Establishing a Program

To ensure that Maine is providing high-quality public preschools to its young children the Maine Department of Education requires the following:

Additional information is provided here to support school districts as they prepare for and establish public preschool programs:

  • TSG/MELDS Crosswalk. Crosswalk between Maine ELDS and Teaching Stratgies GOLD assessment.
  • Certification & Professional Development. Public preschool teachers and assistants must hold specific endorsements from the Maine Department of Education. The Department has compiled professional development resources to provide ongoing support to educators in their efforts.
  • Factors to Consider in Planning Process. Are you interested in starting a public preschool in your community?
  • Funding. Only school administrative units can receive funding for public preschool programs.
  • Public Preschool Health. Public preschools in Maine should attend to three school health topics in particular: health screenings, immunizations and the public preschool toileting policy.
  • Serving Special Populations. Information about serving children with special needs and English learners.
  • Transportation. Transportation will ensure preschool access to children who may otherwise not be able to attend the program.
  • Other Resources. Includes links to general, State and national resources related to public preschools.

The Department's Early Childhood Consultant Sue Reed is available to assist and support local program planning. She can be contacted by email at or by phone at (207) 624-6632.