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Sen. Susan Collins has earned my appreciation, once again, for standing up for Maine’s youngest children and fighting for increased federal funding for two key programs: child care subsidies for lower-income working parents, and home visiting programs that support new parents with in-home coaches and is proven to reduce child abuse and neglect.

I was pleased to read that the federal budget will increase federal child care funding by 30 percent this next fiscal year, and also double federal funding for home visiting programs over the course of the next five years. Collins championed these investments from her position as a senior member of the U.S. Appropriations Committee, and I thank her for being so committed to our youngest and often most vulnerable children.

As Caribou’s Chief of Police, a supporter of the Aroostook County Community Action Program, a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, and a current board member of the Maine Children’s Trust, I see the important impacts high quality early learning and care programs have for working parents and caregivers, and for their children. Greater federal investment will mean more families can find the child care and two-generational family supports they need to thrive.

Thank you to Sen. Collins for understanding the importance of these vital early care and education programs and for being their voices in the halls of Congress.

Michael Gahagan

Chief of Police

Caribou