Let's Grow Kids has collected hundreds of stories from Vermonters about their experiences with the state's early childhood system. Here are just a few of those stories. Please support our efforts to build awareness about Vermont's child care challenges by sharing these stories with your friends, family and neighbors and be sure to share your story.
Darlene, Co-Director of a Child Care Center in Bennington, shares her views on high quality child care.
First, I looked at providers in my area. Then I looked at the Building Bright Futures website which gives a list of violations from the state. This narrowed my list for people to call. My son has special…
Trevor and Caitlin, parents from Brattleboro, talk about the high cost and importance of early childhood care.
My child's transition to kindergarten was wonderful. He is seven years old and continues to have a remarkable experience at school. I believe this was because I read and sang to him right from the start.…
Danielle, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Burlington, talks about the joys of helping a young child become more independent.
When asked if child care in Vermont is affordable, Kathleen Bookchin takes a very long pause before responding: “Affordable is such an interesting word. You have to make it affordable – you really don’t have…
Renee, a Pre-school Teacher from Arlington, talks about the large pay difference in the education field.
Rebecca, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from St. Albans, describes how child care helps children prepare for Kindergarten.
Robin, a community organizer from Brattleboro, stresses the importance of connection between provider and child.
Kathryn, a special educator from Hubbardton, talks about the importance of play and laying a foundation for higher level thinking later in life.
Sally, a grandparent from Fairlee, reflects on the new child care challenges that today's parents face.
Anne, a parent from Wolcott, discusses the joyous but difficult time when adapting to having a new member of the family.
Jennifer, former Manager at a Child Care Center from Derby, describes her ideal child care system.
Ashlie, a parent from Norwich, shares her biggest hope for her children.
Sandy, a grandparent from Lyndonville, shares her story about her grandchildren who have benefitted from high quality child care.
My son had a very exciting first day of kindergarten! He was actually ready to go the day before school started!
My goal has always been for him to enjoy everything about education and learning—from the…
Holly, a parent from Norwich, talks about putting her life back together with the help of child care.
Keisha, a parent from West Addison, talks about her daily routine of school and parenting.
Daniel, a parent from Rutland, discusses the capabilities and elasticity of a young mind.
Peter, Superintendent of the Addison Central Supervisory Union, talks about Universal Pre-K in Vermont.
Dan, Manager and Co-Owner of Dan and Whit's Country Store in Norwich, talks about his connections to education and business.
Carly, Family Support at a Family Center from Wilder, relfects on the struggles of families living poverty.
Renee, a Pre-school Teacher from Arlington, discusses the struggles of being an early childhood educator.
Jared, a parent from Shaftsbury, shares his challenges of finding affordable, quality child care in Bennington County.
Darlene, Co-Director of a Child Care Center in Bennington, discusses the important skills needed to be an early childhood educator.
Emily, a business owner and parent from Middlebury, discusses the importance of work in her life as a parent.
Kysa, a parent from Williamstown, shares her struggles and successes in navigating her day-to-day routine.
For Faye Longo, a single mom in South Royalton, affording child care has been a constant struggle. Having grown up in poverty herself, Faye notes that it’s very important to her that she lives a life and…
Emily, a business owner and parent from Middlebury, talks about balancing work and family.
Ashley, a parent from Middlebury, explains the tough child care decision her family made to balance personal and financial needs.
As a preschool teacher, child advocate and avowed feminist, Naomi Alfini of Duxbury found that navigating early childhood with her own son was more challenging than she expected. She and her husband made…
Jessica, a parent from South Burlington, shares her experiences with finding child care for her daughter.
Christina, Program Security Manager for the VT Air National Guard from Williston, discusses the requirements of being in the Guard.
Megan, a Development Assistant from Colchester, discusses the need for more funding in early childhood education.
My family has experienced wonderful care provided by Orleans Family Medical Practice in Orleans, Vermont. Not only do they greet my family by name, but they genuinely care about our well-being. During…
Jen, a Child Care Coordinator, describes specialized care for children with special needs.
Julie of Newport discusses the impact of not having high quality child care on a community.
My son attended Round Hill Kids Childcare Center in North Hyde Park, VT from the age of 10 months until he entered kindergarten in 2013. His experience there gave him a lot of the tools he needed to be…
Julie, a resident of Newport, talks about the child care climate of Orleans County.
Kylie, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Richmond, explains why she works with young children.
Shayla, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Barre, discusses the rewards and challenges of working in the child care field.
Carol, Director of a Child Care Center from Shaftsbury, describes the need for more collaboration between schools and child care programs.
Amy, a parent from Richmond, talks about the high costs of child care.
This isn't the regular story of simply not being able to afford care—this is the story of not being able to even FIND quality care to be able to afford.
My husband and I struggled with infertility, and…
Emily, a business owner and parent from Middlebury, discusses making business decisions that take families into consideration.
