Vermont ski resort to offer free child care to employees
JEFFERSONVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) - The Smugglers’ Notch Resort this week announced that it will offer employees free, on-site child care. It comes as the group Let’s Grow Kids estimates lack of child care is keeping about 5,000 Vermonters out of the workforce.
Smugglers’ Notch Human Resources Director Shelly Citron says they’re a family resort, and they want that to extend to those working there.
“We know that our employees that work here, we want them to offer the best vacation ever and experience to our little ones, and to do that, we need to make sure they have a high quality of life,” Citron explained.
These types of programs are becoming more common, but Let’s Grow Kids Director Aly Richards says they’re only a short-term solution.
“We have 8,700 kids in Vermont today that do not have access to child care,” she said. “Those lucky enough to find it feel like they’ve won the lottery, but they are paying 30% to 40% of their household income on that care.”
Richards added adequate child care would boost Vermont’s economy by $755 million.
“We need sustainable public investment to have enough child care to meet the demand, be high quality, and have parents be able to afford and access it,” she said. “As you can see that’s a huge barrier to employment.”
Richards says that will only come with major systemic changes. In the meantime, those at Smugglers’ Notch are looking forward to welcoming more kids into their programs.
“We have kids that have been here and know the ropes and are excited to be here, but then bring that energy to the program to all the kids here on vacation,” said Harley Johnson, the director of children’s programming at Smugglers’ Notch.
Citron said they will roll out this new benefit in phases.
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