We exist to:
Ensure the well-being of all Maine’s young children by establishing a statewide framework to strengthen families and support a continuum of inclusive community-based early care and education;
Ensure that all of Maine’s children birth through 5 and their families, have increased access to high quality community based inclusive early care and education; and
Work collaboratively and transparently across sectors and systems both locally and state-wide to promote interagency understanding and support.
We believe that:
- Children are children first with the same basic needs for love, belonging, safe shelter and support.
- Children are individuals with unique strengths talents and needs.
- All children deserve quality care and education that meets their individual needs.
- Children’s needs are what should guide placement decisions.
- Instruction should be differentiated to meet a wide array of learning needs.
- Services and supports should be developed with a focus on cultural competence.
- Services and supports must be family driven.
and, as a team, we will:
- Maintain a constant focus on families and children should be the focus of everything that is brought to the table.
- Recognize that collaboration is critical and supportive of solid stakeholder relationships.
- Honor and support each others’ unique work scopes and perspectives and trusting them to fulfill responsibilities
- Respectfully share, communicate and learn from each other.
- Work together to dispel tensions and promote clarity among team members
- Utilize a strength-based innovative approach to collaborative work.
Focusing our work for:
Children and families,
And working through:
- DOE and DHHS systems stakeholders;
- State agency partners;
- Higher Education/ University partners;
- Early care and education professionals;
- Public school administrators;
- CDS directors;
- Early elementary public school teachers;
- Local community providers;
- Primary care providers/ medical system;
- Early interventionists/special educators; and
We intend to make it less difficult for children with special needs and their families to access high quality child care and early education in inclusive settings by:
- Developing a shared vision for inclusive early care and education in Maine and identify goals and outcomes
- Creating a framework for Early Childhood agencies in ME
- Sharing current initiatives/activities/requirements
- Coordinating policies and procedures to reduce barriers to inclusive practices
- Reviewing and cohesively aligning major efforts
- Identifying how fiscal and human resources can responsively support the mission
- Looking at linkages and efficacy of all personnel development activities
- Problem solving common challenges
- Developing collaborative grants
- Ensuring that standards of practice are implemented with fidelity (accountability)
- Developing strategies that are sustainable (not just random acts of improvement)
- Disseminating information to a wider audience in Maine
to promote, inform others about and advance this work
Download a PDF of Maine's Expanding Inclusive Opportunities Initiative: Outcomes-January 2009
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