Report predicts big financial return on child care expansion
A new report finds that expanding and investing in high-quality child care and early education would be an economic boon to the state.
For every dollar Vermont spends on such programs, the state could reap $3.08 back, according to a report by the Vermont Business Roundtable’s Research and Education Foundation.
The paper lays out what the researchers believe would happen if all Vermont families could access high-quality, affordable child care and early learning programs.
It is based on the recommendations of a commission the Shumlin administration convened.
The commission found that the state should inject an additional $206 million into the system. By doing so, the state could offer affordable, quality care and learning to all infants and children up to 5 years old with both parents in the workforce.
The new report looks at the economic benefits of this level of funding. It says that over the next six decades Vermont would garner $1.3 billion, after subtracting the cost of expanding programs.
Employers would see some of the short-term benefits from workforce supply and stability, and schools would see a decrease in special education costs. Over the long term, the children in the programs would have more of a chance at getting a college degree and higher-paying jobs.
Currently, all families get a voucher to pay for 10 hours of pre-kindergarten a week during the school year.
Gov. Phil Scott has said he wants to invest nearly $10 million in child care and early education in the next fiscal year to help working families and employers.
by Tiffany Danitz Pache