[logo] Downeast Community Partners

Lifespan Opportunities in Washington and Hancock Counties

Early Care and Education Programs

Early Head Start, Head Start, and child care

Downeast Community Partners (DCP) offers Head Start, Early Head Start and child care in our Early Care and Education Centers throughout Hancock and Washington counties. Head Start and Preschool Child Care programs are for children ages 3 – 5 years old. Early Head Start and Infant/Toddler Child Care programs are for families needing child care for infant and toddlers six weeks old to 3 years old. Access our application page here.

DCP Early Care and Education programs provide comprehensive early education, health, nutrition, and family services to enrolled children and their families. We believe children learn best through play and encourage children to explore the world at their own pace, with the loving support and guidance of parents and teachers. Our programs offer a child-centered curriculum which reflects children and families’ real lives and interests.

Teachers are observers of children who work together with families to provide activities and materials that are designed to foster the healthy development of social/emotional, physical, and intellectual skills, as well as skills of effective communication. We recognize and respect the individuality of each child and family, and we strive to provide a learning environment within which each child and family can feel successful.

Why should you choose DCP’s Early Care and Education Programs?

Our Early Care and Education programs are designed to provide quality education and care for each enrolled child aged 6 weeks to 5 years.

Quality Learning Environments are our Number One Priority

Our classrooms reflect holistic learning environments for children. Every classroom holds a variety of fine and gross motor activities, language and literacy activities designed for readers and pre-readers, creative arts and opportunities for a child’s imagination to be engaged and expanded.  Following the national requirement of the Head Start Program, our teachers hold the minimum of a Child Development Associate Credential or an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Health and Safety is Key

We believe that a child’s health effects a child’s learning so staff work with parents to ensure that children receive well child check-up’s, dental check-up’s, and height and weight assessments. In addition, staff introduces concepts of health and wellness, pedestrian safety and good hygiene practices in the classroom.

Good Nutrition Supports Children’s Learning

Nutritious meals and snacks are included in all the programs DCP operates and meals are free for all children. Meals are served family style with Caregivers and children coming together at meal time for conversation and quality time. Promoting healthy nutrition habits and allowing children to experience new foods are important aspects of our nutrition program.

Parents are Respected as the Primary Teachers of Their Children

Parent involvement is definitely one of the cornerstones of our programming. Parents report a sense of belonging and an appreciation for having the opportunity for meaningful involvement at all levels of their child’s program. Parents are invited to participate as volunteers in their child’s day to day program, on governing bodies, and as active partners in curriculum planning.

Equal Opportunities for All Children

We actively encourage and facilitate children with disabilities and their families to participate in all of our programs. Our staff is trained in working with local service providers to ensure that all children’s individual needs are met.

Licensing and Staff Credentialing

All of our programs are fully licensed through the State of Maine Day Care Licensing Division. This includes regular inspections by both the State’s licensing agent and fire marshal.

Head Start

Head Start is a free program for children of low to moderate income families who meet the federal income eligibility guidelines. Children whose families exceed the income guidelines may be considered once all income- eligible families have been enrolled. While DCP does not provide transportation to any of the Head Start programs, we do have some funds available to assist Head Start eligible families with the cost of transportation. For families needing child care, weekly fees are collected from parents; State of Maine subsidies are accepted and a sliding fee scale is available to eligible families.

 We actively encourage and facilitate participation of children with disabilities and their families in all of our programs. Federal guidelines require that ten percent of those accepted into Head Start will be children with disabilities.

 Children enrolled in most Head Start part-day part-year programs attend four mornings a week from mid- September through early May. Our programs offering child care are open year round for full day child care. Click the link below to enroll.

Start your enrollment now.

Hancock County Locations

Bucksport, Sullivan, Prospect Harbor, Trenton: Head Start in collaboration with public Pre-K programs

Ellsworth: Head Start in collaboration with public Pre-K, Early Head Start, and child care

Deer Isle-Stonington: Head Start in collaboration with public Pre-K.

For more information about these locations and their addresses visit the link below. 
DCP Childcare Locations

Washington County Locations

Calais: Head Start in collaboration with public Pre-K at the Calais Elementary School; Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care at the St. Croix center located on the Washington County Community College campus.

Machias: Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care at the Flaherty Center located on the University of Maine Machias campus.

For more information about these locations and their addresses visit the link below. 
DCP Childcare Locations

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DCP Offices

Toll-Free: 800-834-4378

Bucksport Road Office

248 Bucksport Road, Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-664-2424 | Email

Avery Lane Office

18 Avery Lane, PO Box 648 , Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-664-2424 | Email

Machias Office

7 VIP Drive, Machias, ME 04654
207-259-5015 | Email

Calais Office

11 Church Street, Calais, ME 04619
207-664-2424 | Email

Site Links

Title VI Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of Downeast Community Partners that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, religious belief, political affiliation or belief, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, veteran status, migrant worker, ex-offender, or former patient of a state institution be discriminated against in access to the services or provision of services of Downeast Community Partners.

View our full Title VI policy.

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