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Letter to the Editor: Investing in Head Start will pay off handsomely in York County

Published November 30, 2018, Portland Press Herald

I was pleased to read the Nov. 14 article “More Head Start support coming to southern Maine,” regarding the announcement by Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King that York County Community Action Corp. will receive significant additional funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

Those of us in law enforcement know what a difference Head Start and Early Head Start participation can make for lower-income children and their families. The positive impact isn’t only immediate; down the road, these programs have an impact on crime rates and the safety of our communities.

Early Head Start programs support new parents and soon-to-be parents so that they learn how best to nurture their babies and understand what they need developmentally. All of this helps build a strong foundation for kids.

Head Start programs continue to support families and help their preschool-age children grow through early childhood education programs that are key to developing the cognitive, social and emotional skills that kids need to succeed.

And both programs reach kids at a time when rapid brain development takes place.

Studies show that the benefits of Head Start and Early Head Start can be lifelong. Kids who participate are more likely to do well in school, see that there are great options in life and say “no” to crime.

Those outcomes benefit all of our communities, making these programs excellent investments.

Thank you to both of our senators for securing these additional funds that will help give more York County kids and their families a leg up in life.

Doug Bracy, Chief of Police

York