Montpelier, VT – The Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care has concluded its 15-month long research into Vermont’s current early care and learning system. The Commission first convened in September 2015 and its 15 members were statutorily charged with determining what high quality programs in Vermont look like currently, what components of high quality programs should be included in the future, determining family affordability for that highest level of quality, and putting forth financing recommendations to the Legislature and incoming Administration.
Nationally, Vermont ranks as the 13th least-affordable state for infant care, and 3rd least-affordable for 4-year old care. Before any tuition assistance, Vermont families pay anywhere between 25 percent and 53 percent of their income to send an infant and a 4-year old to full-time, center-based care. Vermont is also experiencing a childcare shortage: 47 percent of infants and toddlers likely to need care, do not have access to any regulated programs, and 79 percent don’t have access to programs recognized as high quality. A high quality early care and learning system not only provides children with a strong foundation in their early years, it is also intricately woven with small businesses, parents, and providers who strengthen and contribute to the economy.
The Agency of Administration and Secretary Trey Martin oversaw the work of the Commission. “I want to thank the Commission for their hard work looking at how to improve early care and learning in Vermont. In the last six years under Governor Shumlin, Vermont has made significant investments in the early care and learning system. The Blue Ribbon Commission report offers immediate and long term actions that the next Administration and Legislature can consider to make high quality early care and learning more affordable for families.”
A copy of the final report can be found on the Commission’s webpage: https://buildingbrightfutures.org/blue-ribbon-commission/
For questions and media inquiries, please contact:
Charlotte Ancel, Commission Chair
Green Mountain Power
VP, Power Supply & General Counsel
Sarah Squirrell, Commission Member
Building Bright Futures
Reeva Murphy, Commission Member
DCF – Child Development Division