FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2022
Contact: Ben Goodman
Maine joins national partnership, Best Place for Working Parents, to recognize family-friendly employers in Maine
Business leaders across Maine welcome new tool to help employers assess, identify, and adopt policies that support working parents
Augusta, Maine – The state of Maine has joined a growing national partnership, Best Place for Working Parents, that assists employers of all sizes with assessing, identifying, and adopting family-friendly policies, and earn recognition for their efforts.
Through this partnership, Maine businesses can access tools to evaluate their organization’s support for working parents against regional and national assessments of businesses of similar size and in similar industries. Through an online confidential assessment, businesses can determine whether their organization qualifies to earn a designation as a Best Place for Working Parents, or actions they could take to do so.
Maine is the first state in New England to offer this tool for employers. Support for the Best Place for Working Parents initiative is a collaboration among the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet.
“Family-friendly workplace policies can play a key role in attracting and keeping parents in our workforce,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “We are thrilled to welcome Best Place for Working Parents to our state to provide Maine businesses with important resources, best practices, and recognition. When working families succeed, we all succeed.”
“By recognizing and encouraging family friendly policies among Maine employers, we can directly support children and working parents in our state,” said Todd Landry, Director of the DHHS Office of Child & Family Services. “Workplaces with flexible hours, child care assistance, and parental leave help families and children stay safe, stable, happy, and healthy – and that’s good for everyone in Maine.”
Access to Best Place for Working Parents was also welcomed by business leaders from across Maine, who say the partnership is an important tool for helping Maine employers understand and adopt practices to support working families.
“The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with the state to bring Best Place for Working Parents to Maine,” said Dana Connors, President of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “This program will give Maine businesses the ability to assess their efforts to support working families, explore new options, and earn deserved recognition for taking family-friendly actions.”
“Best Place for Working Parents is a welcome and helpful program to recognize businesses that have implemented family-friendly practices,” said Quincy Hentzel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to sharing its tools with businesses to help support parents and identify practices they can implement to recruit and retain employees.”
“As businesses compete in a changed labor market, those who address the needs of working parents are coming out ahead,” said Shanna Cox, President and CEO of the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited for Best Place for Working Parents as a way to recognize our family-friendly businesses to their clients, communities, and employees.”
“This new program will bring attention to the efforts of family-friendly employers and spark a conversation about finding even more ways to support working parents in our communities,” said Deb Neumann, President and CEO of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate the efforts of the state and its partners to bring Best Place for Working Parents to Maine.”
Joining this partnership builds upon historic investments in child care and early childhood education by the Mills Administration to support working parents and families in Maine.
The Governor’s Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan dedicates $25 million in American Rescue Plan funds to help Maine communities renovate, expand, or build new child care facilities and expand early childhood education programs, which includes $10 million to expand availability of Pre-K programs across the state.
The Mills Administration is also releasing $120 million in American Rescue funds as part of its Child Care Plan for Maine (PDF) — the first plan of its kind in the state’s history — to help Maine’s child care system recover from the coronavirus pandemic and to improve child care quality, accessibility, and affordability over the long-term.
In addition, Governor Mills has proposed through her supplemental budget more than $12 million to continue increasing pay for child care workers and early childhood educators. This is consistent with the goals of legislation sponsored by House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, which has earned unanimous support from the Legislature.
To learn more about Best Place for Working Parents in Maine, and access the online assessment tools, please visit https://bestplace4workingparents.com/maine/.