The Benefits of Improving Access to Childcare
Steve Adubato talks with Aly Richards, CEO, and Rick Davis, President of The Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children, about the Permanent Fund’s advocacy model for increasing awareness of the importance of quality, affordable childcare and how improvement of childcare access can positively impact business, the economy and healthcare.
"Welcome folks. This is an important conversation we're having about the most vulnerable: infants and toddlers. It is a series we've been doing called Right From the Start NJ. In New Jersey. But we weren't the first. There are some folks... our great friends up in Vermont who have been at this for a while. And I'm honored to introduce Aly Richards, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children and Rick Davis, President of the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children. This is part of an ongoing conversation we've been having with you. We've worked together up in Vermont through the cooperation the... help with the Turrell Fund. Aly, let me ask you, you were talking about...? Do the brain thing again. 80 and 90%... 0 to 3 and then 0 to 5? Exactly. 80% of the architecture of your brain, formed by age 3, and 90% by age 5. Okay, so what are you finding in terms of quality child care progress you've made in Vermont? Because you said that's one of the keys to dealing with this, and why are there lessons for New Jersey... Sure. ...for us, and everyone else in the nation? Absolutely. So, what we're finding... let me paint you a picture of Vermont... Sure. ...because it's similar to the rest of the country. Seven out of ten kids under six in Vermont have all available parents in the workforce. So, this crucial... most crucial time in their development... where are they? They are not simply at home anymore. It's a change that we've seen in our society. And of that 70% of kids, only 50% have access to any regulated childcare. So, here's the challenge... and 80% of our infants and toddlers... those that need it the most in Vermont, have no access to high quality childcare. We're not getting into affordability even with that which is, you could say, none of it is affordable for a family. Families in Vermont pay upwards of 40% of their household income... 40? 40%. Much more than other... What's the national average? It's very similar. And 60... what we know is 61% of kids across the country have all available parents in the workforce, according to the census. So, it's very similar, what we're seeing in Vermont, to the rest of the country. Look, let me play Devil's Advocate here... there are some watching who say, "Wow, gee, that's terrible for these kids. But you know, my kid's good. I have great quality child care for my kid." Why is this an issue for all people in Vermont, all people in New Jersey, and frankly, everyone in this country to care about? Well, first of all, it's really..."