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Senator Collins Participates in UMF Community Child Care Center Ribbon Cutting

3.27.24 UMF Visit

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Farmington, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins participated in the University of Maine at Farmington’s (UMF) ribbon cutting ceremony for the University’s new Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center. Governor Janet Mills and UMF President Joe McDonnell were also in attendance, along with early childhood education students currently attending the University.

“For more than 30 years, the Sweatt-Winter program has provided families in Franklin County with quality child care and has produced dedicated early childhood educators,” said Senator Collins. “This new center will help to expand and strengthen this great resource for children, parents, and employers, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this project will have in the Franklin County region and our state for years to come.”

As a long-time member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and now Vice Chair, Senator Collins secured $1 million in 2022 in Congressionally Directed Spending to expand both the UMF Early Education Degree Program and the Sweatt-Winter Center to help grow our educator workforce and to enable more children to benefit from this nationally accredited program.  Specifically, this project will allow enrollment in UMF’s undergraduate and graduate early childhood education programs to increase by at least 20 percent.

The Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Program provides full-time care and education to children in Franklin County and the surrounding areas. In addition to their current Full- and Part-day Preschool Programs for ages 3-5 and Before-and-After School Programs for ages 5-8, the new center will allow the University to establish an Infant and Toddler care program.