What is your vision for Vermont's early care and education system, and how would you propose funding this system?
Every Vermont child deserves a high quality education. Education is also Vermont’s biggest economic development investment. Vermont cannot compete in our 21st Century economy if we do not provide a top notch education for our children – our workforce. As we know, education begins at birth and continues for the rest of our lives. And science tells us that our early education sets a pattern for the rest of our lives. As important as this is the financial constraints of our post Covid budgets will not be able to support a $205 million annual expenditure. There is no question we need to invest more in early child care. Everyone benefits from good child care programs – but not everyone who benefits helps finance the cost. Currently, parents, the public sector (state and the federal government) shoulder most of the financial cost. Parents and the public sector have limited resources. I believe we need to encourage the private sector to be a more substantial partner in solving this challenge. Private sector business benefits enormously from high quality, reliable child care and we need their help to finance its future.