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Team Vision (10/30/08)

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
  • Families

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 Maine.
  • 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 (PDF)

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