On Nov. 3, WDEV Common Sense radio's Bill Sayre interviewed Aly Richards, CEO of the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children and Tom Torti, CEO of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, about the economic and social impacts of Vermont's shortage of high-quality, affordable child care.
In the interview, Aly Richards explains why the Permanent Fund's mission is to acheive high-quality, affordable child care for all Vermont children ages birth to five by 2025, noting that investing in high-quality early care and learning opportunities addresses so many of the challenges we face in our state. "We don't have enough young people in the state, we have an aging demographic, our K-12 population is decreasing and at the same time our special ed costs are going up, we have sky-rocketing health care costs, we need more trained workers for the jobs that we have, we need to make it affordable for families to have their basic needs in Vermont." These are issues we can all agree on and investing in our youngest Vermonters addresses them all.
Tom Torti said today's growing businesses, such as the tech industry, have told him the most difficult skills to attract are "critical thinking, teamwork and emotional intelligence." The first five years of life, when the brain is developing most rapidly, laying the foundation for all future learning and development, is the best opportunity we have to prepare children for sucecss in school, work and life.