Vermont CEOs declare support for public investment in childcare

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) declared their support for public investment in a child care system that meets the needs of all Vermont children, families and employers. VBR is composed of 100 CEOs and leaders from Vermont’s top business and nonprofit employers. Member businesses employ thousands of Vermonters and are represented in nearly every sector of the economy and every region of the state.

“The Vermont Business Roundtable encourages all Vermonters to recognize publicly funded child care as the best investment we can make for children and families, for employees and for the Vermont economy — in that order,” said Seth Bowden, president of VBR. “The Round Table has championed the importance of childcare for more than two decades. Our state’s challenge to early childhood education continues, and the resulting disparities have become more pronounced in the context of the pandemic. As business leaders, community members and Vermonters, we believe that addressing comprehensive child care cannot wait.”

The Round Table’s collective support for this investment is built on core principles established in January of 2021. These principles state that any revenue identified to implement a statewide public child care system must be transparent, fair, competitive and sustainable for both the state and Vermont’s economy.

Bowden continued “We appreciate the leadership of Let’s Grow Kids on this critical social and economic issue. They have been advocates for children and families for over 10 years. And although the details and funding mechanism have yet to be worked out and negotiated, we support the goals and policy priorities of their work.”

On Wednesday, April 27st, VBR will join other business champions from across the state as part of Vermont’s Child Care Campaign to formally declare their support for public investment in child care. Launching in 2021, the campaign empowers Vermonters to advocate for the policy change and public investment needed to maintain a high-quality child care system.

“VBR’s statement of support for a publicly funded, high-quality, affordable child care system that pays early childhood educators a fair wage shows how critical this investment is for Vermont businesses,” said Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids. “Our ability to thrive as a state, maintain the stable workforce our businesses need and drive economic growth relies on parents and guardians being able to get to work. Without access to affordable child care, retaining, recruiting and supporting employees has become an obstacle for too many business owners. This statement from VBR brings us one step closer to a brighter future for Vermont and to ensuring that it is the best place to do business and live. We look forward to continuing our advocacy with the business leaders of VBR as we build a child care system that works for all Vermonters.”

VBR’s full statement of support for public investment in childcare is available below or here.

Statement in support of Public Investment in Childcare

Vermont’s children, our future…we must rise to the challenge.

April 25, 2022

The Vermont Business Roundtable, an organization of more than 100 Vermont business leaders, has advocated for the importance of early childhood care and education since 1999. Meanwhile, Vermont’s inability to comprehensively address early care and education endures, and the resulting disparity has become more pronounced than ever. in the context of COVID 19. As business leaders, community members and Vermonters, we believe that the challenge of early childhood care and education cannot wait. The Roundtable encourages all Vermonters to recognize publicly funded early childhood care as the best investment we can make in Vermont.

To be effective, the goals of early childhood care must address the needs of Vermont’s children from birth through kindergarten, and must include universal and affordable child care, available to all children in Vermont, without financial barriers. A public program of quality care that sets standards and ensures that childcare providers are experts trained in early education and are remunerated as professionals need to be funded. We recognize that a program that achieves these goals will require a significant investment, and we are ready to do our part.

Our collective support for this investment is built on core principles established by the Round Table in January 2021. These principles include an understanding that any revenue identified to implement early care and learning is transparent, fair, competitive and sustainable. We also believe that a truly impactful system must use data to be accountable for the outcomes it produces. Our support stems from the belief that these goals can be achieved while ensuring that every Vermont child has access to the care they need.

The most immediate benefit of early childhood care will be to Vermont’s workforce and economy. We know from our own experience as employers and family members that many parents cannot join the full-time workforce because they have to care for their preschool children. More than 50% of Vermont families – at all income levels – do not have access to appropriate child care. Recruitment and retention are enormous obstacles for all Vermont employers that cannot be solved in the absence of quality early childhood care.

In light of our demand for employees, the state’s efforts to recruit newcomers to its workforce, and the untapped potential of Vermont’s existing workforce, it is imperative to establish an early child care and education program to meet this need. provide. The public benefit to the economy is reason enough for public funding to support a public early child care program.

But in supporting early childhood care, the Vermont business community is thinking far beyond its bottom line. As employers we are called to uphold and implement the concept of equal opportunities. We roll as

equal opportunities ambassadors are not only a legal obligation. It is an expression of our commitment to participatory democracy – for our state and our country – where everyone has a fair chance at success, participation and safety.

Economic inequalities, while complex and not easily resolved, erode the public’s faith in equal opportunity. An effective way to ensure educational and economic opportunity is to provide adequate preparation for public education. Many studies show that care and preparation in early childhood make a significant difference to a child’s success in public education – starting in kindergarten – with an impact that can last a lifetime.

Every year we don’t act is another year of lost potential for tens of thousands of Vermont preschoolers that last throughout their lifetime and ultimately has an impact on the sustainability of our state. By failing to address the lack of access to early childhood care, we are actively perpetuating a source of economic inequality – and all the social costs that come with it. The evidence we see points to a direct link between the absence of available child care and increasing systemic costs of emergency room visits, special education supports, intergenerational poverty, drug and physical abuse, and the criminal justice and correctional systems.

If we shift our investments upstream to better care for and prepare our children, the rewards for our community and our economy will be significant. It is the right thing to do.

The mission of the Vermont Business Roundtable is to ensure that Vermont will be “the best place in America to do business, be educated and live life.” So we join Vermont’s early care and learning leaders and providers, our pediatric healthcare community, our state government leaders and other dedicated advocates, in asking all Vermonters to call on our political leaders to expedite an implementation plan that ‘ A fully funded, quality universal early childhood care system for Vermont children.

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The Vermont Business Roundtable (round table) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of CEOs from Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy. The Roundtable is committed to maintaining a healthy economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues. Learn more at

25/04/2022. South Burlington, VT – Vermont Business Roundtable

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