1. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) means the division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. ACF promotes the economic and social wellbeing of families, children, individuals, and communities. Refer to: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/.

2. Administrative Hearing means a proceeding pursuant to the Administrative Hearings regulations, 10-144 C.M.R. ch. 1. Refer to: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/10/chaps10.htm#144.

3. Adverse Action means situations when the intended action is to terminate or reduce eligibility. Timely and adequate notice must be given to the Parent. Coverage will not be continued beyond the Award Period pending an Administrative Hearing decision.

"Timely" means that the notice must be mailed twelve(12) calendar days before the intended change would be effective: ten(10) calendar days for notice, plus two(2) calendar days for mail.

"Adequate" means a written notice which includes a statement of:

a. The action the Department intends to take;

b. The reason(s) for the intended action;

c. The regulation(s) supporting such action; and

d. An explanation of the rights to request an Administrative Hearing.

4. Agency Administrative Errors means errors caused solely by the Department.

5. Allowable Net Income means the net monthly business income with the following deductions added back in: depreciation, depletion, prior year business losses, and State and local taxes.

6. ASPIRE means the job preparation program to prepare for, accept, and retain employment.

7. Assets means equity in real and personal property.

8. At-Risk Children means Children identified by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Child and Family Services a Child in Care and Custody.

9. Award Letter means the document notifying a Parent and selected Provider of the Child Care Subsidy Award Period, time awarded, and the Parent Fee.

10. Award Period means no less than twelve(12) months as required by federal law (45 C.F.R. § 98.21), the Department-Approved time-frame, for Child Care Subsidy eligibility.

11. Care and Custody means Children in the Care and Custody of the Department or a Federally Recognized Tribe.

12. Caseworker means an employee of the Department or Federally Recognized Tribe, authorized to provide specialized case management services to At-Risk Children, Children in Open Child Protective Cases, and Children in the Care and Custody of the Department.

13. Child means an individual who is: at minimum, six (6) weeks of age, yet under thirteen (13) years of age, unless within twelve (12) month eligibility period; or a Child with Special Needs.

14. Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) (45 C.F.R. §§ 98 and 99) and includes CCDF Mandatory, CCDF Discretionary, CCDF Matching, TANF Transfer Funds, and State funds used for State match and maintenance of effort. Refer to: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/child-care-and-development-fund.

15. Child Care Center means an entity licensed by the Department in which a Child Care Provider maintains or otherwise provides Child Care Services, for any part of a day, for thirteen (13) or more Children.

16. Child Care Facility means an entity licensed by the Department in which a Child Care Provider maintains or otherwise provides Child Care Services, for any part of a day, for three (3) but no more than twelve(12) Children.

17. Child Care Provider means a Provider who can receive a Child Care Subsidy under this rule, and which is either a Child Care Provider licensed under Maine DHHS Division of Licensing rules, a Child Care Provider Licensed under New Hampshire DHHS Child Care Licensing Unit, or a License-Exempt Child Care Provider as defined in this rule.

18. Child Care Services means care provided to an eligible Child by an eligible Child Care Provider.

19. Child Care Subsidy means financial support for eligible families with low income(s) and other designated client groups; available dependent upon funding; and which may pay for Child Care Services provided in or by a Child Care Center/Facility licensed by the Department, a Family Child Care licensed by the Department, a Recreational Program, a Child Care Provider Licensed under New Hampshire DHHS Child Care Licensing Unit, a License-Exempt Child Care Provider, a License-Exempt In-Home Child Care Provider, or a License-Exempt Relative Child Care Provider.

20. Child Care Subsidy Payments means the amount set by the Department, based on the Market Rate, minus the Parent Fee, that the Department reimburses the Child Care Provider on behalf of the Parent for Child Care Services provided to an eligible Child, once eligibility has been determined for both the Parent and the Child Care Provider.

21. Child Protective Services (CPS) means a specialized casework service provided by the Department to neglected or abused Child(ren) and their families. For the purposes of these rules the following families and Children qualify as involved with Child Protective Services (CPS): At-Risk Children, Children involved in Open Child Protective Cases, and Children in Care and Custody.

