Quality for ME


Quality for ME is a four-step program designed to increase awareness of the basic standards of early care and education, to recognize and support providers who are providing care above and beyond those standards, and to educate the community of the benefits of higher quality care.  Quality for ME has three goals.

  • To recognize child care programs that provide quality care
  • To encourage providers to increase their level of quality
  • To provide parents with identifiable standards of quality

Quality Rating System Manual (PDF)
2019 Double Tax Credit Eligible Licensed Child Care Providers

Please review the Quality Rating System Application Manual before completing the application.

Complete the Online Application

What is the background of Quality for ME?
Quality for ME is a system that has been designed in collaboration with many parents, providers and stakeholders in the early care and education (ECE) system. In 2004 a group of key ECE stakeholders in the state of Maine attended a meeting where they began the discussion around the formation of a system to identify quality child care programs based on a certain set of criteria. Over the next two years the Early Childhood Division of DHHS held two series of focus groups to find out how parents and providers define quality in early care and education settings. The Early Childhood Division then took the results from those focus groups along with national research on the indicators of quality and created a tiered system to identify programs based on their level of quality. The Quality for ME system was also created to identify those programs that may need additional resources and /or supports to increase their level of quality as it is measured by the Quality for ME system. 

For more information about the Quality for ME Quality Rating System please email QualityforME@maine.gov or call Barbara Sousa at 624-7909.

Quality for ME Standards
Standards for Child Care Centers (PDF)
Standards for Family Child Care Homes (PDF)
Standards for School-Age Care (PDF)
Standards for Head Start Programs (PDF)

Online Application External site disclaimer

Professional Growth Activities (Word) | also as PDF

This final report of the Quality for ME Revision Project describes the study of Maine’s child care Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), the consultation with stakeholders, and the study of the scientific literature and best practice from other states, and makes recommendations for changes to Maine’s QRIS.

For a free viewer or to request a hard copy