On June 8, 2015,the Maine State Senate voted to defeat a bill providing $2 million to support childcare for working families. LD 977, An Act to Improve Child Care in the State lost by one single vote.
This bill was a huge missed opportunity but we have one final chance to support early childhood programs in Maine. The Senate is set to vote on LD 1054 for Head Start Funding soon. Click here to ask your Legislator to support Head Start funding.
Research from both Dr. James Heckman, a Nobel prize-winning economist and Dr. Philip Trostel, an esteemed UMaine economist shows that investing in early childhood programs is good for both Maine kids and Maine’s economy. Time is running out. Contact your Legislator today.
Over the last decade, the number of Maine children living in low-income, working families has increased, while the number of subsidized, child care services has decreased. Parents need more resources to help them care for their children as new economic pressures emerge. Fortunately, research shows that we gain from investing in such resources.
The Economic Payoff
In a his report A Path to a Better Future, Dr. Philip Trostel highlights four major economic payoffs Maine would see by making critical investments in these programs.
- Decreased Gov spending by $25K per child during K-12 years
- More Parents would be able to work, pay higher taxes, and rely less on social assistance
- Cumulative Lifetime Fiscal Savings & Tax Benefit to Gov would be $125K per child – 4.5 times greater than the initial public cost.
- Real Fiscal Internal Return Rate for investing in early childhood programs is 7.5%, conservatively
The Community Payoff
Top national and state law enforcement officials have routinely advocated for investment in early intervention programs to decrease cycles of crime and long-term prison costs. At the hearing for LD 977, two former law enforcement officers and current Republican Representatives testified in favor of the bill.
It is because of my professional experience in law enforcement of which I learned that one of the best crime prevention strategies we have is to focus on our youngest children and start them on the right path in life. – Rep. Lloyd C. “Skip” Herrick
The Educational Payoff
Lastly, a recent study cited early childhood programs are one of the three major reasons for rising graduation rates in the U.S. Investing young, can alter the entire trajectory of a child’s education. These high quality early child programs eliminate education inequity and prepare young Mainers with the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom. By creating more focused students, all children in the classroom can experience a better education.
These are the facts. Maine’s children and economy cannot afford another missed opportunity. Tell your Legislator to support Head Start funding NOW.