State News

Legislature, governor create child care commission

By Amy Ash Nixon,

A lack of high-quality early learning opportunities for Vermont’s young children has led the Vt. Legislature and Gov. Peter Shumlin to form a Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care.

The commission will collect information on the state of early childhood learning opportunities across Vermont and will recommend to policymakers and administration steps for improvements for access and funding for high-quality programs.

According to Let’s Grow Kids, a statewide public education campaign for early childhood issues, the new commission will start meeting by July 15, 2015, and will report its findings by Nov. 1, 2016.

Julie Coffey, executive director of Building Bright Futures, a nonprofit serving as Vt.’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, said, “There just aren’t enough high-quality early learning settings available for the number of young children in Vermont.”

A family with two children making Vermont’s median income pays nearly a third of their income on child care and, for some an even higher percentage, said Robyn Freedner-Maguire, campaign director for Let’s Grow Kids.

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