News, Articles, Stories & More
Newsroom

News, Articles, Stories & More

When you read, learn, and share, you’re joining the campaign to change Vermont’s child care system. Start taking action by staying in-the-know with Let’s Grow Kids updates, news, announcements, personal stories, expert articles, and more.

Sorry! Nothing matches those filters
First Children’s Finance VT (FCF) announced that during the first quarter of 2024, more child care programs in Vermont opened than closed, signaling a new, positive trend for the state.
As the owner of ABC Academy, I’m celebrating the recent opening of a third child care location— ABC Academy East in Milton! Act 76 funding has allowed us to expand and create 50 new child care slots, totaling 187 spaces across Milton and St. Albans locations. This new, sustainable funding from Act 76 is working exactly as intended.
Michelle Marchant-Sheldon and Vickie Gratton, two long-time home-based childcare providers, are partnering to open Spark Academy in Swanton. When open, the center will triple the local child care capacity by offering 37 slots for children ages 2-9. Spark Academy was made possible by Act 76 funding.
Swanton and the surrounding communities are celebrating a new child care program, set to open this summer, after two home-based programs announced they are merging to form a larger center that will triple the capacity of local child care spaces.
ABC and LOL Child Care Center and Preschool recently announced its expansion and opening of the Cabot Children’s Center, providing 15 new child care slots and four new jobs for the Cabot community. The Cabot Children’s Center was able to open as a result of new state funding from Act 76.
Progress toward Vermont’s child care solution is underway as Act 76 rolls out. This year, over 7,000 more families will become eligible for child care tuition assistance. Here’s what you need to know.
You can both elevate child care and make a difference in your community by taking part in our campaign’s Child Care Advocacy Fellowship. As a fellow, you’ll be a leader and spokesperson in Vermont's child care movement, promoting public investment in our child care system through a combination of legislative and electoral advocacy.
Vermont's Child Care Campaign is laser-focused on supporting policy-leaders in making Act 76 work for all Vermonters. We will continue working together in the months ahead to deliver on the promise of Act 76 and help our state thrive.
Children may only be 24 percent of the population, but they are 100 percent of our future. And every child, beginning at birth, deserves quality, affordable early childhood education, delivered by a well-prepared and well-compensated workforce. Let’s continue to work together in 2024 and beyond to fully solve our state’s child care crisis.
We’ve made historic progress this year but our work isn’t finished yet. Now, we’re focused on getting this new, historic child care funding to those who need it most. To keep our work progressing, we must keep working together to fully solve our state’s child care crisis. Here's how to help.
Vermont’s child care campaign kicked off its statewide tour with a ribbon cutting at the newly renovated Homestead School. State and community leaders were in attendance at the South Burlington location as recent renovations were unveiled to expand capacity, upgrade facilities, and increase support for staff.
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR), the statewide, nonprofit business association with a mission to leverage the power of business for positive social and environmental impact, celebrated the2023 recipients for four awards honoring Vermont leaders in social equity, environmental responsibility, and sustainable economic development.
Are new state child care subsidies approved earlier this year beginning to ease the pinch on parents? Vermont lawmakers invested nearly $125 million to overhaul what many describe as a child care crisis. and advocates say it’s paying off.
The Act 76 readiness payments are state funds aimed at supporting stability, expansion, and quality in early childhood education. Vermont child care programs are eager for the boost.
As we saw before the flooding arrived, the pressure on our child care programs ripples out into our communities, with families also bearing the brunt of staffing shortages, closures, and now, environmental disasters, writes program director Victoria Ward. To move forward, we must build a resilient child care system, she writes.
On July 9, Governor Phil Scott declared a State of Emergency across Vermont due to heavy flooding. Statewide, storefronts, homes, and even cars sopped up water from the record rainfall and rising rivers. And now, while Vermonters band together for cleanup, the Child Care Campaign’s focus is to ensure Vermonters have access to quality, affordable child care and that we’re building a resilient child care system for the future.
The Vermont Legislature made history by overriding the Governor's veto of a bill that shores up the state's child care infrastructure with a $125 million investment.
A child care system that advocates say is on the brink of financial insolvency will get a $120 million boost next year after Democrats in the House and Senate overrode Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of their child care bill.
Vermont Democratic leaders shared in a victory lap after overriding the governor’s veto of the $125 million child care package, one of their key priorities for the session.
In a show of unity this week, lawmakers passed Vermont’s most comprehensive child care bill into law. The landmark legislation, referred to by elected officials and advocates as the 2023 Child Care Bill, will make Vermont’s child care system one of the most expansive in the nation.
Lawmakers easily overrode Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of H.217, a bill set to invest well over $120 million annually into Vermont’s ailing child care sector, enacting the measure into law.
The Vermont legislature has passed the historic 2023 Child Care Bill, but what does it mean for the state’s early childhood educators? Vermont’s Child Care Campaign delves into what’s in the bill, how it pertains to early childhood educators, and what changes ECEs can look forward to in the coming months.
Action in Congress to support child care has been stalled for years. But in Vermont, lawmakers have just approved an ambitious plan that would pour tens of millions of new dollars into the state’s starved child care system.
