“It’s very discouraging to try so hard every day and never be able to get ahead.”
Laurie is a single mom from down east who worked hard to get a college degree in mental health and human services. Today her work is helping others and she brings a deep understanding of what it means to live in hard times to that work. Laurie knows how it feels when you can’t pay the rent on full time wages. She understands the stress of driving an uninspected vehicle because you can’t afford to fix it.
Both Laurie’s own experience and that of the families she works with today have shown her the value of affordable child care, housing and healthcare. Laurie, like the majority of all Mainers, believes that we must build bridges to opportunity and that providing help with housing costs as well as child care and healthcare will reduce poverty and the negative effects it has on Maine’s families and our communities. Lucy believes that having these critical supports in place will help more families as they climb out of poverty and stabilize their lives so they can truly make it on their own.
As a single mom who worked hard to make a living Laurie knows firsthand that affordable child care for working parents can make a world of difference, and others agree with Laurie. By wide margins, both people with low incomes and the general public agree that affordable child care for working parents is an effective strategy to reduce poverty. This makes sense and is supported by economists and neuroscientists as well. In order for parents to work and make a living, affordable care for their young children must be available.
Child care is often too expensive. In 2013, child care for infants at a Maine center cost as much as $9,360 a year. Laurie believes that help making child care more affordable will allow more parents to better their circumstances through work. But that is just part of the solution. According to Laurie, and the majority of Maine people, we also need access to affordable housing and healthcare in order to succeed.