Resources for Families

Some helpful information to get you on your child care
selection journey!

Selecting a
child care facility

Is This The Right Place for My Child?

This guide contains a checklist of 38 questions that you can ask to evaluate child care programs. All of the questions are based on research about what is important to your child’s health, safety, and development.

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A Guide for Families: Using NAEYC Resources to Find Quality Programs for Young Children

This guide is designed to help families learn about the ten standards supported by the National Association for Young Children that represent early childhood program excellence.

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Healthy Child Care from EPA

This publication starts at the beginning and helps parents with the basics, starting with types of care, hours of care, age group, regulations. Many common terms and topics are introduced.

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Choosing High Quality Child Care for a Child with Special Needs

This brochure provides parents with important factors to consider when choosing quality child care for a child with special needs. A sample checklist is included.

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Choosing a High Quality School Age Program for Your Child

This guide will help parents in selecting a quality after-school program. It includes resources on how to identify a high-quality after-school program, as well as checklists with questions you can ask to help evaluate a after-school program.

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American Academy of Pediatrics

Provides information on an array of health related areas, including physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

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Back to Sleep Education Campaign

Information for babies for parents, caregivers, and health care providers on safe sleeping practices

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Crib Safety Tips

A publication from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on crib safety

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Healthy Children

Offers current health care information and guidance for parents and caregivers, along with interactive tools and personalized content; Includes information related to child health, as well as guidance on parenting issues from leading child health experts.

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YIKES! Your Inventory for Keeping Everyone Safe

Planning Guide for Emergency Response Planning in Child Care A publication of Maine Department of Health and Human Services

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Physical Activity and Nutrition

USDA My Plate; Dietary Recommendation Resource

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Health & Safety Resources

5-2-1-0 -Let’s Go

Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program implemented throughout Maine and in a few communities in neighboring states. We partner with schools, child care and out-of-school programs, healthcare practices and community organizations to change environments where children and families live, learn work and play. We developed 5-2-1-0 as the foundation for change.

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Maine Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program

Information about pertussis vaccine

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National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

Provides health and safety resources for parents, child care providers, policymakers; publisher of Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs

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Safe Kids

A nationwide network of organizations that works to prevent unintentional childhood injury of children ages 1 – 14; information on child passenger safety, pedestrian safety, fire and burn prevention, sports safety, product recalls, and blogs on special topics.

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The US Consumer Product Safety Commission

The government agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products; provides the latest information on product recalls such as cribs and strollers. Consumers can sign up for e-mail alerts with the latest recalls.

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Parent Rights & Responsibilities

It is important to stay involved with your child’s program.


Maine Early Learning & Development Standards

Maine Early Learning and Development Standards (MELDS) - for children ages 3 – 5
Infant and Toddler Maine Early Learning and Development Standards


Maine Resources

Autism Society of Maine

Serves individuals with autism and their families, professionals, and communities by providing education, advocacy, referrals, and resource development.

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Center for Grieving Children

Provides support to grieving children, teens, families and the community through peer support, outreach, and education.

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Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies

Brings together the resources of the university and Maine communities to enhance the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. CCIDS has many projects and offers information and support to families of children with special needs.

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Child Development Services (CDS)

Manages and ensures the provisions of Special Education rules for children birth to five at regional sites throughout Maine.

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Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

The Maine Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (MCLPPP) website includes information for providers, parents, property owners, landlords, and the recent Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls due to lead.

FMI: 207-287-4311 or 1-866-292-3474

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Cooperative Extension: Parenting and Family Caregiving

Provides links, blogs, newsletters, articles for parents and caregivers in Maine.

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Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM)

The Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM) is membership association with a mission to unify, promote and strengthen quality professional family child care in the State of Maine.

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G.E.A.R. Parent Network

Through parent-to-parent sharing of experiences and knowledge, G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with behavioral health needs to build on their family’s strengths and to advocate for their family’s needs.

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KidsFirst Center

Offers support groups and classes for parents and children of families experiencing divorce or separation.

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Learning Disabilities Association of Maine

The Maine state affiliate that provides support, education, and advocacy statewide to individuals with learning disabilities and co-existing disorders

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Maine Afterschool Network

The Maine Afterschool Network (MASN) serves as a hub for collaborative efforts that will enable every child to have access to quality, inclusive, affordable afterschool programming which meets the needs of the child, the family and the community.

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Maine Association for the Education of Young Children

Organization of early childhood professionals. Serves and acts on behalf of the needs, rights, and well-being of all young children in Maine and their families, with special emphasis on developmental and educational services and resources and fostering the growth and development of early childhood professionals.

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Maine Care (Children's Health Insurance and Medicaid)

Provides free or low cost health insurance for families with children and pregnant women. Administered by the Office of MaineCare Services through the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Maine Children's Alliance

An advocacy group in Maine for children, youth, and families, most well known for publishing the annual “Kids Count” publication that presents demographic data on children’s health, economic, and child care by county.

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Maine Children’s Growth Council

Serves as a “Voice for Early Childhood” in Maine with the goal to achieve sustainable social and financial investments in the healthy development for young children. The website has links for Home Visiting, Child Abuse Prevention, Child Health, Early Care and Education, and other resources.

