Change Indicator

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. In 2023, however, the number rose from 702 to 703. 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 703, or an 19% drop in 4 years. By contrast, the number of licensed child care centers held steady and was 794 in 2019 and 795 in December 2023.

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Definition and Source



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. 


This data includes all licensed child care providers including those whose license is in process and under review. It excludes nursery schools.

Last Updated

December 2023