WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR VERMONT'S EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION SYSTEM, AND HOW WOULD YOU PROPOSE FUNDING THIS SYSTEM?
Access to affordable childcare is a priority of the Vermont House. Among key spending priorities in H.969 FY 2021 budget VT invested $2,000,000 CRF funds in the Child Care Financial Assistance program (CCFAP) by aligning the program eligibility with current Federal poverty guidelines and aligning provider rates in accordance with the 5 year plan to increase access to high-quality affordable childcare for working families. Vermont delivers childcare using a mixed delivery model comprised of 1,246 public and private programs including family childcare homes, community centers, and programs housed in schools. All in all a total of 32,432 infants, toddlers, preschool, and school age children are enrolled in childcare systems throughout the State. As an outcome of COVID -19 the need to educate our children remotely and the necessity for parents to work from home made very apparent the need for extended and expanded childcare options. The Human Services Committee will continue to research solutions to address low pay and benefits for childcare providers.