I was encouraged to read a recent article that Yarmouth schools are considering offering optional public pre-K beginning this fall. Yarmouth will be joining several other communities across our state that are expanding pre-K opportunities.

I hope more communities move forward with offering public pre-K. Many of my law enforcement colleagues and I are pleased to see increasing availability of early learning programs because we know that high-quality early education is a great way to prevent future crime and keep our communities safe.

Research shows that early education investments have great benefits and can produce many types of positive outcomes for children. Kids who attend high-quality pre-K are more likely to get a strong start and are less likely to slip through the cracks. Children who participate are well-prepared to start kindergarten and are more likely to continue to succeed in all grades and graduate from high school, with many pursuing postsecondary education.

This is critically important to families, future generations and our communities, because the better chance a child has to see their great potential in life, the less chance they will turn to crime, drugs or unhealthy life choices.

Giving our youngest children a solid foundational start results in a stronger future for all of us.

I sincerely hope pre-K as an option in Yarmouth and other communities in Cumberland County becomes a reality. All kids need and deserve every chance they can get, and our communities and state will be better for these investments in our next generation.

Kevin Joyce
sheriff, Cumberland County
Standish resident

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