Kudos to Maine’s state legislators for their hard work to protect services for our state’s youngest, most vulnerable children.

As law enforcement leaders, we strongly support the Legislature’s effort to pass a budget that avoids cuts to Head Start, home visiting and child care subsidies for low-income working parents. Looking after our youngest kids and offering them a better future is a key ingredient to safer and healthier communities.

Research has shown that kids who participate in high-quality early learning programs are better prepared as they enter kindergarten. Better students are more likely to graduate on time and are more likely to be employed as adults and less likely to be involved in crime.

Additionally, voluntary home visiting programs help strengthen at-risk families and keep children out of abusive situations. These services can help reduce child abuse and neglect, and also help break the cycle of family violence.

We appreciate our legislators’ understanding of and support for these important programs and hope they will continue to support these programs in subsequent budgets.

Robert Gregoire

Augusta Chief of Police

Randall Liberty

Kennebec County Sheriff

Augusta

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