22. Child with Special Needs means a Child up to thirteen (13) years of age who has been determined and documented by a qualified professional to be a "child with a disability" as defined in section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 1401); is eligible for early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 1431,et seq.); is eligible for services under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 701); meets the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 U.S.C. § 12102); is considered at-risk for health and/or developmental problems as a result of established biological Risk Factors, and/or as a result of identified environmental Risk Factors including, but not limited to, Homelessness, abuse and/or neglect, lead poisoning, and prenatal drug or alcohol exposure; or is a Child who is between thirteen (13) years of age and eighteen (18) years of age, inclusive, who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for him or herself, or is under court supervision.

23. Commissioner means the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services; the powers and duties of the Commissioner are defined in 22-A M.R.S. § 205. Refer to: http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/22-A/title22-Asec205.html.

24. Department means the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

25. Department-Approved means consent by the CCDF State Child Care Administrator or his/her designee.

26. Educational Program means a program which is required for completion of a secondary diploma, High School Equivalency Test (HISET),or other Department-Approved high school equivalency test; Department-Approved vocational program; or post-secondary undergraduate program in which the Parent is earning credits toward a degree; or other Department-Approved Educational Program. Parents may be enrolled either in person or online. Parents attending Graduate or Doctorate-level Educational Programs are not eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy.

27. Emergency Plan is a document outlining the actions to be taken by a Child Care Provider that is required to maintain an Emergency Plan in the event of an emergency.

28. Employed means participation in gainful work that produces earned income from: wages, salaries, commissions, fees, tips, and/or piece-rate payments.

29. Family means either a Child and the related and/or non-related adult(s) who are living to get her and who are in a legally binding relationship to the Child either by blood, marriage, adoption, or registered domestic partnership; or the Child and an adult acting InLoco Parentis or Guardianship.

30. Family Child Care means a licensed Child Care Provider's legal residence in which the Child Care Provider provides licensed Child Care Services for any part of a day, for three to twelve (3-12) Children who are not the Children of the Child Care Provider.

31. Federal Poverty Guidelines means the measure of income issued every year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Federal poverty levels are used to determine income eligibility for certain programs and benefits. Refer to: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines.

32. Federally Recognized Tribe means the Penobscot Tribe, Passamaquoddy Tribe, Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Houlton Band of Maliseets, and any other Native American Tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Native Americans because of their status as Native Americans.

33. Fictive Kinship Care means services provided to a Child in Care and Custody or services intended to prevent a Child from entering Care and Custody, under a plan with the Department and any person that is unrelated by birth, adoption, or marriage, and who has an emotionally significant relationship with the Child that would take on the characteristics of a familial relationship.

34. Foster Care means a temporary living arrangement in which Resource Families provide for the care of Children who are in Care and Custody.

35. Good Cause means when any of the following conditions is met: the Parent states the Child was conceived as the result of incest or forcible rape; the Parent states cooperation in establishing paternity or securing support is reasonably anticipated to result in physical or emotional harm to the Parent, Child, or caretaker relative; or documentation indicating legal proceedings for adoption of the Child are pending in court.

36. Good Standing means when a Parent has provided the Child Care Provider with a twelve (12) calendar day notice and it has been determined the Parent Fees for those same twelve (12) calendar days have been paid in full.

37. Gross Income means the sum of all money, earned and unearned, already received, or reasonably anticipated to be received, by all Family members during the service eligibility period. Gross Income is calculated before deductions (such as income taxes, social security taxes, deferred compensation plans, insurance premiums, union dues, etc.)Gross Income does not include fringe benefits. Gross Income includes any Allowable Net Income realized by any member of the Family.

38. Guardianship means when temporary or permanent guardianship has been appointed by probate court.

39. Health and Safety Standards means the minimum expectations as set out in these rules required to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of Children.

40. Hearing Officer means the person appointed by the Department's Office of Administrative Hearings who considers evidence on the issues presented to him or her at a hearing and, at the Commissioner's discretion, either renders the final agency decision or recommends to the Commissioner what the final agency decision of the Commissioner should be.

