time funding

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.
State of Maine Office of Governor Janet T. Mills. (2022). Governor Mills Announces Launch of $10 Million Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Grant Program to Help Child Care Businesses Start or Expand.
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (n.d.). Maine state 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
Download This Table

Demographics Link copied!

Demographics Data Scorecard

State population


Rural %


Urban %


Number of children 0–4


Poverty levels - children 0—8 below 200% poverty


Median family income among households with children


Unemployment rate


Unemployment rate of parents


Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force


Children living in households with a high housing cost burden


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%)
Year 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
Governor D D D D D
State House D D D D D
State Senate D D D D D

Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

Early Childhood Education Programs

Public Pre-K Program Name

Public Preschool Program (PPP) Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or Targeted Pre-K Policy

Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

Early Childhood Education Programs (3-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023


  • 3-Year-old Children Enrolled in Head Start (7%)
  • Other/None (93%)

Early Childhood Education Programs (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023


  • Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs (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
    $11.69 (2017, adjusted)
    $12.89 (2019)
  • Preschool Teachers
    $15.61 (2017, adjusted)
    $17.28 (2019)
  • Preschool or Child Care Center Directors
    $23.63 (2017, adjusted)
    $25.07 (2019)

Funding Sources Link copied!

Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in Millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022

Funding Source

  • 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 ($20.5)