This month, the Vermont Legislature made history by passing the 2023 Child Care Bill with overwhelming supermajority support from across the political spectrum! But, you must be wondering what’s exactly in the bill and what happens next?
The following is a statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids on the Legislature’s passage of the 2023 child care bill.
The Vermont House and Senate have officially signed off on a child care bill that is poised to inject more than $120 million annually into the ailing sector — and delivered, preliminarily, on one of the Democrats’ banner priorities for the session.
Vermont’s child care crisis has never been more dire, and it continues to greatly impact our youngest kids, their families and every one of our communities. Vermonters need long-term public investment in child care. Here’s five reasons why we need action on child care this year.
Nearly 40 child care program owners and directors: The child care crisis in Vermont has never been more dire, and things will only worsen without significant state investment.
A snapshot of the 2023 Courage to Care Rally
Vermont's child care crisis impacts families and businesses all over the state. Here are the real Vermonters representing that struggle in our recent ad.
Over 700 children, parents, grandparents, early childhood educators, employers, and community leaders packed the Vermont State House steps and lawn to rally with over 100 lawmakers from every corner of Vermont and of every political affiliation, uniting together to show support for solving Vermont’s child care crisis.
The following is a statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids on the Senate’s passage of S.56, the 2023 child care bill, by overwhelming supermajority support.
Follow these three simple steps to let your senators know that you want them to vote "yes" on S.56 -- the child care bill.
The Courage to Care Rally is next month! While we gear up to support lawmakers in passing the child care solution, we want to hear from you: why do you have the #couragetocare about solving the child care crisis?
Welcoming the Grassroots Leadership Circle; a special campaign gift from Vermont Women’s Fund; First Children’s Finance’s Vermont Office of Child Care Business and Technical Assistance hired a Business Development Manager; and next steps for the child care bill.
This Black History Month, we're highlighting the continued fight of Black leaders before us to actualize a more equitable child care system for BIPOC families and to ensure a better future for all Vermonters.
Last week Vermonters helped shape our future child care system by sharing their challenges and hopes for the immediate future in testimony with the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare.
The Vermont Senate has introduced a historic child care bill, but what does it mean for the state’s early childhood educators? Vermont’s Child Care Campaign delves into what’s in the bill, how it pertains to early childhood educators, and what you can do as ECEs to help pass a solution that fully addresses the child care crisis in 2023.
The Vermont Senate introduced S.56, an act relating to child care and early childhood education this past Wednesday. We break it down in a recorded webinar. Plus: more February updates on the child care the campaign.
The following is a statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids on the child care bill introduced in the Vermont Senate today.
Senator Patrick Leahy directs $10 million to Vermont for community-based projects that will increase child care capacity.
Vermont Edition call-in discussion: The demand for child care in Vermont far exceeds the number of available workers.
This week's blog includes details for a child care bill Q&A, the child care rally, and next steps for Leahy's investment in child care infrastructure.
Welcome to the third edition of the child care campaign’s weekly blog post!
The following is a statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids, in response to Governor Scott’s Budget Address.
The following is a statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids in response to the Child Care and Early Education Financing Study released today.
Welcome to the second edition of the child care campaign’s weekly blog post!
Make a difference in your community by joining the Child Care Campaign's Grassroots Leadership Circle. As a member, you’ll be a leader and spokesperson in Vermont's child care movement..
Welcome to the first edition of the child care campaign’s weekly blog post, intended to provide the latest and greatest updates from the campaign as we move through legislative session.
The following is a statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids, in response to Governor Scott’s Inaugural Address.
The following is a statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids on the start of the 2023 Legislative Session and the work ahead to end Vermont’s Child Care Crisis.
With the 2023 Legislative Session around the corner, we invited Vermont’s newly-elected lawmakers to attend these regional Action Team meetings so they could meet YOU – the child care voters – directly!
Let’s Grow Kids congratulates wave of candidates committed to child care systems-change this coming legislative session
This commentary is by three Chittenden County business leaders: Carina Hamel, co-founder of Bivo; Aba Grace, chief operating officer at Hula; and Tim Wall, general partner for The Fund at Hula.
This is an op-ed from Sam Hooper, president of Vermont Glove in Randolph about how VT small businesses need public investment in child care.
As part of the Vermont Child Care Campaign’s October Month of Action, child care programs across the state this past week hosted tours for Vermont’s House and Senate candidates!
Child Care opinion piece from Roland and Lisa Groeneveld who are the co-founders of OnLogic in South Burlington, and Eli and Nina Lesser-Goldsmith who are the co-owners of Health Living which has locations in South Burlington and Williston.
Elections are your chance to make your voice heard! We wanted to take a moment to talk to you about why this election is so critical for Vermont’s future.
This is an op-ed from Aly Richards, CEO of LGK and Dmitri Garder, CEO of Global Z International in Bennington in response to the state's system's-analysis reporter that came out July.
