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More child care centers reopening in Vermont

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 5:33 PM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - Early learning centers have become more important than ever for families during the pandemic. Parents need child care to work and many cannot work from home while also looking after their children.

The Early Learning Center at St Michael's College in Colchester closed its doors in May due to COVID-19. The college closed it, worried it would lose money. But now it's no longer affiliated with St. Mike's and is reopening down the street at the end of August.

"We're confident that within a short space of time, once the community is aware that we are reopening, that the reputation that we have will help us to be at full capacity," said Jenny Stearns of the Early Learning Center.

The Early Learning Center will take up to 37 children, 6 months old up until kindergarten. Half those spots are already filled.

In the town of Milton, the ABC Academy Early Learning Center has remained open throughout the pandemic following the state’s evolving health guidelines. The center’s waitlist is growing.

“Yeah, we definitely have a really long waitlist and we do our best to try to get as many families in here as we can to help serve them,” said Lisa LaBelle of the ABC Academy.

The ABC Academy is also expanding its services to provide early learning for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.

"We've expanded to serve children of that age to support the need because of COVID-19, we're offering an independent school," LaBelle said.

A new private school option for parents who don’t want their kids in public school-- part time or full time-- to minimize their exposure to others during the pandemic.

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