What is your vision for Vermont's early care and education system, and how would you propose funding this system?
Childcare is one of the best economic investments we can make as a state. Before the pandemic, we were struggling to keep a generation in Vermont and draw a generation back. Today, families are trying to manage online learning, paying the bills, keeping a job and caring for children. Parents need access to affordable high-quality childcare in order to do their best work, and an equitable early childhood education system is foundational to building whole and healthy communities. This is the moment to align our budget with our greatest needs, and we have to put childcare at the top. Specifically, I support expanding the Childcare Financial Assistance program to increase reimbursement rates to providers and raise wages for early childhood educators. Universal childcare is a large expenditure, but it is also a critical investment. Like so many Vermonters, I share a vision for Universal Child Care in Vermont. This is essential to reversing our demographics challenges and supporting a thriving local economy.