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Maine Agency Gets $5 Million for Early Childhood Education

WATERVILLE, Maine - A central Maine social service agency has been awarded more than $5 million from the federal government to expand its early childhood education offerings.

The money will go to support a multi-county program called CareQuilt, a public-private partnership between Educare Central Maine and social service agencies, public schools and private childcare programs in Kennebec, Somerset, Piscataquis and Penobscot counties.

Tracy Fortin is with Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, which coordinates the CareQuilt program. Fortin says the federal money will allow the program to add an additional 72 low-income children, "as well as a very large training component, and support component, for families and for other providers-whether they are center-based teachers or family childcare providers."

Providers will get more coaching and training to support the work they do with young learners.

Low-income families, meantime, will get more of the emotional, physical and nutritional supports their kids need to succeed academically.