Maine Roads to Quality director Sonja Howard has been named the lead for a BUILD Initiative grant received by the State of Maine to help shape the technical assistance program offered to its early care and youth education practitioners.
The grant creates state teams that will engage in a structured dialogue with one another and with national experts to assess their current state technical assistance systems on four levels: early learning programs, technical assistance professionals, supervisor/sponsoring agencies, and state administration. State teams also will work to develop implementation plans to establish a more effective and efficient technical assistance system that can promote high quality early care and learning programs and achieve better outcomes for children. Maine is one of only eight states chosen to participate in this national initiative.
In addition, Maine Roads to Quality recently has been awarded a 21-month, $2.2 million contract from the Office of Child and Family Services, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, to improve the quality of early care and education settings in Maine through a statewide professional development system. The primary objectives of this effort include support for programs to advance Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) steps, the distribution of scholarship funds to increase the professional development of practitioners in the field of early care and education, tracking professional development through one centralized provider registry for the State of Maine, and collaboration with other agencies in the state to support a network of services to support early care and education programs in Maine.
Through these two initiatives, Maine Roads to Quality is working to fulfill its goal of providing all families and children with access to a choice of quality child care options across diverse settings that meet their unique developmental, cultural, and linguistic needs.
Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ) is a project of the Children, Youth & Families program at the USM Muskie School’s Cutler Institute of Health and Social Policy. Working with various partners across the state, including Maine’s Higher Education System, MRTQ strives to promote and support professionalism in the early care and education field.