Early Childhood

Steps to choosing Child Care - Take the Time to Make the Right Choice for Your Family

From a publication of:
Maine Department of Health and Human Services,
Early Childhood Services - Child Care and Head Start

The Following Child Care Options Are Available in Maine

Child Care Centers - Facilities where 13 or more children ages 6 weeks to 13 years may be cared for on a regular or part-time basis. These facilities are required to be licensed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and must meet minimum requirements concerning health and safety. Centers are subject to biannual inspections by a State Fire Marshal as well as annual review by the DHHS Licensing Unit.

Certified Family Day Care Homes - Facilities in which 3 to 12 children, not related to the care giver, ages 6 weeks to 13 years may receive regular or part-time care. They must meet minimum health and safety requirements, and are inspected bi-annually by a State Fire Marshal and annually by a DHHS Licensing Worker.

Legal Unlicensed Family Day Care – Homes in which only one or two children, not related to the care giver, are cared for without a license.

School-Age Child Care – Care provided for children ages 5-16 during non-school hours. It is available in a variety of settings: schools, community centers, Y’s, religious organizations, child care centers, and family day care homes. These programs must comply with DHHS regulations.

In-Home Care - A relative, friend or someone else that you hire to care for your child in your home. This option is not regulated.

OTHER OPTIONS

Nursery Schools - Facilities for 3 or more children between the ages of 3 and 7 that provide half-day care, not including kindergarten programs. Parents often combine these programs with other types of child care to create a full-day child care income preschool children including children with special needs. Other important services such as medical, dental, educational, mental health and social services are also offered.
Most programs also have child care services to create a full day program.

Head Start - This program offers educational programs to low-income preschool children including children with special needs. Other important services such as medical, dental, educational, mental health and social services are also offered. Most programs also have child care services to create a full day program.