In the wake of COVID-19, the ability of child care providers to stay afloat and remain having their essential facilities open to the public has been significantly challenged. With the pandemic, there has been and continues to be a fracturing in the economic infrastructure of these services, resulting in difficult circumstances for parents and their children alike. With parents out of work, their children out of school and any subsequent quarantines either directly or indirectly effecting family functions, child care facilities have had unsustainable increases in responsibility and costs disproportionate to their revenue intake.
These circumstances are relatively uniform in our state of Maine. As such, reduced enrollment in these child care services has forced over 100 licensed providers to close their doors, with many other facilities still struggling and operating with future uncertainties. As previously stated, parents, in particular, have also been faced with these future uncertainties. Without reliable, safe and affordable child care, moms and dads are unable to get back to work to support both themselves and their children.
Parents in Aroostook, specifically in central Aroostook have reached out to find care, and ACAP has stepped up to reach out yet another helping hand in these disruptive times. Responding to this significant community call, ACAP has made the decision to open two additional child care rooms in the past week. This massive expansion will allow ACAP to serve an additional 24 children under the age of 5.
“ACAP’s mission is to respond to community need. When we learned of an immediate need for child care slots in Presque Isle, our team went to work to make expansion plans,” says Director of Programs, Sue Powers. She continued, “Expanding child care not only requires licensed space, which we have at Gouldville, but it requires a skilled and trained team of early childhood professionals. Between existing staff and new recruits, we will be able to open these additional child care classrooms between March 29 and April 12, with a highly skilled early childhood education team. When a child attends ACAP Early Care and Education Centers, they not only receive safe and affordable care, they receive a developmentally appropriate early education experience.”
If you are interested in enrolling your child in an ACAP Early Care and Education program, complete the online application or call 207-764-3721.