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Becoming a Child Care Provider

Several people have asked how to become a childcare provider or how to help someone do so. Here are some thoughts on that topic.

  1. Go through the process to become a “legal unlicensed childcare” provider via the Augusta DHHS childcare subsidy program. Using an example of a woman with her own child, who wants to provide daycare in her own home: This means she’d provide child care for up to two children in her home, and be eligible to receive child care subsidy payments through the state if the children she cares for are approved, as well as child food program funds. This option could take 8 weeks or more, but is excellent for someone who wants to work from home, has an appropriate home environment to accommodate two more kids, and is a bit entrepreneurial. Pay is by the day or week per child and ranges depending on the child’s age ($100-150/week per child in Cumberland County).
    To become a Certified Family Child Care Home or Child Care Center

    • Call licensing @ 207-287-8016 or visit the How to Become a Provider page and click on “Start a Center based childcare program” or “Starting a family childcare home” on the left hand menu, follow prompts from there.
      • Fill out Unlicensed Provider Packet (see information here) and send to
        • Once the filled out packet is received by DHHS, it takes a few days to process and run the background check.
        • When provider is approved, DHHS will send an award letter and billing forms. They do not backdate payments.
        • Once childcare begins: remember to have parents sign in/out their child each day and follow billing instructions provided with the billing forms.
  2. Another viable option is to contact large daycare centers and consider applying for a job. Large centers are often hiring (though the pay isn’t great, maybe $8-9/hour). They generally do pay for training (like CPR/First Aid) and often let employees have their own children in the daycare. Could be good work experience and resume-building, as well as a more immediate solution. is a great way to find a job at a daycare center. She’d most likely find a job in a couple weeks due to the high need.
  3. A third option is to respond to ads on Craigslist for childcare, babysitting or nannying. The right family might let her bring her baby and the pay is $10-20/hour. Transportation may be an issue, but there are families on the bus route advertising for help. (Responding to a ad for childcare is a possibility, too).
  4. Childcare is a secure field with so many options. There is always a high need for experienced caregivers.