There are an estimated 45,000 (based on capacity) children in early education and care programs in Maine. The state's substantial investment of over $37 million in early childhood education, plus an additional $10 million from the TANF block grant, coupled with the large numbers of children in child care programs, makes understanding the quality of services imperative, both to children's welfare and for planning effective state investments. In 2001, The Maine Office of Child Care and Head Start contracted with Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Muskie Institute of the University of Southern Maine, and Abt Associates to conduct a study of the cost and quality of early care and education in Maine. We are pleased to present the first report from this study, addressing early care and education for preschool-aged children in full-day, year-round community child care centers. A future report will address early care and education in family child care homes throughout Maine.