Child care provisions are much needed

8 months ago

To the editor:

Since the pandemic, the lack of affordable and accessible child care has been a barrier for parents of young children to work full time. The business community has been raising a red flag on this issue for the past few years. We are pleased that the Maine Legislature recently took actions to start addressing this crisis. None of this would have happened without bipartisan support and the strong leadership in Augusta pushing this forward. 

The newly passed state budget includes many key child care provisions. Among those are: wage increases for child care teachers, which will average $400 monthly beginning in October; more lower-income working parents will now qualify for child care; more of our lowest-income children will now qualify for Head Start programs; child care teachers’ children can qualify for a new child care scholarship program; and Maine will undertake a robust study of the true cost of child care, so future policymakers can make better and more informed decisions about how best to fix the broken child care system.

Thank you to all the folks in Augusta responsible for this critical piece of legislation. Listening and responding to the needs of employers and Maine’s vital child care sector is crucial to increasing Maine’s workforce participation and enhancing the upbringing of our youth.    

Ryan Rogers