Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Rising Stars for ME

Rising Stars for ME logo

Maine’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Rising Stars for ME, is a rating system designed to:

  • Increase awareness of the basic Standards of Early Care and Education.
  • Recognize and support Early Care and Education Programs (Program) providing care above and beyond those Standards; and
  • Educate the community about the benefits of higher quality care. 

Rising Stars for ME is funded by the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Block Grant Program and administered by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS).  Rising Stars for ME’s purpose is to recognize Programs that provide quality care, encourage Program Owners to increase their level of quality, and provide parents with identifiable Standards of quality.

About Rising Stars for ME

Rising Stars for ME Standards

Facility Standards (PDF)

Family Child Care Standards (PDF)

Rising Stars for ME Rules (PDF)

Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network Career Lattices (PDF)

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Application Portal

Rising Stars for ME Resources for Providers (PDF):

Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN) has developed a guide for programs that provides important details related to Rising Stars for ME, including an introduction and overview of the system, and resources related to each standard to help you:

  • Better understand Rising Stars for ME
  • To access the Rising Stars for ME Standards for Facilities and Family Child Care Programs’
  • Better understand the application process,
  • Gain access to resources that will support programs’ successful participation in Rising Stars for ME, and
  • learn how to go up in your Star Rating. 

Find the Rising Stars Resources for Programs guide HERE (PDF)

Additional resources are available to you through Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network, including free technical assistance. Details on how to access additional resources are contained within the guide, or you can visit www.mrtq.org for more information. 

Maine’s Dependent Care State Tax Credit

A Maine taxpayer who enrolls a child in a child care center or home with a Quality Certificate is eligible for a double child care tax credit on their state income tax return. Currently an individual is allowed a credit against the tax otherwise due in the amount of 25% of the federal tax credit allowable for child and dependent care. In the new law, this credit doubles in amount if the child care expenses were incurred through the use of quality child care. The credit may result in a refund of up to $500.

The Maine Dependent Care State Tax Credit allows families to deduct the cost of eligible child care and dependent care from their state taxes. More information can be found on the Maine Revenue Services website.

Additional Resources

Quality Rating and Improvement System, Rising Stars for ME Program Contacts:

  • Early Care & Education Quality Specialist
  • Amber Taurasi 
  • Tel: (207) 626-8684
  • e-mail: amber.taurasi@maine.gov
  • Child Care Program Manager
  • Diane Nicholson
    Early Care & Education Workforce Development Program Manager
    Tel: (207) 624-7996
    e-mail: Diane.Nicholson@maine.gov