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Care for ME Program

The Care for ME program was developed in October of 2000 as a joint project of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation.  Care for ME has identified home-based child caregivers that are legally exempt from regulation (Family, Friend and Neighbor) in Maine and established a database of those caregivers who have voluntarily undergone background checks successfully.  These caregivers increase the availability and accessibility of child care.  Care for ME provides the approved caregivers with marketing and child care resource materials.  Care for ME was one of the first programs in the country supporting Family, Friend and Neighbor to increase the capacity of caregiving for children.

The need for a Care for ME caregiver

Parents are faced with many responsibilities in today’s world, including the challenge of finding appropriate care for their children.  Schools, child care centers, and regulated family child care facilities do a wonderful job.  The Family, Friend and Neighbor caregivers play an essential role to parents who want a smaller setting, need weekend or evening care, or live in an area where there are few regulated facilities.

How Care for ME caregivers are chosen

Care for ME caregivers are home-based child caregivers that are legally exempt from regulation; caring for two / or fewer children who are unrelated to them; be at least 18 years old; and complete an application containing personal information as well as a caregiver questionnaire.

Annual background checks are conducted by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services using information from Child Protective Services, Maine State Bureau of Identification, and the Maine Division of Motor Vehicles.

Applicants must not have had a child care license denied or revoked, or if, when previously licensed, the provider cannot have been found to have significant health and safety violations.

Upon successful clearance of the background checks, individuals are listed as Care for ME approved caregivers and their names go into a statewide database as well as the local Resource Development Center database.

When a caregiver is Care for ME approved:

Other Resources: