I was recently talking with a public pre-K teacher about the similarities and differences between teaching in a center-based program versus an elementary school. At one point in our conversation, she said, “I am not in the business of child care.” That statement has stuck with me for weeks.

When a teacher of young children sees herself as different from another teacher of young children, it reflects the policies at the national and local level that place more value on one professional over another. In Maine, and across the country, educators work in home and center-based programs with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, in elementary, middle, and high schools, and in colleges and universities. Regardless of setting, each one does essential work.

Our education policies and financing

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