Oct. 6, 2021 / Letter to the Editor / Bangor Daily News
joint letter from FCCAM and MaineAEYC ~
Build strong foundations for Maine children
Long before Congress began working on a bipartisan infrastructure framework, families in Maine were navigating bumps in the road much more difficult than potholes and cracked pavement.
Finding child care in Maine can be very difficult. Many in rural communities either work part-time or not at all due to lack of child care. Adding to this challenge, the number of home-based, family child care businesses has declined almost 30 percent in the last decade. Family child care is the most flexible for those who work nontraditional hours and is usually the most accessible option in rural communities.
While child care costs can consume over 40 percent of a parent’s income, that expense barely supports the operational costs of child care programs across Maine.
This market failure is most evident in the low wages paid to educators in the field. Child care educators are in the bottom 2 percent of earners in the workforce across the nation. Early childhood education is a career that requires specialized skills in early learning and constant focus and attentive care for young children. Add poverty wages to this, and it is no mystery why early childhood educators leave the field.
Mainers need our Congressional delegates to approach investments in children and families with as much recognition of their value as the roads and bridges in the bipartisan infrastructure framework. Just as we can build strong bridges, we can build strong foundations for Maine’s children.
Public comment and testimony submitted to Maine DHHS on behalf of the Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM) and Maine Association for the Education of Young Children (MaineAEYC), in regards to the DRAFT Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan for Maine FFY 2022 – 24.
The FCCAM and MaineAEYC Joint Public Policy Committee testimony was presented by Tara Williams, Executive Director of MaineAEYC.
Letter sent to Commissioner Lambrew and Dr. Landry from multiple early childhood Organizations addressing the necessity to streamline child care educators alongside public school educators in the new vaccination schedule.
Letter sent to Governor Mills on behalf of those working in the child care industry in Maine. on the vaccination plan being designated by age and Maine’s child care professionals not having a streamlined opportunity with their public school peers exposing a lack of equity among all who educate children in Maine.
MaineAEYC, the Family Child Care Association of Maine, Maine Head Start Directors Association, YMCA Alliance of Maine, and Maine Children’s Alliance sent a joint letter to Governor Mills and Director Todd Landry of the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS). The letter urging them to allocate the necessary funds for ECE and families to get through the COVID-19 crisis.