Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Maine Roads to Quality Career Development Services

All of Maine's children will be in quality learning environments.

Maine Roads to Quality is the Early Care and Education Career Development Center for Maine. Established in 1999 by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, its purpose is to promote and support professionalism in the early care and education field.

In 2006, nearly 10,000 people in the state worked in the early care and education field, but only about 25 percent held a credential in early childhood education or a related field. Maine Roads to Quality works in partnership with Maine's Resource Development Centers as well as Maine's Higher Education System to promote professional development opportunities throughout the state.

The Maine Roads Scholarship Program improves access to higher education and removes financial barriers by providing scholarships to support child care and early education providers in Maine pursuing a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, an Associate's degree, a Bachelor's degree, or a Master's degree (including Wheelock College, Portland site).

The Maine Roads Accreditation Facilitation Project provides information, support and technical assistance to early care and education sites seeking accreditation through the National Association for Family Child Care Providers, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (for center-based programs), or the Council on Accreditation (for school-age programs).

Project Goals

  • Promote the quality of child care and early education.
  • Address the training and education needs of child care and early education professionals.
  • Develop multiple ways for professionals to achieve their career goals.
  • Increase access to early childhood education.
  • Increase links between training and formal education.
  • Recognize and reward professionalism.
  • Increase the number of accredited centers and family child care homes.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the career development system.
  • Collaborate with and unite partners to achieve the above.

Project Services

  • Administer the Career Lattice and Registry, a system that tracks employment, education and training.
  • Deliver 180 hours of articulated training.
  • Manage a trainer approval system.
  • Deliver a Child Care Leadership Institute consisting of 30 hours of training in Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Administration and Supervision, and Leadership.

For more information go to the project website: Maine Roads to Quality

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

New Chartbook on the Use of Maine's Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

Long Term Services and Supports Cover page image

Long term services and supports (LTSS) are a vital lifeline for the thousands of Maine adults who need them, and they account for a significant portion of the state's Medicaid (MaineCare) budget.This Chartbook prepared by the research staff at the USM Muskie School, provides information on all Maine adults who use LTSS: older adults; adults with physical disabilities; adults with intellectual disabilities/autism spectrum disorder or other related conditions; and adults with acquired brain injury.

The information provided in this Chartbook about the demographic trends that impact Maine's service system as well as data on the typical MaineCare service utilization and expenditures of different LTSS populations will inform the discussion among policymakers, providers, consumers, and advocates as they work together to ensure that Maine’s system of LTSS meets the needs of all its citizens.

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