Building Partnerships to Strengthen Maine Families
A.C.C.E.S.S. is a voluntary coalition of child care providers and allies from all over Maine.A.C.C.E.S.S. has a well-established history as a place to focus the thoughts, ideas and concerns of those committed to the provision of quality child care services for Maine?s children and families.We act through education, communication and advocacy.Start ME Right in 2000 and Invest inME Now! in 2006 are two examples of successful activities where A.C.C.E.S.S. played a pivotal role. Both of these initiatives significantly changed Child Care in Maine.
A.C.C.E.S.S.s membership is a collaboration of people who work in or on behalf of the child care system in Maine.A.C.C.E.S.S. monitors and responds to issues concerning the child care field on both the state and national levels.It is our belief that the child care provider needs to be a part of any discussion around child and family issues on the local, state and federal levels.
We've come across a couple of videos (Courtesy of Marylou Beaver of Every Child Matters) that really explain our passion for the work we all do, and why we take this work as seriously as we do. Please take a minute to click on these pictures to link up with these videos.
The Mission of A.C.C.E.S.S. To build our community's capacity to offer and ensure that family focused services are available. This demands that we build collaborative relationships with partners concerned with the provision of education and human services to children from birth to age twelve. We must look beyond traditional partners to all those institutions that create the conditions that affect family life.
The Vision for A.C.C.E.S.S. is for:
Every family to be able to access early care and education in the setting of their choice,
Every family in need of comprehensive early care and education services to receive them, and
Early care and education providers to become an inclusive community that welcomes, values, and supports all care givers and parents.
The Work Of ACCESS is done by:
The focused work of committed child care providers who are able and willing to step forward to carry this mission and vision into the community,
Working in coalition with allies and partners on the local, state and national level, and
A contract with Mooseridge Associates. Mooseridge Associates is a highly respected Legislative Advocacy and Lobbying firm with a long history of representing community services in the Maine State House.
A.C.C.E.S.S. Members and Allies Include: Not For Profit, Center Based Child Care Providers
For Profit, Center Based Child Care Providers
Family Child Care Providers
Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies
Head Start and Early Head Start Providers
School Age Child Care Providers
Maine Equal Justice Partners
Maine Children's Alliance
Child Development Service Sites
Maine Roads To Quality
Maine Association for the Education of the Young Child
Every Child Matters, Maine
The Afterschool Network
Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies
A Brief History of the "Alliance for Children?s Care, Education and Supporting Services": A.C.C.E.S.S
In January 1997, Maine Child Care Directors Association (MCCDA), Maine Head Start Directors Association (MHSDA), and the Maine Association of Childcare Resource Development Centers (MRDC) met for two days in recognition of the growing demands and increasing inability to respond to the needs of Maine's families and children for accessible, affordable, high quality child care and early education. The State Office of Child Care and Head Start and the Muskie Institute of the University of Southern Maine helped organize this initial gathering.
Over the course of the next few years, the Maine School Age Care Alliance, Maine Family Child Care Association and Maine Association for the Education of the Young Child were included in the vision and work of ACCESS.
In 2008, the Maine Child Care Director?s Association, understanding the value of this wider vision for young children and acknowledging the need for active advocacy to further this vision, voted to do business as ?The Public Policy Committee of ACCESS.