41. Homeless means Parents or Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence; who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; are awaiting Foster Care placement; who have a primary night-time residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; or who are migratory Children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. ch.70) as required by federal law (45 C.F.R. § 98.41).

42. Infant means a Child six (6) weeks of age through twelve(12) months of age.

43. In-Home Child Care Provider means a License-Exempt Child Care Provider who is eighteen (18) years of age or older, a Maine resident, and provides Child Care Services to no more than two(2) Children in the Child's home.

44. Job Training Program means vocational, field, on-the-job, apprenticeship, and other Department-Approved job readiness training programs that focus upon the acquisition of knowledge and skills that prepare the participant for employment.

45. Kinship Relative Care means services provided to a Child in Care and Custody or services intended to prevent a Child from entering Care and Custody under a plan with the Department and any person identified in 22 M.R.S. § 4002(9-B) as a relative.

46. License-Exempt Child Care Provider means a Child Care Provider who is not required to be licensed to provide Child Care Services for no more than two (2) Children, eighteen (18) years of age or older, a Maine resident, and does not reside in the same household.

47. Maine Resident means a Parent who has established Maine as a permanent home or as the place where he/she intends to return after any period of absence. Maine residency, once established, continues until a new, fixed and permanent home is acquired. Documentation of Maine residency includes a Maine home address where the Parent lives and one or more of the following: a Maine individual income tax return for the immediate past tax year that was timely filed with the Maine Revenue Service and that indicates Maine Resident status, valid Maine driver's license, Maine State ID, current Maine motor vehicle registration, current Mainehunting/fishing license, proof of undergraduate Student in-State tuition payment, or other Department-Approved verification.

48. Market Rate means the Child Care Subsidy Payment rate paid to Child Care Providers for providing Child Care Services.

49. Misrepresentation means an action of an individual with the intention of receiving financial assistance the individual is not eligible to receive.

50. Night-Time Employment means employment in which the majority of the hours worked are between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.

51. Non-Temporary Change means any cessation of employment or attendance at a Job Training or Educational Program that has concluded. Child Care Subsidy will continue as documented in the Award Letter, for a period of up to twelve (12) weeks after the cessation of work or attendance at a Job Training or Educational Program. The twelve (12) week period starts the first day the Parent is no longer Employed or attending a Job Training or Educational Program.

52. Notification of Termination means the document sent to the Parent and Child Care Provider notifying them of termination of Child Care Subsidy.

53. Off Hour Care means Child Care Services rendered between the hours of 6 p.m.-6 a.m. and weekends.

54. Office for Family Independence (OFI) means the State agency within the Department that determines financial eligibility for Child Care Subsidy.

55. Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) means the State agency within the Department that determines program eligibility for Child Care Subsidy.

56. Open Child Protective Case means a matter in which the Family is working with the Department in good faith to assure the safety of the Child, has entered into a plan for safety with a Caseworker, or has been granted temporary or permanent custody of the Child under conditions. To receive a Child Care Subsidy, Families with Open Child Protective Cases must have been referred for Child Care Services by the Department or a Federally Recognized Tribe.

57. Overpayment means when the amount paid exceeds the amount that would have been paid if the Child Care Subsidy had been calculated correctly based on actual circumstances reported, verified, and acted on in a timely manner. Over payments may occur as the result of Misrepresentation, Agency Administrative Error, or Parent or Child Care Provider error(s).

58. Parent means a Child's parent by blood, marriage, or adoption, or legal guardian or other person standing In Loco Parentis whose rights to the Child have not been terminated.

59. Parent Fee means the Department-determined fee that a Parent must pay directly to the Child Care Provider as the Parent's share of responsibility for the Child Care Provider's fee that is the subject of the Child Care Subsidy.

60. Provider Agreement means the agreement between a Child Care Provider and the Department that outlines the conditions under which the Child Care Provider may receive a Child Care Subsidy Payment from the Department.

