Feb 1, 2023

Statement from Vermont’s Child Care Campaign on the Introduction of S.56 An act relating to child care and early childhood education

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:

“Today marks a historic milestone with legislation introduced to create a child care system that meets the needs of our children, families, and early childhood educators, and supports our workforce and economy. S.56 was introduced in the Vermont Senate today by Sen. Ruth Hardy and Sen. Virginia Lyons with more than half the Senate as co-sponsors, a testament to the force of the child care movement in Vermont. The introduction of this bill provides hope for Vermonters who are struggling through the child care crisis every day and represents a commitment on the part of Vermont’s general assembly to pass a child care solution this legislative session.

“S.56 will make child care more affordable and accessible but is by no means a finished product. In order to reach a full solution to the child care crisis, every child who needs it must have access to quality child care; families cannot be spending more than 10% of their income on child care; and early childhood educators must be fairly compensated. This bill makes significant progress in those key areas. As we continue to digest the proposals in this bill, child care advocates and business leaders will be laser-focused on working with our lawmakers this year with one collective goal in mind: solving the child care crisis through long-term public investment.

“A significant portion of this bill addresses an expansion to universal pre-k. It is not yet clear to us how this proposal will preserve a mixed-delivery system and maintain critical support for families. We look forward to learning more, working with lawmakers and will continue to advocate for a full solution that ensures best practices and the best interest of kids 0-5.

“On behalf of the thousands of employers, community stakeholders, children, parents, and Vermonters from every corner of the state who have banded together, we acknowledge this is an important moment and the start of robust dialogue and debate. Vermonters cannot go another year without an equitable solution to the child care crisis and they are relying on our leaders to work together to get this done.”

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