Op-ed from Michael Monte who is the Chief Executive Officer of Champlain Housing Trust in Burlington, Stephanie Lane who is the Executive Director of Shires Housing in Bennington, and Andrew Winter who is the Executive Director of Twin Pines Housing Trust in White River Junction.
Below is an official statement from Let’s Grow Kids CEO Aly Richards, in response to the recently released report Vermont Child Care and Early Childhood Education Systems Analysis: “This early childhood education systems analysis details what we’ve known for years. Our child care system isn't working…
Rebecca Gale National News Story
This five-part series is designed to share our findings about innovations that could work in improving child care access, quality and affordability to create an equitable system that works for us all.
On May 12, 2022, the Vermont Legislature concluded its 2021-2022 legislative biennium. The 2021-2022 biennium saw major momentum on child care, charting a course for lasting child care transformation and making strategic investments to sustain Vermont’s child care system through the pandemic.
The Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) stated their support for public investment in a childcare system that meets the needs of all Vermont children, families, and employers.
The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (RDCs of VT) announced their collective support for prioritizing investment in an early childhood care and education system that meets the needs of all Vermonters.
CEO Aly Richard's joined Vermont Edition's April 28th show to discuss the impact of the ongoing child care crisis on Vermont's economy, as well as shared newly released economic impact data.
Dr. Alan Guttmacher Statewide LGK Updates
Dr. Alan Guttmacher shares three major takeaways from a recent convening of national advocates, investors, and local leaders focused on solving our child care crisis.
New Data Shows Vermont Would See $755 Million Annual Economic Boost from Publicly Funded Child Care
Today, Main Street Alliance (MSA) and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) announced their endorsement of Vermont’s Child Care Campaign, affirming their support for public investment in a child care system that meets the needs of all Vermont children, families and businesses.
We have officially passed the halfway point in the legislative session. Here’s the official mid-session Child Care Campaign Update.
A Bennington health care group plans to build a child care center at the former Southern Vermont College campus with the help of $827,000 in congressional funding.
Emily Wagner Windham
I came of age at a time when No Child Left Behind was being implemented and arts programs were being slashed left and right in favor of what was being referred to as “rigorous academics.” Because I experienced some really fabulous arts programs as a kid and teenager, I became an arts advocate as a young…
We just released the latest version of our Stalled at the Start (SATS) report which analyzes supply of and demand for regulated child care for children birth to five in Vermont every two years. The report is 66 pages long, but if you don’t have that kind of time, here are the main things you need to know.
Throughout our country's history, Black people have made countless contributions to our society through music, inventions, sports, and early childhood education.
Here's a recap of what was said about child care. Throughout the hearing, we heard from community and business leaders, parents, and early childhood educators.
If you missed out, here is a recap of what went down during our 2022 Policy Briefings which took place on Thursday, Jan. 27.
Statement in response to Governor Scott’s budget proposal from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids: “Let’s Grow Kids is aligned with Governor Scott on the importance of prioritizing the recovery and growth of Vermont’s workforce and the essential role of a stable child care system to support our economy.…
Statement in response to Governor Scott’s State of the State Address today from Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids: “We have never been closer to achieving an equitable, accessible, affordable, and high-quality early childhood education system in Vermont, but at the same time, things have never been…
Last week was a big one! We launched the 2022 Child Care Transformation Plan, our legislative agenda for the coming year. Our priorities include funding to support: Emergency compensation and recruitment tools for early childhood educators, Funding the Child Care Financing Study to move forward…
Wendy Robeson National News Story
Build Back Better is the lifeline we need right now for working families
Nora Doyle-Burr Windsor News Story
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — After 30 years of providing care for children in the heart of the Upper Valley, the Green Mountain Children’s Center in White River Junction will close next month because of a staffing shortage, the nonprofit child care’s board told families this week. The closing on Nov. 24 for…
Lola Duffort Statewide News Story
Jonny Flood quit working at a child care center in Montpelier last fall to take a job as a literacy program manager at a local nonprofit. It wasn’t an easy decision. Flood has taught for over a decade, and he loved it. But he was worried about exposing his older parents and his sister’s new baby to Covid-19,…
Cat Viglienzoni Statewide News Video
MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont child care providers say the state is facing a crisis when it comes to staffing. They say the system, which was already strained before the pandemic, is now at a breaking point. There were fewer youngsters than usual at Turtle Island Children’s Center in Montpelier Friday.…
The Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) is happy to announce that Callie Weller of Calais is the winner of the the seventh annual Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award. The prestigious annual award recognizes exceptional early childhood educators and emphasizes the importance…
Mikaela Lefrak Statewide News Story
  Live call-in discussion: As Congress considers overhauling America’s child care system, Vermont families are trying to manage the current crisis. Child care is unaffordable to many families and open spots in child care centers are hard to come by. The pandemic’s made it all worse, especially on women.…
Lola Duffort Statewide News Story
