Click here for COVID-19 Resources for Parents and Children (link).
The Children’s Cabinet will meet on Tuesday, June 2nd from 10 am to 11:30 am with the location to be determined.
The Children’s Cabinet continues its work to ensure that Maine children enter Kindergarten prepared to succeed and that Maine youth enter adulthood healthy, connected to the workforce and/or education.
In response to COVID-19, steps have been taken to ensure the health, safety and well-being of children, youth and families during the pandemic.
- Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has taken significant steps to increase access to needed assistance programs, including but not limited to waiving premiums and co-pays for health coverage, extending annual review periods for TANF, SNAP and MaineCare for up to three months, and providing SNAP households the maximum food benefit for their size. In addition, DHHS is working with DOE to implement additional SNAP benefits for each child eligible for free and reduced lunch. To help families maintain child care slots, DHHS has waived all parent fees for child care subsidies and continues to pay for subsidies even if programs have closed or children are home because of COVID-19. For more information, visit the DHHS Coronavirus website.
- Department of Education (DOE) is supporting school districts to continue to provide regular school meals to children in the community. DOE staff have made themselves available through office hours for teachers to support remote learning and to address the social emotional and mental health needs of children, youth and parents during this difficult time. DOE is working to ensure that as many Maine students as possible have devices and connectivity to access learning resources. In addition, DOE has developed an on-line resource page for parents.
- Department of Labor (DOL) is responding to an unprecedented increase in the number of unemployed workers in our state, supporting parents to receive financial assistance through unemployment insurance. Visit the DOL COVID-19 response page for more information. Career Center services, including vocational rehabilitative services, remain available on-line.
- Department of Corrections (DOC) is working with regional teams to support the reintegration of detained and committed youth at Long Creek into the community. DOC reports COVID-19 related data daily on its website. The number of detained and committed youth as of April 10th is down by 48% since the beginning of the year.
In her inaugural address in January 2019, Governor Janet Mills announced her plan to reinstate the Maine’s Children’s Cabinet to improve the health and well-being of children in our state. The Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future is coordinating the work of the Governor Mill’s Children’s Cabinet to align and strengthen programs and policies for young children and at-risk youth. The Children’s Cabinet members are the Commissioners of five state agencies -- Department of Corrections, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and Department of Public Safety – operating programs and policies for children. Maine’s Chief Justice is also invited and participates in select Children’s Cabinet meetings.
The Children’s Cabinet has identified two overarching goals:
- All Maine children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. (Click here for plan.)
- All Maine youth enter adulthood healthy, connected to the workforce and/or education. (Click here for plan.)
For more information about Governor Mills’ Children’s Cabinet, please contact Ana Hicks, the Children’s Cabinet Coordinator, at email@example.com.