A toddler gets one-on-one attention from assistant teacher Heather Sieger in the Chickadee Room at the Belfast Montessori School in 2020. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

High-quality child care is vital for kids, families, communities and Maine’s economy. Recent investments in child care hold great promise for Maine. I’m encouraged to see that child care is rising as a priority issue among the public, news media, policy leaders, employers and the workforce, in addition to those directly involved in child care.

Today, the lack of access to child care is a barrier to employment for many Maine families. Parents need accessible, high-quality child care so that they can be present and focused while on the job, knowing that their children are in a safe and nurturing environment.

Since the start of the pandemic, numerous Maine child care centers have closed. Even prior to COVID-19, particularly in rural areas, there were too few child care slots for eligible kids. As Maine’s workforce shortage has worsened, expanding child care has become an increasing priority for employers.

Recent news of increased funding to expand child care and bolster the child care workforce is welcome news for the many employers and working families feeling these pressures. It’s also wonderful to see the support for child care from the BDN editorial board, as well as key perspectives on these opinion pages, including on the importance of investing in all types of child care (public, family-based, YMCAs, etc.).

All Maine kids deserve the strong foundation and future success high-quality early learning programs provide. Investments in child care benefit Maine families, communities and Maine’s economy, and they have my full support.

Ryan Rogers

General Manager

Dead River Company