The state is preparing to push $29 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds out to the child care sector. For providers facing widespread staffing shortages and teetering on the brink, the help can’t come soon enough. “Child care providers have played a vital role in the state’s efforts to recover…
Note: Let's Grow Kids CEO Aly Richards is proud to serve on the Future of Vermont Action Team alongside 24 leaders from across Vermont.  The non-partisan Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) released the newly revised Vermont Proposition today while announcing the Future of Vermont Action Team…
Survey Findings Highlight Challenges and the Supports Vermonters Say They Need Most Pandemic-related disruptions in school and child care; inequitable divisions of household labor; increases in depression, anxiety, and substance use; and economic concerns greatly impacted Vermonters in the last year,…
Vermont Business Magazine Statewide News Story
At a time when Vermonters are surveying the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis, UVM’s Office of Engagement and Center for Rural Studies have released the Vermont Economic Development Roundtables Report Amplifying Vermont’s Economic Resilience. The report identifies current and future challenges…
Brown, Smith, Richards, et al Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Cary Brown, executive director of the Vermont Commission on Women; Meg Smith, director of the Vermont Women’s Fund; Rhoni Basden, executive director of Vermont Works for Women; Jessica Nordhaus, director of Change The Story VT; and Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids. Marikje…
Dana Casullo Statewide News Video
Vermont Works for Women and six community partners used the Labor Day holiday to launch a campaign to support women in the workforce. The campaign is called #MakeWorkWorkForUs. “We are really hoping this campaign brings together policy makers, employers, community members, to recognize what is facing…
Lt. Gov. Molly Gray Statewide Opinion Piece
Molly Gray is the 82nd lieutenant governor of Vermont. Her Recover Stronger Tour continues this month with stops in Orleans, Orange, Washington, Chittenden, Bennington and Windham counties. A year and a half after the onset of the pandemic, Vermont remains in the midst of ongoing recovery efforts. While…
Rebecca Gale National News Story
In a nation where patchwork child care infrastructure has been wrecked by 18 months of pandemic, the state of Vermont is on the verge of making universal child care a reality. In May 2021, after years of coalition-building, Vermont passed H.171, legislation to lay the blueprint for universal child care.…
Jim Sabataso Rutland News Story
Early childhood educators are in short supply, and it’s not just the pandemic that’s to blame. In recent months, child care centers and preschools across the state have been struggling to hire teachers. Last week, mychamplainvalley.com reported that six Heartworks Preschool classrooms in Chittenden…
Chloe Learey Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Chloe Learey, executive director of Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro and a member of the Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council. In 2012, the Local Child Care Planning Council of Humboldt County in California uploaded its video “A Day…
Lexi Krupp Statewide News Story
At a fairground in North Haverhill, N.H., past the rides and an obstacle course set up for goats, Amy Brooks was recruiting. She stood at a booth not far from a gun raffle and a fudge stand, hawking an industry she says is a little different than retail. “Small humans are amazing, and it’s not a desk…
Let's Grow Kids Bennington Press Release
Let’s Grow Kids (LGK) CEO Aly Richards joined U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) at Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) today to celebrate the senator’s support of the hospital’s proposed expansion of Learning Tree Child Care Center at SVHC. Senator Leahy has requested $750,000 to support child care…
Robert Haynes Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Robert Haynes, who was executive director of Green Mountain Economic Development Corp. from 2015 until 2021 and now leads the corporation’s development efforts for a large regional child care center at Exit 4 in Randolph, with the Orange County Parent Child Center as the operator. Virtually…
Tim Camerato Windsor News Story
NORWICH — Three-quarters of Norwich parents who responded to a recent survey said they reduced work hours or left their jobs altogether to care for their children because of difficulty finding affordable child care. Meanwhile, more than a third of families reported cutting back on spending for food,…
Fred Thys Statewide News Story
Michele Asch is not shy about recruiting. When she learned that Koffee Kup had shut its doors in April, she went to the baker’s Burlington plant and posted a sign saying Twincraft Skincare was hiring. “I just wrote a handwritten note and threw some duct tape in the car, and I stopped and put it up…
Shaun Robinson Grand Isle News Story
Five years ago, a group of Alburgh residents sat down to decide how to spend a federal grant for kindergarten readiness. They soon realized, though, that it was going to take a lot more work for the town’s early childhood education system to meet local needs. That’s when the group came up with “this…
Nora Doyle-Burr Orange News Story
ENFIELD — Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarah Bolander said she and her husband, Richard, had a “perfectly orchestrated system” in place to ensure their children had the care they needed so the parents could work. But then in the spring of 2020, Kidsview Academy Preschool & Daycare in Enfield closed…
Christine Mitchell Adams, Community + Creative Consultant, Shelburne
John Flowers Addison News Story
MIDDLEBURY — The Otter Creek Child Center (OCCC) is seeking support for a new, 15,000-square-foot facility on its 150 Weybridge St. property that would allow the nonprofit to more than double the combined 61 children currently served at the OCCC and the nearby College Street Children’s Center. The project,…
Shaun Robinson Grand Isle News Story
"It makes me very sad,” Elaine Chasse says, sitting at a picnic table outside Learning Adventure, the early childhood education center she opened on this quiet, tree-lined lot in Grand Isle more than two decades ago. Inside, the schoolhouse is busy — but it’s boxes, not backpacks, that are being carried…
Gordon Dritschilo Rutland News Story
