Statement from Aly Richards, CEO of Let's Grow Kids, in Response to Governor Scott’s Budget Proposal
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. Gov. Scott’s proposed investments and changes to the Child Care Financial Assistance Program, as well as his proposal for child care tax credits, are positive steps towards making child care more affordable and in supporting our early childhood educators.
“But let’s be clear, we have a lot of work left to solve the child care emergency we are facing as a state. Currently 71% of Vermont child care centers are experiencing staffing shortages, and even before the pandemic, 65% of Vermont's youngest children didn't have access to the care they needed.
“In addition to yesterday’s recommendations, we must do more to address the workforce crisis that is pushing our child care system to the edge of collapse. That will require both short-term workforce stabilization dollars to prevent sweeping program closures throughout the state, and long-term investments from a dedicated revenue source to create a child care system that works for all Vermonters.
“We appreciate the Governor’s focus on workforce and the need to reverse our demographic trend by retaining the workers we have and encouraging thousands more to come to Vermont. That vision is only possible with a stable child care workforce and a high-quality and affordable child care system.
“Let's Grow Kids and our 35,000 supporters throughout the state are ready to roll up our sleeves alongside state lawmakers and Gov. Scott’s administration to work towards a Vermont in which all children have equitable access to early childhood education, families are able to work and thrive, and early childhood educators receive wages and benefits that reflect their true value and expertise.”