To Vermonters Who Care About Kids and Families

18 July 2018

You have probably heard that there is not enough child care in Vermont to meet the needs of Vermont families, especially for the very youngest children. This is a problem for families, for employers and for Vermont communities. A robust child care sector supports strong families, thriving children and a vibrant Vermont economy.

The Child Development Division (CDD) in the Department for Children and Families (DCF) is working with a coalition of public and private partners to increase the capacity of regulated child care in Vermont. Family Child Care Homes are a critical part of child care supply in our rural state. We posted a Front Porch Forum message yesterday to give people interested in starting a Family Child Care Home, particularly those who have some background and experience in child development, information about what it may take to get started on that path. We’ve received some responses and heard some interesting reactions to that post.

Every child and family is entitled to child care experiences in clean, heathy, welcoming environments that are supportive for families and help children learn and grow. One of CDD’s responsibilities is to establish and monitor rules that protect the health, safety and well-being of Vermont’s children in child care. This is one way that we work to make Vermont a great place to be a child and raise a family. We invite you to advise us by reading the child care regulations (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/laws-regs/childcare) and sharing your  specific concerns and questions to an on-line survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cc_regulations_suggestions. All comments from that survey will be considered when making future revisions to the regulations.

At CDD we believe that providing child care for other people’s children is a significant and serious responsibility. That job isn’t easy, and it isn’t for everyone. Every day regulated child care providers in Vermont communities all over our state do that job well and responsibly. They bring professionalism and joy to their work that enriches the lives of the children and families in their care. Most Vermont providers go above and beyond the minimum requirements in child care regulations to achieve and document high quality practices through the STep Ahead Recognition and Improvement Program – Vermont STARS.

Our goal is to encourage more people with knowledge and experience, a passion for child development and well-being, and a willingness to grow in a field that is both demanding and rewarding to commit to this work. We welcome your suggestions on how to encourage individuals to open child care businesses or apply for jobs in child care. You can send your suggestions to heather.mattison@vermont.gov

Thank you for caring about this important issue and for sharing your views on how we can all bring our best to this work.

Sincerely,

Reeva Murphy, Deputy Commissioner
Child Development Division