Maine Governor Janet T. Mills, supported by the Maine Legislature and authorized by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, invested a share of federal American Rescue Plan relief funds in an early education training program in partnership with the University of Maine at Farmington. To help develop and retain early education professionals, UMF is renovating a former call center into a center for its nationally accredited Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center. The Center is expected to open in the summer of 2023 as a state-of-the-art child care and academic facility to train more skilled child care staff to enter and stay in the workforce. Previously, the Sweatt-Winter expansion project received $1.4 million from a bond for UMaine System workforce development infrastructure approved by voters statewide in 2018. The Lennox Foundation also contributed $100,000.
University of Maine Farmington. (n.d.). Early Childhood Special Education.
State of Maine Office of Governor Janet T. Mills. (2022). At University of Maine Farmington, Governor Mills Highlights Investments to Expand Child Care in Maine, Increase Pay for Child Care Workers.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about ELS@H Findings
The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning,Professional learning: Learning and support activities (e.g., coaching) that help develop educators’ competencies and skills. compensation, and workplace conditions.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
- Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.