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Early Childhood Programs’ Scarcity Undermines Maine’s Rural Communities
Quality early care and education can bolster public safety, the economy, and national security
Child poverty in rural Maine is more severe than in non-rural areas of the state. Overall, nearly one-quarter of rural children in Maine live in poverty. At the same time, children in rural communities often lack resources and supports, including quality early childhood care and education.
High-quality, family-based childcare is critical in rural Maine. Luckily, we have some successful programs—now we need to grow this to reach more children and families.
Randy Liberty, Commissioner, Maine Department of Corrections
High-quality early childhood care and education programs can help ameliorate the challenges faced by Maine children living in rural communities. These programs also strengthen the current and future workforce, contribute to a strong economy and public safety, and enhance national security in the long run.
Providing working parents in rural Maine, with affordable, high-quality early education and care is a top priority for business leaders in Maine.
Jim Clair, CEO, CSS Health
Policymakers must support investments to increase access and quality of early care and education for children in Maine’s rural communities, to help ensure the future strength of our state.
Early childhood programs help develop youth who are more likely to be healthy and fit, do well in school, graduate, and be well-prepared for many life options after graduation, including military service if they choose that path.
Bill Libby, Major general, U.S. Army (retired), former Maine Adjutant General and former Maine Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management
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