Quality Initiatives

Quality Initiatives

Quality Improvement Awards and Mini-Grants


Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN) partners with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services (DHHS, OCFS) to offer Quality Improvement Awards (QIA) and Quality Improvement Mini-Grants (QIMG) to early childhood and out-of-school time practitioners in Maine.

The Awards and Mini-Grants include cash, approved purchases, and items awarded to childcare programs for their efforts in improving the quality of care they provide to children and families.  

Opportunities for earning Quality Improvement Awards and Mini-Grants change from time to time – current opportunities will be listed on this page as they become available.

Quality Improvement Awards for increasing Star ratings on Rising Stars for ME

The Quality Improvement Awards are provided to eligible programs to work on meeting Rising Stars for ME standards and increase its star rating. Programs will:

    • Create a Quality Improvement Plan using the Rising Stars for ME Recommendations.
    • Meet with MRTQ PDN staff to finalize the Quality Improvement Plan and be connected to resources to support the work outlined.
    • Receive funding based on the Quality Improvement Plan.
    • Make changes to meet the Rising Stars for ME Standards and reapply for a new Rising for ME Star rating.

Programs can receive funding:

    • To support work to meet the Rising Stars for ME Recommendations.
    • A cash payment of $2500-$3500 after receiving a higher Star rating.

Details about eligibility, award amount, and requirements can be found here:

2024 – 2025 Quality Improvement Awards
Frequently Asked Questions – Quality Improvement Awards

To get started, download the Excel sheet that best fits your program, and complete it using our step-by-step instructions:

Facilities – Quality Improvement Plan Spreadsheet
Family Child Care – Quality Improvement Plan Spreadsheet
Instructions – Quality Improvement Plan and Funding Request

Optional: To help you prepare to complete the Quality Improvement Plan Spreadsheet, you may use this printable version to write out your plan:

Quality Improvement Plan Worksheet

Coursework and TA opportunities 

Awards and mini-grants are provided to participants who complete specific training and Technical Assistance opportunities.   

Current Coursework with Quality Improvement Awards and Mini-Grants available:

Strengthening Business Practices for Child Care:  

Strengthening Business Practices (SBP) helps child care programs understand how to run a successful business. This 18.5-hour facilitated training and discussions are designed to strengthen practitioners’ foundational knowledge of sound fiscal management and business operations. It will cover budgets, projections, and planning, financial reports and internal controls, marketing for childcare programs, and staff recruitment and retention. The curriculum was developed by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance. Qualified Participants who complete the training receive a Quality Improvement Award and an opportunity for follow-up on-site or online consultation.

Designing Early Learning: Curriculum and Assessment in Preschool:

Designing Early Learning (DEL) is designed to build teachers’ understanding of the components of authentic assessment and curriculum planning for preschool aged children. This 33-hour facilitated training and group highlights developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education while connecting to the Preschool Maine Early Learning and Development Standards (MELDS) for planning and assessment. Participants will practice child observation and planning experiences based on The Learning Cycle. Qualified Participants who complete the training receive a Quality Improvement Mini-grant and an opportunity for follow-up on-site or online consultation.

If you are interested in receiving an email when the next offering of courses are available, please complete this interest form:

Earning a Maine Credential with Cohort Support:

For any questions about the above or previous Quality of ME Quality Improvement Awards and Mini-grants, contact Karen Bergeron at mrtq.qiawards@maine.edu or 207-653-5090.