The recent announcement that the Androscoggin County Head Start and child care, Promise Early Education Center, will receive $1.3 million in additional federal funding is great news. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King deserve thanks for their support of these important early learning programs.

As Auburn police chief and board member of Promise Early Education Center, I have seen the impact of quality early childhood education programs. They result in stronger kids and families — and safer communities. Kids who participate in these programs are more likely to succeed academically and find stable employment as adults and are less likely to be involved in crime.

Early Head Start programs reach the youngest children, as well as soon-to-be or new parents, and coach parents on how to best help their infants and toddlers develop. These programs help ensure all kids have the same opportunity to get a strong and healthy start in life, especially children who live in poverty.

Because Head Start programs reach children in their critical, formative years when science tells us rapid brain development takes place, they put kids on a positive path. Nurturing children’s development and building key skills help them succeed, not only in kindergarten but throughout school.

Early Head Start and Head Start programs play an important role in helping kids build a strong foundation for productive lives so that they are less likely to consider a life of crime.

High-quality early childhood programs are wise and worthy investments.

Phil Crowell, Auburn Chief of Police

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