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Report: Maine's Early Child Care System Failing Families, Providers

Patty Wight
Maine Public
Eliza Townsend, of the Maine Women's Policy Center, unveils a new report on Maine's early child care system..

Maine's early child care system is failing families, children, and providers, according to a new report by the Maine Women's Policy Center and the Maine Children's Alliance. 

The report, called "Investing in Our Future," concludes there's a lack of availability and high costs for infant care. 

Claire Berkowitz of the Maine Children's Alliance says increasing state funding for Head Start is one important step that would improve the situation.

"In Maine, Head Start Programs only have the funding to serve one-third of all eligible children and families," Berkowitz says. "We can do better."

Eliza Townsend, of the Maine Women's Policy Center, says the state is failing to spend federal Child Development Funds that have already been allocated.

"We already have the money in hand. For some reason unclear to any of us, it's not being spent in the system for which it was intended," she says.

The report outlines 28 steps the state can take to increase access to early childhood care, many of which, according to report's authors, would cost the state little to no money. 

This story was originally published Sept. 21, 2017 at 12:18 p.m. ET.