Staff at the Rutland County Parent-Child Center are having trouble finding child care. “Our staff members are struggling to find placements for their kids, their elementary-age kids, in Rutland,” Executive Director Mary Felton said Wednesday. “We have openings in Brandon, which is a 25-minute drive.” Members…
National Life Group Foundation Statewide Press Release
The National Life Group Foundation announced a $500,000 grant, the largest single award in its history, to Let’s Grow Kids to advance the campaign for high-quality, affordable child care for all Vermont families who need it by 2025. The grant is intended both to boost Vermont families’ ability to find…
Chloe Learey Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Chloe Learey, executive director of Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro and a member of the Building Bright Futures state advisory council. As we emerge from the pandemic, an important wakeup call is being sounded: There is a massive child care…
Chris Mays Windham News Story
WILMINGTON — Gearing up for a fall opening, a new child care and pre-k program received startup funds from the town. “This is a huge driver for our workforce, for our economy, for bringing people here,” said Gretchen Havreluk, economic development consultant for the town. “I strongly think that this…
Greg Sukiennik Statewide News Story
MONTPELIER — While Gov. Phil Scott signed eight bills into law late Tuesday, including a landmark child care initiative and drug possession legislation addiction treatment advocates say will save lives, it was the two bills he vetoed that had everyone’s attention at the State House on Wednesday morning. The…
Krystin Rae Statewide News Video
BURLINGTON, Vt. — As the state starts to reopen and more parents get back to working in-person, can they find accessible childcare? After much research, Let’s Grow Kids Vermont is saying they can’t. "You lose your job, you leave your job, you make compromises, you never see your spouse again. It’s stress,…
Let's Grow Kids Statewide Press Release
Last night, Governor Phil Scott signed landmark child care legislation (H.171) into law. Let’s Grow Kids applauds the governor’s and the Legislature's leadership on this issue and looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Legislature to achieve our shared goal of ensuring all Vermont…
Keith Whitcomb Statewide News Story
BURLINGTON — After talking with the Vermont National Guard and other places where workers take odd hours, a grant program aimed at expanding young child care options is opening itself up a bit more. Since 2018, Let’s Grow Kids has awarded funds through its Expanding Infant and Toddler Child Care Capacity…
Lauren Granada Statewide News Video
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Thousands of Vermonters and state leaders are meeting virtually for day two of the Summit on the Future of Vermont. The discussion continues today with a focus on solidifying proposals to a set of propositions outlined by about 3,000 Vermonters. The summit on the future of Vermont…
Let's Grow Kids Statewide Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2021 Media Contact: Nicole Haley, 802-391-0545, nicole@letsgrowkids.org  Burlington, VT – Funding is available to help child care providers start or grow the number of slots available for infants and toddlers. As part of its mission to ensure affordable access to child…
Peter Hirschfeld Statewide News Story
Vermont lawmakers closed out what Senate President Becca Balint called “a session for the history books” Friday evening after passing a $7 billion state budget that includes moonshot investments in broadband, affordable housing, climate initiatives and other longstanding policy priorities. One year…
Matthew LeFluer, Let's Grow Kids volunteer and 2017 Early Childhood Superhero
Emerson Lynn Franklin Opinion Piece
Legislation to ensure that Vermont families pay no more than 10 percent of their income on child care has passed both the House and Senate. Together, there was but a single negative vote. Typically a vote of this strength implies the benign nature of the bill. Like opposing motherhood and apple pie.…
Greg Sukiennik Statewide News Video
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Legislature’s efforts to make high quality child care more accessible and affordable cleared its last significant hurdle Friday, as the Senate voted unanimously to approve a bill expanding eligibility and financial assistance for families. The bill, H. 171, funds the third year…
Lola Duffort Statewide News Story
A bill that creates a path for Vermont families to pay no more than 10% of their income on child care has cleared the Senate unanimously. H.171 must still technically go back to the House, which passed the measure 146-to-1 in late March. But there are few differences to reconcile. Senate and House leaders…
Let's Grow Kids Statewide Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2021     Media Contact: Nicole Haley, 802-391-0545, nicole@letsgrowkids.org Today the Vermont Senate and House called child care a unifying issue during a joint press conference following the Senate’s unanimous 30-0 passage of H.171, the child care bill.  H.171 includes…
Lindsay DesLauriers Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Lindsay DesLauriers, a co-owner and president of Bolton Valley Resort. She lobbied for the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance 2012-18 and for Voices for Vermont’s Children 2012-14. This is part of a 10-part series responding to the pressing topics identified in a draft “Proposition…
Chris Mays Statewide News Story
BRATTLEBORO — As more federal coronavirus relief funds funnel through Vermont, child care providers are happy for their field to be getting some attention and they want to continue shining a light on issues magnified in the pandemic. “Let’s keep talking about it,” Chloe Learey, executive director of…
Courtney Kramer Statewide News Video
U.S. Rep Peter Welch says the only path forward for Vermonters is one that has universal, accessible, and affordable childcare. “If there’s a silver lining to what our state and what our country have been through,” Welch said, “it’s that in these extraordinarily ambitious programs passed by Congress,…
Let's Grow Kids Field Manager Rex Butt and volunteer Naomi Alfini, a former preschool teacher and parent of a young child, had a compelling conversation with JD Green on his Aired Out podcast about Vermont's campaign for high-quality, affordable child care. Click here to watch the podcast recording. 
