Strategy

Goal 1

Access & Sustainability

By 2025, 100% of families with children ages birth to five have access to high-quality early care and learning opportunities that meet their needs in a sustainable system.

Benchmark

The industry is sustaining a total of 21,000 slots in three-, four-, and five-star programs evenly distributed across the state, fully meeting the demand for high-quality, regulated care.

Strategies

Create 500 new high-quality slots annually until 2025 by:

Supporting the capacity expansion of existing child care programs:

  1. Attract and retain qualified early educators by establishing a livable wage and better access to professional development opportunities.
  2. Lower overhead costs for providers by centralizing back-office services that can be shared by the field; i.e., bookkeeping & payroll services, etc.
  3. Ensure providers can make what they need to meet their budgets by increasing the state’s child care subsidy rates to reflect current market rates.

Offering start-up support to new programs to help them meet state regulations.

  1. Providing technical assistance and connections to community resources.
  2. Establishing and promoting grant funding opportunities for program start-ups.

Increasing the supply of universal pre-kindergarten programs to meet 100% of demand:

  1. Support partnerships between schools and community programs.
  2. Streamline the compliance process for participating programs.

Goal 2

Affordability

By 2025, child care is affordable for 100% of Vermonters who need it.

Benchmarks

  • Families spend no more than 10% of their gross annual household income on early care and learning programs.
  • Businesses experience higher employee productivity and retention rates statewide.
  • The rate of women who leave their careers due to child care challenges decreases.

Strategies

Advocate annually for increased investment into Vermont’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program until no family spends more than 10% of their income on child care.

Work with businesses to help them develop workplace expectations, policies and benefits that consider their employees’ child care needs.

Integrate child care with the health care delivery system to leverage resources and expertise.

Identify funding efficiencies within the current early childhood system.

Goal 3

High Quality

By 2025, 100% of Vermont child care providers are participating in Vermont’s quality recognition system, STARS (STep Ahead Recognition System), and 80% are performing at the highest levels of quality within and beyond STARS (i.e., national accreditation).

Benchmarks

At any given time, 80% of child care programs have achieved at least 4 stars. (Progress in the STARS program requires time to establish a regulatory history.)

Strategies

Increase the quality of existing child care programs by providing mentoring, technical assistance and support in attaining quality credentials.

Support professional development for providers.

Attract new talented early educators to the field.

Establish wages for early educators that are on par with wages for public school teachers.

Pin It on Pinterest