Opinion

Building Maine’s future 

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To the Editor;

Maine needs to attract and retain young working families. The future of our economy depends upon it. As an early childhood educator, I am thrilled to see an understanding by our state leaders that this requires access to quality, affordable early care and education.

 

Not only does quality child care support the development of young children and lead to a vibrant future workforce, but its presence also provides important workforce infrastructure right now that allows parents to be productive at their jobs or higher education pursuits. I have witnessed firsthand the consequences for families who cannot obtain such care for their children; it has resulted in parents having to step out of the labor force, constraining employers’ ability to fill open positions. This hinders families’ abilities to flourish and takes away great developmental experiences from Maine’s youngest children, who we will depend on to strengthen our communities and continue to build our economy when they are adults.

 

Many of our state’s 1.3 million people are retired or close to retirement. With our workforce outlook, we need to ensure children today have access to high quality learning environments to reach their fullest potential, as well as bolster the workforce by attracting young families to Maine.     

 

It is time we get really serious about increasing access to quality early care and education from birth through public school entry and stop looking the other way, waiting for someone else to create a solution. This is why I support LD 1760, An Act to Support Children’s Healthy Development and School Readiness, which expands a multi-generational approach to quality child care, home visiting, and supports for families with young children. I know our future depends upon it.

 

Melissa Holt 

Exeter

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