Karli Neilson plays legos with her sons Ezra, 5, left, and Axel, 2, in Gearhart, Ore., Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. Neilson has alternated between having to take time off work and working part-time so as to watch her 2-year-old son. She hasn't been able to find formal care for him since he was born in August 2020. Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer / AP

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

As a parent, I am stuck in the unending struggle to find child care that is both affordable and a high-quality program for my children to learn and grow. I am always choosing between my career and financial security, and putting all of that on hold so I can fill the gaps that having no child care access has left in my kids’ lives.

But no one feels it worse than my children, the children of Maine, and children across the country. Children who are constantly delayed or denied the services and opportunities they deserve for social, emotional, and educational development.

The threat of slashing our child care resources at a time when the industry needs to be expanded is catastrophic for the families and the economy. The problems parents face would only increase, and children would be caught in the middle.

Sen. Susan Collins must remain a leader in the campaign to protect and eventually expand the programs that enable thousands of Maine’s parents to work and give our children  safe places to grow. In a federal government riddled with polarization, Sen. Collins should bridge the gap on this non-partisan issue to preserve the policies that benefit all Americans–that means protecting child care.

Grace Vanuza Rogers

South Portland