I chose to seek child care outside of the home, and chose an Enrichment Center. We appreciated the light enrichment and education aspects which accompanied fun and play. Contact and interaction with other…
Jodi, a Pre-school Teacher from Dorset, discusses the importance of professional development for ealy childhood educators.
Carly, Family Support at a Family Center from Wilder, shares her wishes for Vermont's children
Barbara, a State Representative from Burlington, talks about her three interconnected roles as a mother, representative, and executive director.
Jessica, a parent from South Burlington, talks about the cost of child care as a family in the National Guard.
Brooke, a parent from Danville, describes the process of finding child care for her four children.
Nathaniel, a parent from Guilford, highlights the importance of making child care financially accessible to a range of income levels.
Carol, Director of a Child Care Center from Shaftsbury, discusses the importance of qualified, professional child care providers.
Sam, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Stowe, emphasizes the need for a diverse workforce in the child care field.
Crystal, a parent from Berlin, discusses the benefits of quality care for her daughter and her struggle to find infant care.
Bryanne, a Director of a Child Care Center that is closing, discusses the close relationships providers and parents share.
Renee, a Pre-school Teacher from Arlington, discusses the hardships of finding care in a rural community.
Melanie, a Family Center Nurse from Weybridge, discusses her hopes for young children.
Heather, a Home-based Provider/Owner from Shelburne, discusses the difficult choices parents make due to the lack of affordable, quality child care.
Mary, an Early Interventionist from Marlboro, discusses the complex issues that teachers/providers face and their need for training.
Courtney Ladd absolutely loved her job working as an early childhood educator, but when she became pregnant, her family faced a heartbreaking reality: even with a substantial discount and guaranteed spot…
Angela, a Home-based Provider/Owner from Highgate, describes the tensions that parents and providers face with affording child care.
Cindy, a parent from Johnson, describes her struggle to find a job that is family friendly and flexible.
In 2016, after a full calendar year of searching for an infant spot in Burlington, I re-entered the workforce without care for my daughter. Out of desperation, I hired a full-time nanny even though I knew…
Jack, a Pediatrician from Middlebury, explains that prevention is less expensive than intervention.
Kathleen, an Early Childhood Teacher from Cornwall, discusses what it looks like when kids engage in active learning.
My boyfriend and I work hard. He is a foreman on a construction sight. I am a part time waitress, and I clean the daycare and help out with some of the errands to help pay the cost of my child care.
Judy, a Child Care Coordinator from Richmond, emphasizes that the health and well being of young children affects us all.
Kathleen, an Early Childhood Teacher from Cornwall, discusses structure in the child care setting.
Heather Martin, director of Baby Steps Child Care in Proctor, VT, discusses the impact the LGK's Make Way For Kids grant has had. Learn more about Make Way for Kids here.
For Janessa Thompson, a single mom from St. Albans, finding reliable child care for her son has been a consistent obstacle to her professional development and financial stability. She knows her son is…
Kathy, a Financial Coordinator for a Family Center, discusses the sacrifices families make in order to have quality child care.
Peter, Superintendent of the Addison Central Supervisory Union, discusses the positive direction Vermont is heading with Pre-K options for families.
Rebecca, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from St. Albans, talks about her financial challenges in paying for child care.
Kathy, a parent from Colchester, shares her hopes for her children.
Brent, Master Sergeant in the Vermont Air National Guard from Essex Junction, discusses the Home Child Care Program on Drill weekends.
William, a parent from Rutland, talks about how the inflexibility of schedule and high cost of child care have a stressful impact on families.
Deidre, an Early Childhood Services Manager from Montpelier, talks about the importance of a well trained workforce.
Anne, a Center-based Child Care Provider from Manchester, talks about what keeps her in early childhood education.
Ellen, a parent from Burlington, explains the challenge of finding child care and her relief at finding a high quality center.
My name is Abby Skidmore. I live in Bennington and I am the proud single mother of a beautiful little girl. I love being her mom! Every day is filled with learning experiences—for my daughter and for me—and…
Sandy, a grandparent from Lyndonville, details the need for early childhood education funding.
Becky, a Child Center Program Coordinator from Whiting, shares the benefits of quality child care on a child.
Dana, a parent from Middlesex, talks about her positive experiences with child care for her twins.
Christopher, a Family Educator at a Child Care Center in Norwich, talks about the benefits of parent education.
Rebecca, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from St. Albans, discusses what quality means to her in the child care setting.
Donna, a Reading Recovery Teacher from Irasburg, shares her observations of young children entering Pre-K and Kindergarten.
