Vermont’s child care crisis

When it comes to finding child care in Vermont, the numbers tell a stark story:

  • 70% of Vermont kids have all available parents in the workforce
  • 80% of infants and toddlers likely to need child care in Vermont do not have access to high-quality programs
  • 90% of Vermont families cannot afford high-quality child care

A group of providers and parents share their stories about the crisis
and solutions around child care. (October 31, 2018 broadcast — NO AUDIO)

Aly Richards, CEO, The Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children 

Emily Blisstein, Director of Business Strategy, The Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children

Joanna Scott, Development Director, YWCA Vermont

Faye Longo, Outreach Coordinator, Vermont Food Bank 

Will Vt. subsidize child care? The big return on investing in kids

The Vermont Business Roundtable, along with VBSR and others, released a report, Vermont’s Early Care and Learning Dividend, which details the return on investment that Vt stands to gain by increasing public investments in high-quality early care and learning programs. The report found that investing in a high-quality, affordable early care and learning system would yield net benefits to Vermont’s economy of $22 million a year. These benefits would continue to accrue over the working lifetime of the children receiving that care, totaling $1.3 billion over the next 60 years. This equates to a return of $3.08 for every dollar invested. Gov. Phil Scott has expressed support for investing in child are, but has proposed funding it by taking money from K-12 education, which the Legislature has nixed. Has the governor punted on child care? What’s the future for early childhood education in Vermont? (February 8, 2017 broadcast)

 

Robyn Freedner Maguire, campaign director, Let’s Grow Kids

Lisa Ventriss, president, Vermont Business  Roundtable

Kelly Klein, owner and CEO, of Groennfell Meadery, Colchester

Is there a solution to Vermont’s child care crisis?

Some facts about Vermont’s child care crisis:

  • Nearly 80% of infants and toddlers likely to need child care in Vermont do not have access to high-quality programs
  • Middle-income families with two children are paying up to 40% of their income on child care.
  • Child care workers earn on average less than $25,000, which is less than a livable wage.

What are some solutions to this challenge? Earlier this month the Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality Affordable Childcare released its final report to the governor and legislature. We discuss the findings with Commission members and child care provider. (Dec. 21, 2016 broadcast)

Sarah Squirrell, executive director of Building Bright Futures, member of the Blue Ribbon Commission 

Charlotte Ancel, chair of Blue Ribbon Commission, vice president, Green Mountain Power

Paula Nadeau, parent and owner-director of an infant-toddler center for 20 children 

Childcare: Crisis & Opportunity, 2-11-15

In Vermont, more than 26,000 children under the age of 6 are in need of childcare. According to Building Bright Futures, licensed childcare providers have the capacity to serve only 40 percent of these children. Up to half of children are not sufficiently prepared to enter kindergarten. Vermont Gov. Shumlin has called for the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission to research financing options for high-quality, affordable childcare .

We have four perspective on childcare:

Parent: Alison Maynard, Director, Center for Leadership and Innovation at The University of Vermont Continuing Education, mother 4 and 5 year old.

Provider: Sonja Raymond, Owner of Apple Tree Learning Centers in Stowe, and Quality Project Coordinator for the Vermont Association of the Education of Young Children (VAEYC), mother of 16 yr old.

Business person: Benjamin (Ben) Wilson, President of the Better Middlebury Partnership, an organization dedicated to making the greater Middlebury area a better place to live, work and play. Ben is active in the BMP’s efforts to recruit  telecommuters and new businesses to the Middlebury area. Dad of 5 & 7 yr old.

Robyn Freedner-Maguire, Campaign Director of Let’s Grow Kids, public education campaign that aims to raise awareness about early childhood development, mother of 3 yr old twins and a 6 yr old.