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Health

Maine DHHS Launching Marketing Campaign For Expanded Child Care Website

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The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is launching a statewide marketing campaign to promote a website designed to connect parents and child care providers.

A new two-year contract with Maine Roads to Quality, a development network for child care professionals, includes improvements and provider information on childcarechoices.me, a website parents can use to find child care in their area.

The new contract is valued at $5.3 million, an increase of $700,000 over the previous agreement, and includes an outreach effort that the state hopes will drive parents to a website that provides licensing, rating and curriculum data about providers.

The website replaced an in-person referral service serving all 16 Maine counties that was cut as the result of the state’s budget seven years ago.

An examination of the state’s multilayered child care problem by Maine Public Radio found that many parents struggle to find care and are unaware of the website, and advocates say cutting the referral program fragmented Maine’s child care system.