Last week, a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Maine and two members of ReadyNation Maine wrote op-eds published in the Portland Press Herald. They wrote to voice their support for additional funding for state child care programs, as per the recent funding recommendations by Governor Mills’ Economic Recovery Committee.
Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry penned Maine’s child care workforce is essential too and should be supported as such to describe the challenges faced by early childhood providers during the COVID-19 pandemic and support an equitable way forward. From a law enforcement perspective, fully funding early learning programs would not only enable first responders to go to work, but it would also continue to serve a critical role in curbing child abuse and setting kids on the path to succes to prevent future crime.
Sheriff Merry warned, “Without additional investments from the state and Congress, many child care businesses will be unable to continue to operate at a financial loss. Maine’s economy and its working families, especially our first responders, cannot afford to lose more of our child care sector.”
Meanwhile, Lucas Caron, the CFO and Director of Operations and Finance at the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, and Jeremy Fischer, an attorney for Drummond Woodsum and former Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce Director, jointly authored Child care essential for families to go back to work, students to go back to school. In this piece, they highlighted the need for affordable, quality child care options amidst the pandemic. From their perspective as business leaders, the skills kids begin to develop in their earliest years set them up for continued success in school and serve as “a solid investment in Maine’s future workforce.”
Referring to recent child care funding recommendations made by the Economic Recovery Committee, Caron and Fischer wrote, “It is our hope that Gov. Mills and legislators will provide this level of needed funding to our essential child care workforce in Maine.” In fact, they hope that this crisis gives Maine the opportunity to “re-create a child care-public school system that serves the needs of our children, and our working families, community by community.”