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Quality Rating and Improvement System


As a parent, you know the importance of selecting the best child care for your child and your family.

Quality for ME was created by the Department of Health and Human Services as a way to provide parents a way to easily identify high quality early childhood and education programs. The rating system is based on four steps, each step leading to higher quality. STEP FOUR is the highest step a program/provider can achieve.

All licensed child care programs in Maine – family child care, child care centers, school age programs - are eligible to participate after being in operation for one year.

Quality for ME is a voluntary program. Ask your provider about enrolling in Quality for ME.

Quality for ME Steps are based on the following standards:

        Licensing status ( click for detail on licensing for each step )
        Learning environment
        Program evaluation
        Staff and professional development
        Administrative policies and procedures
        Parent and family involvement
        Family resources
        Child observation

Quality for ME tax credits

Parents who enroll a child program that is STEP Four, are eligible for a double tax credit on their state taxes. For more information on childcare tax credits can be accessed at

http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/ec/occhs/businesssupport.htm

Step One Step Two Step Three Step Four Quality Rating Steps
*Click on each step more information.



In STEP ONE, you will see:
Program meets regulatory standards.
In STEP TWO, you will see:
Program meets regulatory standards.
No substantiated serious licensing violations in the past year
A daily schedule
Curriculum plans
Observation of children’s interests and skills
Regular communication with parents
A parent handbook
Parent conferences once a year
Community and parent resources
*An employee handbook
Providers who take training and education

*May not be applicable for family child care providers
In STEP THREE, you will see:
Program meets regulatory standards.
No substantiated licensing violations within past two years.
A daily schedule
Curriculum plans
Observations of children’s skills and interests recorded three times/year.
Regular communication with parents
A parent handbook
Parent conferences twice a year.
Community and parent resources
*An employee handbook
Parent surveys
Regular staff meetings.
Program evaluation
Higher amounts of staff training and education.

Search for providers who are at Step 3 or above
In STEP FOUR, you will see:
Program meets regulatory standards.
No substantiated licensing violations within past three years.
A daily schedule
Curriculum plans
Observations of children’s skills and interests recorded three times/year.
Regular communication with parents
A parent handbook
Parent conferences twice a year.
Parent surveys
Regular staff meetings.
Program evaluation
Community and parent resources
*An employee handbook
National accreditation.
Highest amounts of staff training and education

*May not be applicable for family child care providers

Search for providers who are at Step 4