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Maine's Expanding Inclusive Opportunities Initiative

A federally funded initiative designed to build on existing state efforts to improve inclusive opportunities for young children with disabilities and their families.Access the Early Childhood Settings Inclusion Toolkit on this website.

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Maine Parent Federation

Provides statewide family support activities which promote individual aspirations for all people through information, education, and advocacy.

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Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network

Maine Roads to Quality is the Early Care and Education Professional Development Network for Maine. Established in 1999, its purpose is to promote and support professionalism in the early care and education field. Maine Roads to Quality works with various partners across the state, including Maine’s Higher Education System, to promote professional development opportunities throughout the state.

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Raising Readers

An initiative funded by the Libra Foundation that provides all children in Maine a book at their well-child visit from birth through age five. The website has several reading tips for families in multiple languages, and activities associated with the books that Raising Readers distributes.

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Strengthening Maine Families

Supports child care providers to help parents become stronger parents.

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WIC Nutrition Program

WIC is a nutrition program for thousands of Maine families, helping Maine kids to grow up strong and healthy. WIC food benefits are available based on income guidelines and up-to-date nutrition research. This website seeks to serve all Maine families with free nutrition advice, tips for staying healthy, and resources for growing families.

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2-1-1 Maine

An easy to remember, phone number and website that connects individuals to comprehensive vital health and social service information and resources. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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National Resources

Administration for Children and Families Office of Child Care Resources for Parents

Administration for Children and Families in US Department of Health and Human Services funds states, territories, and local and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs that relate to children and families.

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Afterschool Alliance

Dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and advocating for more afterschool investments. Afterschool Alliance works with the Administration, the U.S. Congress, governors, mayors and advocates across the country.

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Child Care

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law enacted in 1990, guarantees that children with disabilities can not be excluded from public accommodations (private businesses including preschools, child care centers, out-of-school time programs or family child care homes) simply because of a disability. This website provides information and resources about the ADA and child care for professionals and parents.

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Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Learn the Signs Act Early

From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.

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Center for Parent Information and Resources

Resources on many topics related to child development, special needs and parenting.

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Center for Social, Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

Promotes the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5; funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau for dissemination research and evidence based practices to early child programs across the country.

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Cerebral Palsy Group

An online resource for anyone who has been affected by cerebral palsy, birth injuries, or brain injuries.

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Child and Adult Care Food Program

The program that works with child care programs to provide nutritious meals and snacks to infants and children as a regular part of their day care.

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The Child Advocate

Serves the needs of children, families and professionals while addressing mental health, medical, educational, legal and legislative issues; helpful references to disaster and trauma information

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Children & Nature Network

Created to support people and organizations working worldwide to reconnect children with nature; one component – “Nature Rocks” – offers simple activities for families to do together.

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ChildCare Aware

Provides information, publications, resources, and links to help families look for child care and gain up to date information related to quality child care, health and safety and paying for care.

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Children's Defense Fund

A non-profit child advocacy organization that supports policies that impact all children, especially on the poor and minorities, and children with disabilities.

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Colorín Colorado

A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners

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Common Sense Media

Provides information to parents about media and digital activities including reviews and ratings of family movies, TV shows, websites, video games, books, and music, and tips for parents of children from Pre-K to 17.

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Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) Parent, Family and Community Engagement: For Families

As one of the National Centers funded by the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care, the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Center provides information, resources and materials in early childhood development, school readiness, health and safety, parenting and child and family wellbeing.

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Forum on Family and Child Statistics

A working group of Federal agencies that collect, analyze, and report data on issues related to children and families, also known as the Forum.

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National Afterschool Association

A leading voice of the afterschool profession dedicated to the development, education and care of children and youth during their out-of-school hours.

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National Association for the Education of Young Children

The largest national organization for early childhood educators, administrators, parents, and policy makers who are committed to bringing high-quality early education and care to all young children.; provides many useful resources for families through their on-line store, and search links for accredited programs. Read NAEYC’s Touch and Grow report about how children can learn and grow through touch-screen tablets.

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National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC)

The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is the only professional association dedicated specifically to promoting high-quality early childhood experiences in the unique environment of family child care programs. NAFCC works on behalf of the one million family child care providers operating nationwide.

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National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC)
The National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) provides national leadership and contributes to the body of knowledge on cultural and linguistic competency within systems and organizations. Major emphasis is placed on translating evidence into policy and practice for programs and personnel concerned with health and mental health care delivery, administration and advocacy. The NCCC provides training, technical assistance and consultation, and contributes to knowledge through publications and research.

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National Center for Learning Disabilities

Ensures success for all individuals with learning disabilities in school, at work and in life; connects parents with resources, guidance, and support so they can advocate effectively for their children

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National Head Start Association

The national arm of Head Start whose mission is to coalesce, inspire and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood development and education.

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National Institute for Out-of-School Time

Founded to ensure that all children, youth, and families have access to high quality programs, activities, and opportunities during non-school hours. Their work bridges the world of research and practice.

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PBS Parent

Offers a broad range of topics for parents including birthday parties, literacy, dual language information, food and fitness, to clips from their Parent Show.

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Reading Rockets

Offers a wealth of reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better.

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Zero to Three

Provides information for families, professionals, and policymakers about the health and development of infants and of infants and toddlers. Many tips and questions and answers on a wide variety of topics for families.

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