We were impressed to read about the recent partnership between Brunswick and Bath area schools and the Bath YMCA offering childcare on remote learning days for Pre-K through 5th grade students.

Quality early care and education programs are critical. They provide safe, nurturing places for kids when their parents are not able to be with them. Kids learn crucial developmental skills that can alter their trajectory throughout school and help them succeed in life. These programs help build foundations that can steer kids away from crime as teens or adults. The reality is that childcare is often a safe haven for kids in troubled homes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made childcare even more important. Whether a parent is out of work and job searching, in school, working from home, or is an essential or frontline worker, kids need a safe and supportive place to go, so that their parents have peace of mind knowing their kids are in good care.  

Working parents are also better able to perform their jobs when they’re secure in the knowledge that their kids are in a quality childcare program. These programs also provide stability in the form of a more regular schedule, which is helpful for both parents and children, especially with distance learning.

The underlying stress due to COVID-19 impacts us all. Support for partnerships like the one between the Brunswick-Bath public schools and the Bath YMCA — and more like them — are now truly an essential service that helps meet the needs of students and parents.

Bath Chief of Police Mike Field and Brunswick Chief of Police Scott Stewart are members of the national non-profit Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

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