When it comes to growing a strong Maine workforce, reaching kids at a young age in programs like quality pre-K is key. That’s why I was pleased to read that Maine added 280 new pre-K slots statewide this school year, with pre-K programs now offered in approximately three-quarters of Maine school districts. This is a big step in the right direction for employers, Maine’s economy and for kids today who are Maine’s future workforce.

For a lot of kids, quality early learning programs are instrumental in determining their success in school. The skills kids learn at this young age prepare them to start school strong and can make kids more apt to stay in school, do well, graduate and pursue postsecondary education.

Today, Maine faces flat workforce growth projections and an aging workforce. Most future jobs will require postsecondary education or another skilled credential. Maine needs to pull out all the stops to prepare people to be ready and able to fill the jobs of tomorrow by laying an early foundation for educational attainment and success. Making pre-K available to all Maine kids is a big part of the solution.

Quality pre-K programs that are accessible to all Maine kids in every school district will better position Maine to compete economically going forward and will better position Mainers to succeed. It is encouraging that pre-K is growing in Maine. Further expansion deserves support from the governor and legislators, and is essential to the success of Maine’s economy, employers and people.

Jeremy R. Fischer

Yarmouth


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