I have a message for early educators and leaders in Maine’s child care programs,

You are seen. You are heard. In a matter of 24 hours you were slapped in the face with unprecedented circumstances and decisions you were not prepared to make. You were told to practice social distancing. You were told we need your care. You were not told how those two things coincide.

You are the backbone of the economy. Yet, no one ever tells you that. You show up each day, you give love, you give learning.

For those of you leading child care programs, you probably never thought you would be facing a decision on who’s health is most important. You? Your family? Your staff? Your students? Their families? The community?

On top of health decisions, let’s throw in the threat of losing your livelihood. Maybe if you are lucky, you have had 48 hours to figure this all out. Somewhere amidst the pressure, you made hard decisions. Decisions that tore at your heart. Decisions that made people feel scared. Decisions that made people feel angry. Decisions that will affect people for a long time to come.

You made the right decision.

Whether you are still providing care or not providing care, you made the best decision in a time of crisis where there was little guidance. There is no wrong decision because all these decisions come with risk and others in mind.

You contribute to the greater good each day of your life and your efforts can never be measured.

Heather Marden
Birchwood Day Nursery School
Board President, MaineAEYC

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