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:
- Submission of a Letter of Intent to the Commissioner of Education nine months prior to the start of the program year.
- Submission of Maine’s Public Preschool On-line Application.
- PDF Copy of Public Preschool Application (PDF, 227KB) This can be used as a working document as schools are completing the application process before entering into the online application.
- Public Preschool Program Budget Worksheet. (XLS, 14KB) To be completed and submitted as part of the Maine's Public Preschool Application.
- Child Development Services Memorandum of Understanding. (DOC, 98KB) To be completed and submitted as part of Maine's Public Preschool Application.
- Adherence to Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards: Public Preschool Programs. These standards are required for all new or expanded public preschool programs beginning in the 2015-16 school year. By July 1, 2017 all preschool programs must comply with these standards.
- Curriculum and Assessment alignment with Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards.
- Comprehensive community planning. To determine the needs of local families to maximize the blending of funding (e.g. Head Start, child care, preschool or Child Development Services).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (207) 624-6632.