The Impact of Quality Child Care on Children's Development

Steve Adubato goes on-location to The Turrell Fund Day for Children in Shelburne, Vermont to sit down with Aly Richards, CEO, Let’s Grow Kids, to discuss their mission to ensure affordable access to high-quality child care for all Vermont families by 2025. They also discuss the impact of child care on the healthy development of all children.

8/17/19 #109






"We're honored to be joined by our colleague and friend, Aly Richards, who is the Chief Executive Officer of a great organization called Let's Grow Kids, up in Vermont. How you doing? Great. It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for being in Vermont. You actually came and spoke to us in Jersey a while back. Yeah. Let's make the connection. Because the Turrell Fund is committed to early childhood education. Excuse me... early childhood... Yeah. ...child care, quality child care. New Jersey. Vermont. Right? But a lot of folks look at what you guys, you folks, are doing here in Vermont. They say, "They're the national model in terms of dealing with child care issues." Not perfect. But really good. Describe it. Well I appreciate that. Well I think what it is is we've decided that this is an incredibly important issue, and we made the case, you know, why everyone should care about zero to five. Early child education. It's the ultimate level playing field. It's the way to have the biggest impact. The greatest return on investment. So it doesn't matter if you care about economic development, workforce development, healthcare, you know, resiliency against addictive behaviors, or creating character in a kid, or you know, the future success and health of a child in the family, in the community, in the state, right? So we made our case, and then we focused on it. We picked one mission - high quality, affordable early care and learning for all. We put a deadline on it. 2025. And we're marching after it. So I think it's that focus... What's the role? Be clear... ...and it's that energy. ...again, Aly. High quality, affordable, accessible child care. Early child education. It's synonymous for us. By 2025. So it's different that we put a deadline on it too. When it comes to the political will? When it comes to getting elected officials, mostly state legislators, because we're talking about state budget, to care about these issues, particularly involving our children? Mm hmm. How hard has that been? What's the sell? Is it what you just said? Exactly. Yes. That's it's not really just child care? Exactly. Because... sometimes people's initial reaction is, "Eh, child care? Not really for me." That's nice, but not my issue? Exactly. "Oh, kids? Oh sure." You know. No no no. [laughter] It is... it's the right thing to do. And it's the smart thing to do. Make the case for the investment. It's... what we know, it's the best return on investment. So a child's brain is formed between zero and five, and they're no longer in the home anymore..."