Governor Scott Continues Commitment to Quality, Affordable Child Care
Affordable child care and early learning has been a top priority for Governor Scott and his Administration as Vermont seeks to expand its labor force and attract young families, while strengthening the state’s cradle-to-career education system.
To support this critical work, the Governor’s FY 2020 budget proposal includes a $7 million increase to the Child Care Financial Assistance Program to raise the subsidy level for low- and moderate-income families and provide financial assistance to early educators. These key investments will make affordable early care and learning accessible to more working families, aiming to set our children up for future success and expand Vermont’s workforce.
In February, the Governor, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe hosted Jennifer Garner and Mark K. Shriver, CEO of the Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), at the Robin’s Nest Child Care Center in Burlington to highlight the educational and economic impacts of increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care.
“I’ve seen kids all over this country in my work with Save the Children for the last decade who are going into kindergarten and never held a book,” said Garner at the press conference. “It’s amazing to see this bipartisan support here in Vermont to make places like Robin’s Nest more accessible to moms who couldn’t otherwise afford it. Vermont’s going to be a real leader in this area, and I’m thrilled to be here to witness it.”
Garner is a Save the Children trustee and an advocate for expanding early care and learning opportunities. She has spoken on the issue at the state and national level, including addresses to Congress and the National Governor’s Association. As the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, SCAN works to build bipartisan support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning.
“As we work to attract working families to Vermont, our commitment to education could be a draw to young families and quite possibly the best economic development tool we have in our tool box,” said Governor Scott. “Investing in early care and learning is a rare opportunity to achieve all three goals I set on my first day in office: to grow the economy, make Vermont more affordable and protect the most vulnerable.”
“Increasing access to quality child care is a social justice issue, a workforce development issue, a return on investment economic issue,” said Shriver. “Whether you look at it from the perspective of families who are struggling to make ends meet or kids who don’t have the same opportunities to succeed as their peers, this is a winner for everyone involved.”
The Governor also hosted a luncheon and roundtable discussion at the State House, where Garner and Shriver were able to engage with state lawmakers, government officials and local advocates and stakeholders about child care best practices from Vermont and other states.
View the full transcript of the Governor’s remarks from the press conference here.