Child Development

Help Me Grow Maine
“The Help Me Grow Difference: A better future starts with Help Me Grow. By supporting our young children today, we promote healthier and more prosperous communities tomorrow.”

Help Me Grow (HMG) Maine is a free service available to children up to eight years of age and their families.  Help Me Grow Maine connects you to information and services about child development and community resources. In partnership with 2-1-1 Maine, any parent, caregiver, or provider can call for support. The Help Me Grow team will listen, link you to services, and supply ongoing support when needed.

HMG Maine is an affiliate of the National Help Me Grow Network. Together, we are working to help all children thrive.

Help Me Grow Maine Services

Image showing the resource gridHelping Young Children Thrive

A network of community resources works like a power grid. When the grid functions well, families can plug in to an organized flow of resources and easily access the ones they need. Help Me Grow strengthens the grid by supporting a current directory of available services and connecting service providers to each other to create an interconnected system.

Eligibility

Help Me Grow Maine is a free service available to children, up to eight years of age and their families.

Developmental Screening

Developmental milestones matter! How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves is important to their growth. All young children need both developmental monitoring and screening to ensure they are on track for a healthy life.

Developmental monitoring allows you to track your child’s growth and changes over time. You can begin watching your child by seeing how they play, learn, speak, act, or move. National programs, including the AAP Bright Futures and the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early (LTSA), have great materials for families. In addition, they supply free information on developmental monitoring.

Developmental screening is a tool used by professionals to take a closer look at how your child is developing. Help Me Grow Maine uses the Ages & Stages Questionnaire® (ASQ-3) made by Brooke’s Publishing Company. The ASQ-3 is simple, detailed, effective, and available online. The ASQ-3 is a 10–15-minute questionnaire completed by caregivers and scored by professionals that focuses on a child’s development. 

As part of the Help Me Grow program, it is important to have a joint process of developmental monitoring and screening to ensure your child’s best growth. 

Why should developmental screening be completed?

  • Identifies if a child should have further evaluation of any developmental concerns
  • Helps ensure better futures
  • Recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • Helps parents take an active role in guiding child development
  • Boosts parent-child bonding
  • Easy and quick

When should a developmental screening be completed?

  • At 9, 18, 24 or 30 months
  • When a child is enrolled in a new program, like Early Head Start or Head Start

When you or a provider have a concern about your child’s development, who uses the Ages & Stages Questionnaire® (ASQ-3)?

With its parent-friendly design and flexibility in administration, ASQ works in the entire range of settings where young children are served – from child care centers to public health fairs. The following Maine programs are currently using the ASQ: Maine Families Home Visiting, Child Developmental Services, Department of Education/Pre-K, Early Head Start/Head Start, Public Health Nursing, Child Care Providers, WIC, Public Health Nursing, and health care providers.

Resources

In any given community, there are quality early learning opportunities, health care services, agencies that supply parent support, and other types of resources that help children thrive. The network of these community resources forms a grid that works to keep children healthy, supplies them opportunities for success, and helps them develop to their full potential. By working to set up partnerships across sectors that affect the lives of children and families, Help Me Grow builds an effective grid of connected service providers that best serves families within the state of Maine.

Maine’s Help Me Grow Collaborating Partners

While Help Me Grow Maine continues to build and develop, please use our partners to ensure your child’s needs are being met.

Referral & Follow Up

HMG strengthens the resource grid by connecting service providers to each other. This creates a reliable, interconnected system that best serves families. HMG Resource Specialists find existing resources and build a collaborative coalition that creates a well-functioning grid so that families can access resources when they need them.

When families or providers contact Help Me Grow, HMG aids in connecting them to the right services and supports within the resource grid. In addition, families will be contacted at a later point in time to ensure their child has received services and that all children have what they need to grow happy, healthy, and safe.

Data Collection and Analysis

Understanding how our system works is important. Data collection is the process of gathering, measuring, and analyzing data. Evaluation of the Help Me Grow system helps to assess how well it is working or what may need to be changed to improve the service and its outcome. Data is collected at the individual level and personal health information remains confidential.

Data that will be collected:

  • Help Me Grow Demographics
  • Nature of Call
  • Referrals by Help Me Grow to Services/Programs
  • Help Me Grow outcomes

Help Me Grow Maine Contacts

Contact us using the links provided below:

HelpMeGrow@maine.gov

Associate Director of Children’s Developmental and Behavioral Health Services

Help Me Grow Program Manager

Help Me Grow Outreach Administrative Coordinator

Vacant

Help Me Grow Outreach Specialist

Vacant

Help Me Grow Resource Specialists