61. Reasonable Cause means Department-Approved reasons for a Child's absence from a Child Care Provider's program which may include, without limitation: Federal/State holidays; Parental vacation days; inclement weather defined by a snow day when local schools are closed; illness of the Child or other immediate Family member; appointments; transportation issues that affect the Parent's ability to transport the Child to care; Family visitations: Family emergencies, including, but not limited to, surgery, medical treatments, or accidents; or catastrophic events affecting the Family, including but not limited to fires, storms, or accidents.

62. Reasonable Study Time means additional Child Care Service enrollment hours granted at the discretion of the Department and determined based on the Parent's enrollment in classes as a Student, the Parent Student's special needs, the amount of time between such Student's classes, and the ages of the Student's Child(ren).

63. Recreational Program means a License-Exempt non-residential provider of Child Care Services as defined by Child Care Licensing rules.

64. Reimbursement Basis means the bi-weekly compensation paid to the Child Care Provider for Child Care Services rendered.

65. Relative Child Care Provider means a relative who is a License-Exempt Child Care Provider, a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, or uncle or siblings of the Child if living in a separate residence, eighteen (18) years of age or older, a Maine resident who provides Child Care Services to no more than two (2) Children.

66. Repeated Failure means when the majority of billings for Child Care Services from the Child Care Provider, within a six (6) month period, were not received on time, and/or were incomplete and/or inaccurate, in spite of the Department's efforts to provide technical assistance to the Child Care Provider.

67. Reside With means when a Child is living with the Parent who is maintaining a home or principal domicile for the Child.

68. Resource Families means a person(s) who provide care to Children in Care and Custody. Resource Families include foster parents, permanency guardians, adoptive parents, and members of the Child's extended birth family. Refer to: http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/22/title22sec4002.html.

69. Retirement Age means someone who is at least sixty-five (65) years of age and no longer working. Refer to: https://www.ssa.gov/agency/glossary/.

70. Risk Factors means a combination of individual, relational, community, and/or societal factors contributing to an increased risk of Child abuse or neglect.

71. Safe Sleep Practices, "Safe to Sleep," means an initiative which encourages Parents and other caregivers to have Infants sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of Infant death.

72. Self-employment means operating one's own business, trade, or profession for profit equal to or greater than Maine's average hourly minimum wage based on the four (4) weeks prior to eligibility determination.

73. Shared/Joint Custody means when two (2) Parents have legal custody of their Child(ren).

74. State Child Care Administrator means the Department staff responsible for administering the CCDF grant.

75. State Median Income (SMI) means the amount that divides the income distribution within the State into two (2) equal groups, half (1/2) having income above that amount, and half (1/2) having income below that amount.

76. Student means a Parent enrolled in and attending an Educational, Job Training Program, or apprenticeship and who is a Maine Resident.

77. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome means the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of an Infant.

78. Teacher means an individual who is Employed by a Child Care Provider for compensation on a regular basis and whose responsibilities are to organize, guide, and implement activities in a group or individual basis, or to assist a Teacher or lead Teacher in activities to further the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of Children.

79. Temporary Change means any time-limited absence from work for an Employed Parent due to reasons found acceptable by the Department, including but not limited to: Parent's medical leave or maternity/paternity leave; need to care for a Family member with an illness; any interruption in work for a seasonal worker who is not working between regular industry work seasons; any Student holiday or break for a Parent participating in a Job Training or Educational Program; any reduction in work, training, or education hours, as long as the Parent is still working or attending Job Training or Educational Program.

80. Unacceptable Absence means a lack of attendance by a Child at the Child Care Service for more than two (2) calendar days per month without Reasonable Cause or previous approval from the Department.

81. Underpayments means when the Parent or the Child Care Provider does not receive all the benefits to which the Parent or the Child Care Provider is entitled due to an Agency Administrative Error or an error by the Parent or Child Care Provider.

82. Very Low Income means when the Gross Income or Allowable Net Income, adjusted to Family size, does not exceed one hundred percent (100%)of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

83. Wait List means a list which prioritizes eligible participants by specific criteria.

(See the first section of this Chapter for historical and other information)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.