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

Sources:

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

Sources:

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
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Demographics Link copied!

State population

1,385,340 Source U.S. Census, 2022

Rural %

61.4% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Urban %

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

Unemployment rate

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

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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%)
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Political Landscape Link copied!

Year20232022202120202019
GovernorDDDDD
HouseDDDDD
SenateDDDDD
Source: Ballotpedia 2023

Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

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

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Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023

Programs

  • 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0%)
  • 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (7%)
  • Other/none (93%)
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Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Program Source: NIEER 2023

Programs

  • 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (41%)
  • 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (3%)
  • Other/none (56%)
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Workforce Link copied!

2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020

Role

  • Child care workers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Preschool or child care center directors
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Funding Source 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 Expenditures ($20.5)
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Funding acronyms: CCDBG: Child Care and Development Block Grant; CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; CRRSE Act: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations; ARPA: American Rescue Plan Act; CCDF: Child Care and Development Fund; MIECHV: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

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.