LD 1712 seeks to create greater access to quality early childcare and education through community-based hubs
On May 26, the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services held a work session on LD 1712, An Act To Support Children's Healthy Development and School Success. This bill, sponsored by Senate President Jackson (D-Aroostook), aims to create greater access to quality early childcare and education through community-based hubs. These hubs aim to increase the accessibility to services, as well as guide families through an assessment of their needs, navigating them toward the most appropriate services. Part of the care hub’s ability to generate greater access is through the decentralization of services and community-based support.
After brief discussion, which included some proposed amendments and an attempt to better understand the parallels of this bill and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ current initiatives, the bill moved through committee with the recommendation of “ought to pass as amended.” There were only two hesitations. The first was about the length of time the department had to send out requests for proposals and develop reports from pilot programs. The department was given a six-month extension. The other was an attempt to give the department an opportunity to create its own programs that meet the deliverables outlined in the bill.
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