Robert Haynes Jr, Executive Director, Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation
Imagine the joyful sound of children’s laughter, colorful artwork gracing walls, coat hooks and cubbies at adult-thigh level and young voices singing -- these are some of the characteristics of an engaging child care environment. As a young mother 30 years ago, I was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom.…
Cailin Gramling and Madison Froelich Franklin News Story
ST. ALBANS CITY — The closure of St. Albans’ YMCA childcare facility has brought the importance of accessible childcare to the forefront of local discussion. The facility closed its doors Wednesday, leaving many questioning what other resources there are in the area. “The community is working really…
Let's Grow Kids Statewide Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2021 Media Contact: Nicole Haley, 802-391-0545, nicole@letsgrowkids.org Today the Vermont House passed landmark child care legislation that includes immediate investments to support Vermont’s economy and our children, helps families return to work, and lays a foundation…
Dr. Joseph Hagan Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Dr. Joseph F. Hagan Jr., clinical professor in pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM. He co-authored “The Bright Futures Guidelines,” third and fourth editions, the standard for health promotion of well child care in the U.S. He practices primary care at Lakeside Pediatrics…
Shira Sternberg Bennington Opinion Piece
To the Editor: I am a parent of a 2½-year-old at the Bennington Early Childhood Center writing to raise awareness of an important bill currently being voted on in Vermont, H 171. The bill addresses a systemic early childhood education problem we have in Vermont. My daughter’s school, BECC, was closed…
Jane Lindholm Statewide News Story
At the end of this month, the Greater Burlington YMCA will be closing its child care facility in St. Albans. The child care program had been operating out of a temporary location since its regular location was damaged by a burst pipe. But that regular location was in the building leased by the federal…
Catherine Hamilton, Vice President of Consumer Services & Planning, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
Christina Guessferd Statewide News Video
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont families with young children could get some support from the state under a bill moving through the Legislature. A key provision in the $13 million measure says families should spend no more than 10% percent of their income on child care. “I think a lot of times families…
Nora Doyle-Burr Orange News Story
RANDOLPH — A few years back when the town of Randolph surveyed area employers and workers about what they thought the community needed to advance the town’s goals for economic development, both groups said more child care was a top priority. It was “amazing how there was common ground,” Adolfo Bailon,…
Lola Duffort Statewide News Story
A bill that sets an ambitious goal — that no Vermont family will pay more than 10% of its household income on child care by 2025 — unanimously cleared the House Human Services committee Tuesday. But while H.171 sets an aggressive policy goal, it does not say how Vermont should meet it. Instead, the…
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Statewide Opinion Piece
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) today announced their support of Let's Grow Kids’ (LGK) three-year childcare campaign. The campaign has been launched in an effort to ensure that all Vermont children have access to high-quality early education that meets the needs of these children…
Emerson Lynn Franklin Opinion Piece
Vermont may be at the cusp of unlocking its economic and social potential in a way that’s inviting to both Republicans and Democrats. It’s figuring out how to devise, and pay for, a high-quality, affordable child care system. The framework has been roughed out in H.171, a bill that received its first…
Lola Duffort Statewide News Story
Capitalizing on the spotlight the pandemic has put on the role child care plays in the economy, advocates this legislative session have set their most ambitious target yet — and nearly 100 lawmakers are on board. But can they pull it off? “It’s no longer ‘if.’ It’s when and how,” Aly Richards, CEO…
Greg Sukiennik Statewide News Story
MONTPELIER — The first day of testimony on a bill reimagining early child care in Vermont as a publicly subsidized system lowering family costs to no more than 10 percent of gross household income, and raising salaries for early childhood educators, showed there’s support for the concept. But the hearing…
Greg Sukiennik Statewide News Story
 A coalition of business leaders, child care advocates and legislative leaders are calling for action to make quality child care accessible, affordable and sustainable in three years, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that quality affordable child care is an economic necessity as well as a public…
Cat Viglienzoni Statewide News Video
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - We’ve heard many Vermont parents complain about the cost of child care and the difficulty of finding providers. At the same time, many child care businesses are also often having trouble making ends meet. Now, there’s a push this legislative session to change that. Click here…
Ellie French Statewide News Story
Despite massive shakeups in child care in the last year because of the pandemic, Vermont has lost few child care providers overall. Child care slots statewide dropped only about 1% last year, Sean Brown, commissioner of the Department for Children and Families, told the House Human Services Committee…
Let's Grow Kids Statewide Press Release
Last night something really important happened. Governor Phil Scott named child care a top priority in his inaugural address and Speaker Jill Krowinski and Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint echoed a commitment in their remarks following his speech. In contrast to the division gripping our country,…
Cat Viglienzoni Statewide News Video
WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont officials say the pandemic and low enrollment has forced a number of child care businesses to close over the past year. In part two of her report, Cat Viglienzoni looked into what strategies can help make a child care business work even outside the pandemic stresses? Click…
Cat Viglienzoni Statewide News Video
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont officials say the pandemic has had a major impact on the number of child care providers. Cat Viglienzoni reports that the reduced demand for child care is putting pressure on providers’ bottom lines and forcing many to close. The Department for Children and Families…
Emerson Lynn Franklin Opinion Piece
A compelling case for why the workplace should never be the same in a post-pandemic world was made in Friday’s Messenger by Rick Valenta, of St. Albans, who argued that he, and those of his [younger] generation, would prefer to work remotely. They love their jobs. But the benefits of working from home…
Alison Lamagna Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Alison Lamagna, who is director of Programs & Gender Equity at Vermont Works for Women, with support from Cary Brown, executive director of the Vermont Commission on Women; Jessica Nordhaus, director of Change the Story VT; and Meg Smith, director of the Vermont Women’s Fund. No,…
Peter Hirschfeld Statewide News Story
A new poll commissioned by one of the state’s leading child care advocacy organizations shows broad public support for increased state funding for Vermont’s child care system. Let’s Grow Kids has spent the last five years urging elected officials to improve access to child care by increasing wages for…
Chloe Learey Windham Opinion Piece
December is a busy month for constituents to catch up with our legislators before they are consumed by the beginning of the session next month. Our Windham County delegation had the inspired idea of holding virtual office hours for groups to sign up and share what is on happening in the region and what…
Meg McIntyre Statewide News Story
Roberta Royce has always thought of the child-care industry as resilient. When the novel coronavirus upended businesses, schools and social systems this year, she was hopeful The Winchester Learning Center, where she serves as executive director, would find a way to keep providing care throughout the…
April Barton Chittenden News Story
In 2020 Vermont childcare centers received the resources to establish more than 1,000 new spots for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Let's Grow Kids, a nonprofit supporting high-quality, affordable Vermont child care, and the Vermont Department for Children and Families Child Development Division…
Let's Grow Kids Statewide Press Release
$2.3M in grants have been awarded throughout 2020 to help create 1,155 new child care spaces Newport parents who couldn’t find child care had been begging Sonia Koehler to reopen her family child care program for three years. By the end of the year, those parents will find some relief when Sonia opens…
Emerson Lynn Franklin Opinion Piece
 When we talk about a return to normal, it’s more than not having to wear masks, and washing our hands, it’s a general reference to the economy and how each of us can return to our old jobs, how we put back into place all the pieces of our lives the pandemic disrupted. That move to normalcy makes a lot…
Lola Duffort Statewide News Story
Topline numbers suggest Vermont’s child care sector has emerged largely intact from the height of the coronavirus crisis. But providers and advocates warn the industry remains on rocky footing as families hesitate to return and staffing shortages remain endemic. “We've made this incredible investment…
While so many states have stayed silent on child care during the pandemic, Vermont recognized early on that there can be no recovery without child care. Let’s Grow Kids is grateful for the vision and leadership of our state officials from Governor Scott to our legislative champions who heeded the call…
Keith Whitcomb Rutland News Story
Two new early childcare facilities are opening this month after being delayed by the pandemic. The first to open will be Sycamore Tree Child Care Center, part of Mission City Church, located at 3092 Cold River Road in Rutland Town, on Monday. The second is Rekaroo’s Minis, opening Oct. 26 in the Howe…
Anna North National News Story
It was a Tuesday in March when Ellen Drolette heard that schools were closing. Later that day, she learned the Burlington, Vermont, child care home where she looked after six kids would also have to shut down due to the spread of Covid-19 across the country. “I thought this was going to be maybe two…
Emma Cotton Statewide News Story
On Sept. 8, schools will open, some for fully or partially-remote instruction, prompting a rush to set up thousands of child care slots in “hubs” across the state for parents who can’t stay home. As of Friday, state officials have identified eight potential hub spots, which could accommodate 1,800 children,…
Kellie Campbell and Hannah Lane Statewide Opinion Piece
by Kellie Campbell, Chair of the Vermont Commission on Women’s Education & Human Development Committee and Hannah Lane, Policy Analyst and Business Manager for the Vermont Commission on Women Policy decisions regarding education and child care are gendered. That is a fact that must not be ignored. As…
Jasper Goodman Statewide News Story
Despite relief grants rolled out by the state, Vermont child care providers say they are struggling to find enough qualified early educators. Child care centers, which have long struggled to fill jobs, say the system has been further strained by the coronavirus, and they fear a state program announced…
Lynette Fraga and Jackie Bezos National Opinion Piece
Note: Let's Grow Kids' board member Lynette Fraga co-authored this Op-Ed with Jackie Bezos.  Janine, a medical assistant at an urgent-care facility, contracted COVID-19 in March along with her husband, 20-month-old daughter, mother, father and brother, who shared an apartment near her daughter’s child-care…
Emerson Lynn Franklin Opinion Piece
As Vermont’s students prepare to go back to school a limited number of days each week, the question looms; how do parents balance the need to return to work with the need to keep track of their children and their school work? How do parents make it work when child care options don’t exist, or are prohibitively…
