Maine's Child Care Subsidy Program - Info for Parents

What is the Child Care Subsidy Program?

The Child Care Subsidy Program helps eligible families to pay for child care so they can work, go to school or participate in a job training program.

Who is eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy?

Guidance for Child Care Subsidy Program or Transitional Child Care

Eligible families must meet the income guidelines (Word)
And
At least one of the following activities:

  • Work
  • School
  • Job Training Program

Who can I choose as my child care provider?

  • Licensed child care centers
  • Licensed family child care homes
  • Adults who provide care in their own homes
  • Adults who come to your home to provide care
  • Relatives over the age of 18

How do I apply?

    1
  • Apply for Child Care Subsidy in one of the following ways:
    • At local DHHS office (Office of Family Independence-OFI)
    • Online at www.maine.gov/MyMaineConnection
  • Once you are determined to be financially eligible, proceed to step 2
    2
  • Complete the Child Care Subsidy Program Application (you can get this from OFI or OCFS) and return it to the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS):
    • Fax: 207-287-6308
    • Email: CCSP.DHHS@maine.gov
    • Mail: 2 Anthony Avenue SHS#11 Augusta, ME 04333-0011
  • Once you are determined to be program eligible, and the provider you choose is approved, payments will be made directly to your provider on your behalf.

A new Process to Apply for Child Care Subsidy Program

As of January 2, 2020:
Applying for the Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) will change to make it easier for families.  All applications and renewals will be handled by OCFS (formerly handled by Office for Family Independence (OFI)). 

There are three ways to apply: 

What you need to know: 

  • The Child Care Subsidy Program assists eligible families in paying for child care if they work, are enrolled in school, participate in a job training program, or are retired and the legal guardian of a child.
  • For more information on eligibility guidelines, please visit the Child Care Subsidy Program webpage: www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/ec/occhs/step.htm
  • If you receive other benefits such as SNAP, TANF, or MaineCare, the process for applying for and renewing those benefits through OFI will not change. Please visit www.maine.gov/mymaineconnection for more information.

How much will the Child Care Subsidy Program pay to my child care provider?

You pay your co-payment to your provider and the Child Care Subsidy Program will pay the rest to your provider, up to the Market Rate (Excel), for your area.

View the new Market Rates (Excel)effective June 30 2018 Billing Weeks Schedule (Word)2019-2020 Sliding Fee Scale 2019 (Excel)

How do I find a child care provider?

For help with locating child care visit:

Child Care Choices or call 1-877-680-5866

What are the rules of the Child Care Subsidy Program?

Child Care Subsidy Program Rules

Plain Language for Child Care Subsidy Program Rules 2019

How is the Child Care Subsidy Program funded?

The Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) is a federal block grant that provides funding for states aimed at improving access to quality child care for high-need children and families.

Who do I contact with questions?

Contact us:

Choosing Child Care

Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child. A good child care setting can have a long-lasting, positive impact on the development of your child. Maine has many different child care options to meet the various needs of families.

Resources for Choosing Child Care External link icon

Finding Child Care External link icon

2019 Connecting ECE Conference
Early Childhood Public Policy in Maine Slideshow (PDF)

Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) Maine State Plan
View the FFY 2019-2021 CCDF State Plan (PDF)

Annex: Child Care in Disasters and Emergency Plan
View Child Care in Disasters and Emergency Plan (PDF)

State Plan Public Hearing
Public Hearing Notice (Word)
State Plan Public Comments and Department Responses (PDF)

2018 Market Rate Survey Report
View the Market Rate Survey Report (PDF)