The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is pleased to read that Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Lindlof identify Maine’s child care crisis as a barrier to workforce development. Lack of high-quality child care is a challenge we hear about often from businesses all across our state.

As so many of us work toward Maine’s educational attainment goal that 60 percent of adults have a credential of value by 2025, the economics of maximizing human potential is undeniable. It is essential to Maine’s future prosperity. Maine business leaders believe strongly that high-quality education, beginning with early care and education, is one of the most important investments we can make to ensure successful participation in a knowledge-based economy.

We now know that the brain development that occurs before children enter public school sets the foundation that supports all future learning. Thus, starting early is key to a healthy and capable workforce. Research is clear — skills developed through high-quality early childhood education last for a lifetime, and can help today’s children become the productive, stable adults of tomorrow.

The Chamber is pleased to see that there is a new proposal before the legislature, L.D. 1760 First4ME, that will help address the child care crisis and its negative impact on our collective economic future. I hope the legislature and the governor will act on this proposal this session, before Maine’s child care crisis gets worse.

Megan Diver

senior governmental affairs specialist

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

member, ReadyNation

Bowdoin


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