Margaret Grayson Statewide News Story
For many parents, facing down the rapidly approaching school year has forced them to confront a reality with few good options. The thought of sending kids back to school, where they will potentially be exposed to hundreds of other children in an era when physical distancing is advisable, has prompted…
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Chloe Learey, who is the executive director of Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro and who serves on the Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council. The end of July marked two months that our Early Learning Center at Winston…
Jasper Goodman Statewide News Story
The state launched a new child care relief program on Friday that will provide $12 million in grants to help providers with coronavirus expenses and deficits. The Operational Relief Grant program, which is funded by federal relief dollars, is open for applications through Aug. 26. “Like schools, child…
Aly Richards and Betsy Bishop Statewide Opinion Piece
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Betsy Bishop, of East Montpelier, who is the president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and Aly Richards, of Montpelier, the CEO of Let’s Grow Kids. When we look years ahead, how do we picture Vermont? Where are our workplaces centered, where are our homes in…
Greg Sukiennik Bennington News Story
BENNINGTON — U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, appearing at a Bennington child care center the day after a pair of relief bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives, said the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that affordable, accessible child care is an economic and social necessity. Welch, D-Vt., appearing…
Let's Grow Kids Statewide Press Release
Let’s Grow Kids is pleased to announce the recipients of our first annual Scholarship for Aspiring Early Educators. The scholarship program was created to increase access to education and training for those looking to begin or advance careers in the field of early childhood education. “Having a well-trained…
Smith, Brown et al. Statewide Opinion Piece
This commentary is by Meg Smith, director, Vermont Women’s Fund; Cary Brown, executive director, Vermont Commission on Women; Rhoni Basden, executive director, Vermont Works for Women; Jessica Nordhaus, director, Change The Story VT; Aly Richards, chief executive officer, Let’s Grow Kids; Katie Wells,…
Bob Kinzel, Matthew Smith & Abagael Giles Statewide News Story
A new state report finds women in Vermont have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. The COVID-19 disease itself has affected their personal health, but the economic downturn associated with the pandemic has also seen a uniquely large impact on women's financial stability and economic…
Adeline Druart Statewide Opinion Piece
When I look around the table of Vermont Creamery’s senior leadership, three of the seven team members are women with children age 5 or under, and two are men with babies less than a year old. This isn’t an accident or happenstance; we have worked incredibly hard to create a workplace that is accessible…
Dimitri Garder Statewide Opinion Piece
Growing up in Queens, our family escaped to Vermont each summer. In the mid-1980s, we returned for good, making a home in southern Vermont. I went to college at UVM, but made my way back to Bennington, joining my parents to start our company, Global-Z. As my business and my own family grew, I became…
Aly Richards Statewide Opinion Piece
I've always loved Vermont's state motto: Freedom and Unity. We Vermonters take our freedom and independence seriously. It gives us the kind of true grit required to withstand snowstorms in October and May. But our independence has never been challenged like it is being challenged now. In the face of…
Alison Novak Statewide News Story
When Gov. Phil Scott closed schools and childcare centers in March, families were abruptly faced with a new reality. For parents who are able to do their jobs remotely, that has meant trying to figure out how to actually get work done while simultaneously caring for their kids and helping them access…
Jane Lindholm and Emily Aiken Statewide News Story
Click here to listen to the recording of this episode on Vermont Edition. On March 27, Gov. Scott issued an executive order extending the closure of child care programs for non-essential workers until further notice. This hour, we talk to child care directors whose programs are open amidst COVID-19,…
April Barton Statewide News Story
Six weeks have passed since childcare centers in Vermont were ordered to close. Gov. Phil Scott's March 18 order provided an exception for those centers providing care for the children of essential workers. However, childcare has continued as other facilities have maintained operations, even while doors…
Sophie Quinton National News Story
Emilu Alvarez closed her private Miami preschool and kindergarten in late March as the new coronavirus began to spread and worried parents began to keep their kids at home. She kept paying her staff as she applied for federal small business loans and local foundation grants. But the financial help never…
Robert Haynes and Damian DiNicola Statewide Opinion Piece
Located in the heart of Vermont, along Interstate 89 and just south of Montpelier, the Randolph area faces the typical challenges in our state. Our area residents are working to grow our businesses and schools, ensure economic stability, and make Randolph a place young families seek for good reasons.…
Cat Viglienzoni Statewide News Video
MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) New numbers show Vermont doesn't have enough early education workers to meet the demand for child care. A study out Thursday from child care advocacy group "Let's Grow Kids" says right now, we have about 2,700 child care workers. They estimate that to meet the demand for regulated…

Stay Engaged — Follow The Campaign On Instagram

Back To Top

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest news and updates on Vermont’s Child Care Campaign from the Let’s Grow Kids team, directly to your inbox: