Expiration of enhanced Child Tax Credit looms, including for 229,000 Maine kids

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports on the status of the Child Tax Credit in December. The credit enhancements, including making the credit fully refundable, increasing the credit’s maximum value, and allowing families to claim 17-year-olds, have infused more than 39 million households with monthly income since July 2021. As the credit expansions… Read more »

College enrollment down in Maine, but especially in community colleges

The Portland Press Herald reports substantial declines in Maine’s Community College System enrollment levels since pre-pandemic, with declines happening in both fall 2020 and 2021. Enrollment has also declined, albeit by less than half as much, in the University of Maine System. The article suggests that the greater declines among the community college system are… Read more »

Substantial potential demand for nontraditional-hour child care in Maine

To estimate the potential demand for child care at nontraditional times—early morning, nights, and weekends—researchers at the Urban Institute compare the share of young children with parents working nontraditional schedules across states by using both the 2015-2019 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2016 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Authors also compared each… Read more »

92 percent of children living in rural Maine will benefit from Child Tax Credit expansion in American Rescue Plan

Included in the American Rescue Plan Act is a temporary expansion of both the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). For the tax year 2021, these expansions raise the minimum EITC for childless workers from about $540 to about $1,500 and expanded the eligible age range to include both young… Read more »

American Rescue Plan Act enhances food assistance in response to high food hardship

A new report authored by prominent food scholars details the investments and expansions to food assistance programs included in the American Rescue Plan Act. Some of the major components include allowing states to continue the Pandemic-EBT program over the summer, extending the SNAP benefit increase, increased funding to states for the administrative costs of higher… Read more »

Child Care Center Incubator In Maine Adapts And Expands During The Pandemic

Shortly before the pandemic hit, Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI), a non-profit community development organization in Brunswick, launched the Child Care Business Lab. THe purpose of the program is to boost the local economy by creating jobs for child care workers and helping parents unable to find employment without someone to look after their children. The… Read more »

$9.7 million awarded to support mental health and substance use programs in Maine

U.S. Senators Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee, and Angus King announced Wednesday the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded a total of $9,772,660 to support mental health and substance use programs throughout the state. This funding, awarded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),… Read more »

Still in its infancy, USM program ‘makes a world of difference’ to 1st-generation students

Daniel Barton,the program coordinator for Promise Scholars and a USM graduate, said Promise Scholars is more than just a regular scholarship or grant. The program is specifically designed to help low-income Maine residents who will be the first in their families to attend college. But Barton said it’s important that this program be more than… Read more »