Thank you for the editorial (Our View, May 27) supporting L.D. 1712, a legislative proposal embracing greater investments in quality child care.

I am proud to be part of a group of business leaders committed “to putting our money where our mouth is” on the issue of expanding high-quality early care and education. We’ve spent years – and our own money – exploring how to expand access for Maine kids in a cost-effective way.

We first commissioned a study by Phil Trostel of the University of Maine to quantify the fiscal impacts and returns on investment that flow from quality early childhood programming. Then, following extensive deliberations, we decided to partner with Educare Central Maine to pilot a lower-cost, community-based approach that utilizes the best research and evidence-based programming. Skowhegan was selected as the pilot site because it has the highest concentration of child risk factors – poverty, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and lack of high-quality learning opportunities.

The program elevates early education to the highest in standards and practice – thus positively impacting the babies and youngsters in the program, their parents and their child care providers. Our Elevate Skowhegan pilot has been a huge success. L.D. 1712 would expand pilot projects like Elevate Maine to five more Maine communities. It provides a tremendous opportunity to build on the success of this proven model. This will inure to the benefit of Maine’s businesses, our workforce, our families, our communities and – most importantly – our children.

Jeremy Fischer

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