This is Letter to the Editor was written by MCA board vice chair Margaret Leitch Copeland and originally published in the Bangor Daily News.
As adults, it is our responsibility to ensure that all early learning environments in Maine promote the health and safety of our youngest children. When our children have quality and safe early learning experiences, they can truly thrive later in life — in school, on the playground and into adulthood.
This is why I find the new family child care rules proposed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services deeply concerning. To echo a recent Maine Focus story, the proposed rules seriously weaken basic health and safety requirements designed to guard our children in child care. Not to mention, they reduce parent rights and most importantly go behind the backs of lawmakers by delaying legislative review until after implementation.
In Maine, over two-thirds of children under the age of six have all available parents in the workforce and are likely in need of child care. These parents should be able to go to work confident in their child’s care and these children ought to have the proper safeguards that protect their health and safety. And the family child care providers I know want to provide this quality care.
The health and safety of our children is paramount. And we owe it to our children to ensure these proposed rules receive the proper scrutiny they deserve. I hope lawmakers will support delaying the implementation of these rules until they have received legislative oversight.