Licensed child care centers and family child care providers in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Parents depend on having reliable safe child care in order to go to work. Furthermore, quality child care is essential to the healthy social and emotional development of children. Brain research has shown the first few years of a child's life are critical to the development of a child's ability to learn and be successful. Quality child care is of particular benefit to low-income children who may lack opportunities for enrichment at home.

In Maine, the number of licensed family childcares has been decreasing since 2012. Family child care providers are particularly important in rural areas where there may not be a sufficient number of young children within a 10-mile radius to support a child care center. Since December 2019, just before the start of the pandemic, the number of family child care providers decreased from 865 to 702, or an 19% drop in 3 years. By contrast, the number of licensed child care centers increased through 2019, held steady for 2020 and 2021 and in 2022 increased to 814, the highest it has been since 2011.  

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Data Provided By

Definitions: The number of licensed child care homes and child care centers in Maine. The year refers to the number of licensed sites in December of each year.

Data Source: Maine Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child & Family Services
OCFS Data Dashboard   Licensed Providers choose December as month to view.

Footnotes: This data includes all licensed child care providers including those whose license is in process and under review. Data about private nursery schools that is distinct from licensed childcare for preschoolers is no longer available.

Updated January 2023.