The National Impact of Healthy Early Childhood Development
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the Turrell Fund Day for Children in Shelburne, Vermont to talk to Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman about the importance of making child care more affordable for Vermont families and the national impact of healthy early childhood development.
"Hi, Steve Adubato on location. Normally you see us in the studio, but we are in fact here in Vermont for a very special day. This is part of our Right From the Start NJ initiative, which looks at the challenges facing our infants and toddlers and those who care for them. This is an event sponsored by the Turrell Fund, the Turrell Fund, a Day For Children. All about children. And the theme is the importance of love in early childhood. We're honored to be joined by a whole group of people here in Vermont. And first off, we're talking to the Lieutenant Governor of the great state of Vermont, David Zuckerman. David, good to see you. Thank you. Nice to meet you. You're a farmer by background? It's true. Yeah. I still have a little grease on my hands. Yeah. No Jersey tomato jokes, okay? No. No. You grow fine tomatoes. Ours are just a hair better. I knew that was coming. [laughter] Listen... by the way, you can hear the folks around us. There is a break going on right now. Important conversations about early childhood education, about child care. Let me ask you. You... when you spoke to this group earlier, of folks who are advocates, who are very involved and committed to child care...? Sure. Your main message to them was? Is? Well, I think a large part of it was advocacy to get the legislature to go farther, to get more financial support to both the centers, the home care facilities, and the workers, so that we have less turnover, and people can stay in that profession instead of getting squeezed out financially, and really encouraging folks to contact their legislators. Vermont's a small state. And so... Tell folks... we have 8,000,000 people in New Jersey. So give people context. Sure. Well, Vermont's about 630,000-640,000 people. So each legislator only represents about 5,000 to 10,000 people. If it's a two-seat district, it's 10,000. So encouraging folks to contact their legislators, even the ones that they think are good on the issues, and give them that boost of support when those legislators have to push a little farther. Particularly on a topic no one ever wants to talk about, which is raising revenue at the state level. Raising taxes? Raising taxes. So that we can actually fund this important investment in our kids. Because fundamentally, as the folks in that other room know very well, that zero to five is when 90 percent of your development happens. And so if we invest in quality, affordable, and available childcare, we're investing in Vermont's future many many times over. You know, the other thing is you may say, "Why Vermont?" Vermont is actually recognized by many..."