How would Universal Preschool impact the County?

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:59 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The American Families Plan proposes universal preschool—free education and care for all 3 and 4 year olds.

Sue Powers, director of programs at ACAP says that preschool programs in the county have waiting lists. President Biden’s proposal means universal preschool would be offered in eligible schools through collaboration with community partners and federal funding

“So it may mean a child who is attending a childcare center, if the staff is qualified...that child could potentially, with that district, could continue their preschool experience with that provider.”

Jordyn Rossignol, runs a private childcare and Preschool daycare facility in Caribou. She says universal preschool would ensure accessibility to qualified programs, taught by educators who can afford to work for higher, federally supplemented salaries

“Our programs are fully funded by tuition of the parents and I can’t charge the parents any more than I’m currently charging because it’s getting to the point that parents can’t afford it—yet on the same hand, I can’t pay all of our bills solely on parent pay, so I can’t pay teachers the wages they deserve for the work they’re doing. So if there were federal funding allocated just for childcare workers, for teachers, they are educators, it would be really life changing.”

In Maine, a child must be four years old to attend public preschool. The American Families Plan would make three year olds eligible for public education in Maine.

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