Aug 5, 2020

Supporting Vermont's children of all ages

Let’s Grow Kids exists because there’s been a child care crisis in Vermont for many years. We know that families struggle to find high-quality child care for their youngest children—and the COVID-19 pandemic is only making it more complicated.

Now, families with school-age children are trying to figure out care for their children of all ages during hybrid school schedules, which are still uncertain and vary widely from district to district. And the programs that typically serve children when they’re not in school—whether child care, afterschool programs, or both—are working hard to creatively respond to those needs.

To support school-age children and the adults who care for them, Let’s Grow Kids is taking our lead from our colleagues at Vermont Afterschool who are experts in providing education, enrichment, and care for children when they’re not in school. We’ve signed onto their letter urging the State of Vermont to develop a comprehensive statewide reopening plan that includes and funds these afterschool programs. If you’re a parent or caregiver, you can take action in support of these requests by signing Vermont Afterschool’s statewide petition.

Let's Grow Kids remains focused on the significant needs of families of children birth through five, which have only been compounded during this crisis. Our support of Vermont Afterschool is aligned with the principles that guide all of our work during this pandemic:

  • Support families of all types. Families have children of different ages and decisions regarding schools impact early childhood education and vice versa. All children need safe and developmentally appropriate places to be and we must prioritize children with specific needs that put them at greater risk for inequitable care and education.
  • Follow the science. We must act on science-based guidance from medical and public health experts with knowledge of children’s development and COVID-19 in Vermont and recognize the expertise of those trained to offer care and education to children of all ages. 
  • Support the people and programs caring for our kids. Many early childhood education programs also care for school-age children. We must ensure funding and flexibility that allow programs to offer safe and developmentally appropriate care to children while protecting the health of their staff.
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