Thank you for your recent editorial “Our View: Strong preschool programs require equal pay for Maine’s early learning educators” (June 16) and for your continued focus on the vital needs of Maine’s preschoolers and their families.

Low pay for pre-kindergarten teachers has been a longstanding issue confronting the field. I generally tell my students to prepare for and seek opportunities in the public schools, as only in that sector will they make a living wage that will support them adequately.

The economic issues here are many, but in general, we expect that parents will pay 90 percent of the cost of preschool. Quality care can easily cost over $15,000 annually in Portland.

Until we begin to insist that business and government cost-share with parents to a much greater degree, female pre-K teachers, who are 97 percent of the workforce, will continue to subsidize the system of child care through their low-cost labor, as we traditionally have expected women to do.

Irv Williams

early childhood education instructor, Southern Maine Community College

South Portland