Part 2: What Steps Should I Take to be Ready to Apply for a Child Care License?

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Female CPR instructor helping a woman wearing a hibaj kneeling on the floor doing chest compressions on a CPR training dummy.What’s First?

  1. Determine if you can operate a child care business where you live, or where you have identified a location. (From either a city/town) Children’s Licensing and Investigation Services Zoning Compliance Letter (PDF).
    • Please note the maximum number of allowable children that is indicated in your zoning letter.
  2. If you are renting, you will need to get written permission from your landlord.
  3. Determine whether you have the required education or experience for the license you are applying for.
  4. Have you been fingerprinted/background checked and found eligible to provide child care by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services?

Where do I go next?

  1. Do you have the minimum qualifications to open a child care?
  2. Do you have the required training to open a child care program?
    • Family Child Care – Page 24-25 of the rule (PDF)
      • Register for Pre-Licensing Training (Getting Started in Family Child Care) – 6-hour training, offered via MRTQ-PDN.
        • You can sign up for this training by going to the Maine Early Care and Education Training Calendar. You will need a MRTQ PDN registry account to sign up for training. If you are not already a member of the MRTQ PDN registry, read Signing Up for the MRTQ Registry for instructions on how to join the registry.
        • Once you have finished the training, provide proof of completion of the training to your Child Care Licensing Specialist or CCLS. You will be sent a certificate via email from MRTQ PDN. You can also access all your training and professional development records in your Professional Development Profile in your registry account, under the documents tab.
      • Register for Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid Training. The Red Cross, American Heart Association, local hospitals, and rescue organizations have information about training available in your area. Provide proof of CPR/First Aid certification to the Child Care Licensing Specialist or CCLS. Courses that do not have a hands-on skills assessment are not accepted.
      • Department-approved mandated reporter training. Here are three options:

Link directly to the child care licensing rules:

If you need support in any of these areas, you can request technical assistance from Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN) by completing an Onsite Consultation Request. If you need any assistance completing the request you can use this resource: Creating an Onsite Consultation Request. You can learn more about the services that MRTQ PDN provides by visiting the MRTQ PDN website.

Another optional support to you as you work to become licensed is the Communities of Practice (CoP) that MRTQ PDN offers. View a list of current Communities of Practice here. Communities of Practice (also known as “CoPs”) are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” CoPs are not training; they are a different type of professional development where the content is driven by the participants. Most CoPs meet monthly for approximately two hours. You can join a CoP at any time! Child Care Licensing counts your attendance at MRTQ PDN sponsored CoPs as professional growth hours towards your annual training requirements.