Chronic staffing problems stress Vermont’s child care centers — and the families they serve

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Greater Burlington YMCA’s early child care program closed for several months at the start of the pandemic and subsequent outbreaks have occasionally disrupted the center. But this year, two classrooms have closed 10 times for another reason -- lack of employees.

The pandemic has only exacerbated problems with an already broken child care system in Vermont, where high costs and limited access have long posed challenges for both families and providers. A permanent solution would require an injection of public money to make tuition reasonable and provide early educators a living wage, according to child care advocacy group Let’s Grow Kids. And after years of organizing, state lawmakers are expected to introduce such a bill next legislative session.

Darren Perron spoke with Seven Days’ Alison Novak about her reporting on Vermont’s child care crunch in this week’s issue.

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