Governor Phil Scott Highlights State's Increased Investment in Child Care
Burlington, Vt. – At a press conference Thursday, Governor Phil Scott detailed newly implemented investments in child care funding passed in the budget bill (Act 72) in the 2019 legislative session. Scott, who proposed the increased investment in his Fiscal Year 2019 budget recommend, was joined by members of the legislature and early care and learning advocates, who all championed these increased investments.
The approximately $5.8 million increase in Vermont’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) will lift rates for 2,000 families. More than 3,000 preschoolers and 2,500 school-aged children will also receive higher rates, making child care more affordable and accessible for working families.
“I lost my job, my life savings and my apartment after I lost access to child care. More than two years later, I’ve found child care, we moved into our own place and I’m working part time. But I’m still recovering from these setbacks — financially and emotionally,” said Nina Lemieux, a single mother of three from Barre. “This funding increase translates to an extra almost $400 in my family’s budget each month. It meant I could buy much-needed summer clothes for my children without worrying about how I’ll pay rent the next month.”
Additionally, Act 72 makes several one-time investments, proposed by the legislature, to support the early care and learning workforce. This includes $300,000 in workforce supports for individuals employed in a regulated privately-operated center-based child care program or family child care home, and $300,000 to facilitate the implementation of a nationally accredited Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) curriculum in career technical centers throughout the state.
“Since coming to office, I have highlighted the need to expand our view of education to include everything from cradle to career,” said Governor Phil Scott. “A big part of this, in my view, is the need to increase our investments in care and learning during those pivotal early years of a child’s life. We know family dynamics are changing and child care is more important than ever, but the cost weigh on families who want and need to work,” Governor Scott added. “Our hope is to market Vermont to young families – those looking to start a family – as the best place to do it in the country, if we can continue to build on progress in this area.”
The event was cohosted by Let’s Grow Kids, whose advocacy and policy work has helped to change the narrative and show policymakers the returns on investment that come with a robust child care system.
“The 30,000 Vermonters who have joined this movement care about a thriving economy, a robust workforce and, most importantly, they care about healthy children, families and communities and that’s why they support investing in high-quality, affordable child care. Tell them what you care about and they’ll tell you why child care is the solution,” said Let’s Grow Kids CEO Aly Richards.
More information on these new investments in Vermont’s child care system is attached.