Joe Benning

What is your vision for Vermont's early care and education system, and how would you propose funding this system? 

My vision includes revisiting our past. When we, with good intentions, implemented licensure requirements for day care we promptly wiped out 40% of available placements in Essex County and approximately 7% statewide. This was a mistake. I agree an affordable, high-quality child care system could require an investment of approximately $205 million per year, but Vermont does not have that money. With Covid-19's anticipated upcoming impact on our revenue streams, we will be facing a very difficult year next year and there are no easy ways out of it. This is especially troubling at the other end of the spectrum- higher education. So we need to rethink what we've done in order to at least make sure SOME child care is available to all.

 

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