Lauren Shade and her husband found out they were going to have a baby on the day they moved from Pennsylvania to Underhill, VT. It was unexpected news, but they were excited about their new lives in Vermont,…
My family lives in Craftsbury where finding childcare has become a struggle for many families. Those of us in small towns have no access to large childcare centers and our registered home daycares have…
I have children four years apart: a boy and then twin girls. They were all ready for kindergarten after being in an alternative school with teacher continuity. When the girls went to full time kindergarten…
Lydia, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Shelburne, discusses the issue of high turnover in child care settings.
Deidre, a parent from Elmore, shares her experiences as a stay-at-home Mom.
Renee, a Child Care Center Director from St. Albans, discusses the impact of working in a low paying field.
Kim, a Director of Residential and Community Treatment for a Family Center, discusses the importance of child care for parents in treatment.
Amethyst, a Resource Specialist at a Children's Center from Ferrisburgh, discusses the impacts of trauma on children, families and providers.
Christina, Program Security Manager for the VT Air National Guard from Williston, talks about being away from her kids during deployment.
Bryanne, a Director of a Child Care Center that is closing, talks about the impacts of a closing Child Care Center.
This following is a letter to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care.
To the Blue Ribbon Commission:
My name is Jackie Kempton and I am the mother of two girls, living…
Shayla, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Barre, talks about her guiding principles for being an early childhood educator.
Jessi Fryman of Hyde Park is a hard-working mom to two toddlers. When she and her husband looked for child care for their children, they realized that the expense would be a substantial portion of their…
Brent, Master Sergeant in the Vermont Air National Guard from Essex Junction, talks about the importance of child care for military families and beyond.
Lydia, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Shelburne, highlights low pay and the lack of health insurance as key issues for providers.
Kelley, a Head Start Assistant Director from Clarendon, emphasizes the need for high quality child care for all of Vermont's young children.
Megan, a parent from East Thetford, describes how lucky her family is to get help paying for child care.
Emily, a business owner and parent from Middlebury, talks about the importance of dialogue around issues of child care and parenting.
Caroline, President of the National Bank of Middlebury, talks about the child care challenges of a rural state.
Brooke, a parent from Danville, describes her vision for child care for her family.
Lydia, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Shelburne, discusses the importance of young children's long lasting bonds with providers.
Kathy, a Financial Coordinator for a Family Center, discusses the financial struggles of child care providers .
Ellen, a parent from Burlington, discusses how expensive, necessary and important high quality child care is.
Mieko Ozeki of Burlington feels very fortunate to have found a spot for her daughter, Naomi, in a high-quality child care center. Throughout her entire pregnancy, she and her husband searched for a child…
Pamela, a parent from Wallingford, discusses the difficulting of coordinating services for her foster children.
I’ve always been a planner, so when my husband and I decided to start our family, we immediately began searching for child care. We were prepared for the financial hit that child care would pose. It was…
Donna, the Director of a Parent Child Center in Middlebury, discusses the financial challenges that families face, specifically with child care.
We live in Bridport, Vermont and the school has no after school child care. Because of this, we have had to put our child in private school, paying a tuition we really cannot afford. We have no other option.…
Christina, a parent from Hartford, shares her thoughts about the importance of child care for her daughter.
Anne, a parent from Wolcott, talks about the difficult financial issues faced by families and child care providers.
Gabriel started kindergarten at Newport City Elementary yesterday, and this is what he said, "Mommy do you have to come with me? Can you just drop me off? It's ok....really, I've got this." He actually…
Ashlie, a parent from Norwich, shares her story about getting her GED with the help of child care.
Kim, a Director of Residential and Community Treatment for a Family Center, discusses the need for a holistic approach to caring for children and families.
Larissa, a parent from Fairfax, describes the important social network for children in child care.
Judy, a Child Care Coordinator from Richmond, stresses the importance of community and supports for families.
Janel, a parent from Johnson, talks about the challenges she faces with making it all work.
Katie, a parent from Orleans, talks about struggles of balancing child care with other bills.
Carol, Director of a Child Care Center from Shaftsbury, talks about the diverse ways of funding a child care program.
Sarah, a State Representative from Tunbridge, discusses two crucial needs for Vermont families.
Shayla, a parent from Barre, shares her experience with finding a child care provider that felt right for her and her child.
Shevie, a parent from White River Junction, talks about her experiences navigating the child care system.
Dan, Manager and Co-Owner of Dan and Whit's Country Store in Norwich, talks about the benefits of being a family friendly business.
Sarah, a parent from Brattleboro, shares her experiences paying for child care and the need for providers to make a livable wage.
Robert Putnam, a Harvard social scientist and author, discusses the need to invest in high quality early childhood education.
Caroline, President of the National Bank of Middlebury, talks about the out-of-sync nature of work and parenting.
Ally Berthiaume's life path was a common one for native Vermonters: she moved out of state for college and grad school, but then returned home and started her family here.
