Deep Dive Child Care

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public File

Brunswick-based Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI) is launching a program to support new child care businesses in rural Maine.

Just over the border of western Maine, the province of Quebec created a government-subsidized universal child care system for preschool-age children 20 years ago. Advocates of the system say it has provided parents with affordable child care, but acknowledge that the quality has been inconsistent among nonprofit and for-profit providers.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

On Monday, Oct. 20, 1943, a two-room nursery school opened in Brunswick. Though nursery schools were not particularly common at the time, this would not have been notable, except for one thing: the new nursery school was part of a program which, for the first and only time in U.S. history, provided cheap, universally available, federally subsidized child care.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Andrew Catalina / Maine Public

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is trying to improve transparency about enforcement actions it takes to ensure the safety and welfare of children attending licensed child care facilities in Maine, but reporting by Maine Public shows that it has fallen short of its own goals in at least one case, while advocates say it is still too difficult for parents to research a facility’s quality and history.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

Over the past several months Maine Public’s entire news department has been working on a new in-depth reporting initiative called Maine Public Deep Dive. Our first Deep Dive looks at the issue of child care across the state.

Maine Public Director of News and Public Affairs Mark Simpson spoke with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz about the initiative.

Gratz: Tell us about Deep Dive. How did it come about and what do we hope it will accomplish?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ratterrell/

We hear from Maine Public News team editors and reporters, as well as from Tara Williams, executive director of the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children, about the issues we’ll be covering during this week’s special deep dive series on child care in Maine.

This story is part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive on child care. To see the rest of the series, visit mainepublic.org/childcare.

Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Childcare in Maine is made possible, in part, by the John T. Gorman Foundation and United Way's Women United.

One of the many challenges parents face in their search for affordable child care in Maine is that they are largely on their own. There is not much in the way of guidance, other than Google, a state-run website called Child Care Choices, and word of mouth.

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