In the May 28 letter concerning working moms, the writer supports working mothers and then adds, “A qualified day care situation and/or pre-school education, helps in the development of the young child.”

I add that these good day care programs not only help — they are absolutely and vitally essential. We have scientific proof now that from ages 1 to 6, brains absorb lifelong skills like sponges. Stability is vital. We also know, as we throw money to correct older troubled youth, many problems could have been prevented during these early years.

Many working families cannot afford day care costing $125 or more each week. Pre-kindergarten classes provided by our public school system seem to be the first cut. Programs like Headstart should be the last to be cut. Have you heard the expression “cutting off your nose to spite your face”?

So what can we do? Responding to this challenge, Skowhegan Community Action for Children has been formed through four local churches, community members, the state Department of Health and Human Services and KVCAP working together as one.

Their first needed endeavor is to support and enhance, with volunteer help and fundraising, North Elementary School pre-kindergarten classes. We hope by this effort to also make the community aware of how important it is for this age group and how important the resources received by children and families are. Their long-term vision is to provide more community daycare as needed in unused church space.

I wish all moms could be with their children at this delicate stage, and my heart aches when I watch many families doing their best, searching each day for childcare — a sitter one day, grandparents the next, then maybe a neighbor or friend. We need our community to work better than that.

Dorothy Cleaver


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