She and her then-husband were…
Robert Putnam, a Harvard social scientist and author, discusses the advent of the high school in America and how it changed society.
Megan, a parent from Middlebury, shares what she would do with a magic wand.
Dan, Manager and Co-Owner of Dan and Whit's Country Store in Norwich, discusses the importance of investing in the early years.
Mary, an Early Interventionist from Marlboro, shares how transformative friendships start at a very young age.
Jodi, a Pre-School Teacher from Dorset, shares why she loves her work in Early Childhood Education.
Dawna, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from North Hartland, talks about the importance of love and support in the early years.
Sarah, a State Representative from Tunbridge, discusses Vermont's commitment to young children and our future.
Jack, a Pediatrician from Middlebury, talks about the growing need for child services.
Grace, a parent from Burlington, discusses the positive impact child care has had on her and her daughter's life.
Matt, a parent from Bakersfield, talks about the financial difficulties child care centers face.
Katie, a parent from St. Albans, shares her story about addiction and the role that child care has played on her road to recovery.
Darlene, Co-Director of a Child Care Center in Bennington, discusses their approach to early childhood education.
Jen, a parent from Enosburg, shares her struggles as a single mom seeking consistent, affordable, quality child care for her son.
Marianna, a parent from Marshfield, talks about her family's struggles to make ends meet.
My name is Kate Anger. I recently had a beautiful baby boy and couldn't be happier! However, the impending cost of child care has had my family struggling to figure out what to do. I work in the human…
Danielle, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Burlington, describes the dilemma of leaving a job she loves to make ends meet.
Jessica, a parent from South Burlington, discusses her daughter's positive experiences with child care.
Courtney, a parent from Middlebury, talks about the cost and the importance of child care.
My name is Jennifer Galusha. I work in Manchester Center and I’m a single mother of an amazing, intelligent and imaginative soon-to-be 3 year old boy. I love watching his curiosity drive him to explore…
Heather, a parent from Fairfax, shares the difficulties finding childcare during her transition back to work.
Kathy, a Teacher from Burlington, discusses the need for coordinated programs that support kids and their parents.
Stephanie, a parent from Shaftsbury, talks about her respect for her son's teachers.
Janean, a parent from North Bennington, talks about the struggles with finding a child care situation that met the needs of her family.
Dana, a Health Coordinator from Middlesex, discusses the importance of social contact in the early years.
Kelly, a parent from White River Junction, describes the dedication and support she received from child care providers.
Selver, a parent from Shelburne, discusses the difficulties of being a single parent of two in child care.
Mary, an Early Interventionist from Marlboro, discusses the complex role of an early childhood educator in Vermont.
Anne, a parent from Wolcott, talks about her desire to keep a toe in the workforce while parenting.
The Let's Grow Kids Small Talk team asked interviewees: if you had a magic wand, how would you change child care in Vermont?
Heather, a Home-based Provider/Owner from Shelburne, explains the need to better support child care providers and teachers.
Alix, District Director of DCF from St. Albans, discusses how Vermont is doing taking care of its children.
Judy, a Child Care Coordinator from Richmond, talks about the importance of a joyous childhood.
Matt, a parent from Bakersfield, talks about how much his family has paid for two children in child care.
Jen Olson, an early childhood professional with over 10 years of experience, thinks of herself as a lifelong learner, and brings that experience into her teaching daily. She recently realized that she…
Sasha, a parent from White River Junction, talks about the importance of a qualified child care provider for her child.
Donna, the Director of a Parent Child Center in Middlebury, discusses the importance of engaging families to accommodate their needs.
My daughter has been in outside care since she was seven months old. When searching for the right place, we considered location, caregivers, and quality of experience. Play and outside time are priorities…
I am a single, divorced mother of 3.5 year old twins and work full-time in a high-responsibility job in mental health program administration. I make more money than I ever have in my life, but finding…
Hope, a Foundation Program Director from Barnet, describes the big gap in what child care costs and what families can afford to pay.
Donna, the Director of a Parent Child Center in Middlebury, talks about the need for prioritizing early childhood in State budgets and minds.
Hope, a grandparent from Barnet, expects that she'll need to help pay for the high costs of her grandchild's child care.
Melanie, a parent from Weybridge, discusses child care: the need for more infant care and the high costs of quality care.
Heather, a Center-based Provider/Teacher from Rutland, emphasizes the importance of social and intellectual development in the early years.
Carol, Director of a Child Care Center from Shaftsbury, discusses the difficulties of managing a child care center amidst changing resources.
Cristina, a Child Care Center Director in Manchester Center, talks about the disconnect between the costs of running a center and the cost to families.
Krystal, a parent from Brattleboro, talks about the difficulty of finding child care that fits into her schedule.
As an early childhood specialist, I see the urgent need to level the playing field for young children’s present and future success by making quality child care more affordable. Because the brain develops…