On Friday, December 9, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High-Quality, Affordable Child Care released a report that: 

1. Defines the elements of a high-quality child care program

2.  Models how much it would cost per infant, toddler and preschooler to provide high-quality early care and learning

3. Estimates the total cost of high-quality care based on the number of children under 6 who have all available parents in the labor force and are therefore likely to need child care

4. Recommends how much families should be asked to contribute to child care to make it affordable for them

5. Calculates the current investment gap that would need to be filled after existing early childhood funding and parental contributions are taken into account

6. Recommends potential funding sources that could be used to fill this gap


The report makes a strong case that ensuring all children have access to high-quality, affordable child care is an economic and social imperative for our state. To achieve this, the Commission’s recommendations include increasing tuition assistance benefits under the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP), expanding CCFAP eligibility and increasing tuition assistance rates to help more families afford early care and learning programs. Read more about CCFAP here.


Now that the commissioners have finished their important work, it’s time for us to ensure their recommendations become a reality! Use our Legislative Look-Up tool to find your legislators and send them email about why you support the BRC’s recommendations to increase investment in CCFAP to ensure all Vermont children have a strong start in life. 


Burlington Free Press, 12/9: “Three Things to Know About Vermont’s New Child Care Report”

Vermont Business Magazine, 12/9: “Blue Ribbon Commission on Affordable Child Care Issues Report”

Vermont Edition on VPR, 12/12: “Taking On the Child Care Challenge”

St. Albans Messenger, 12/12: "State Cites Benefits of Quality Childcare; Blue Ribbon Commission Releases Report"

St. Albans Messenger, 12/13: "Commission: Childcare Unaffordable; Low Pay Found to be Driving Out Providers"

Barton Chronicle, 12/14: "Cost and shortage of childcare hinder employment"

WDEV's Vermont Conversation, 12/21: "Is there a solution to Vermont's child care crisis?" 

Reports from Blue Ribbon Commission Meetings:

On behalf of our partner organizations and all of the supporters of our campaign—parents, grandparents, child care providers, business owners, concerned citizens—we are excited to support the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care. For those of us who have been working to provide Vermont’s children with a strong start in life, the Blue Ribbon Commission offers the opportunity to shine a light on the issues around access, affordability and quality in child care.  

The Commission’s job is to determine the hallmarks of a quality child care program and to recommend to the Legislature and governor strategies to support affordable, quality child care in Vermont. The Commission is expected to issue a report by November 1, 2016. This means that we have just a few short months to ensure that the Commission gets a solid grounding in the issues facing parents, employers and child care providers.

Fortunately, we and our many partners have been preparing for this moment. We know that the first years—when the brain is developing most rapidly—present the greatest opportunity for children’s healthy development. We know that too many of Vermont’s parents feel compelled to choose between their livelihood and their children’s care and learning. We know that the availability of child care influences the availability of workers for Vermont’s employers. And we know that many child care providers experience high turnover as they struggle to make ends meet. As the Blue Ribbon Commission moves forward, one of our goals is to ensure that commissioners have a clear understanding of these tough choices around child care.

You can help. As the Blue Ribbon Commission continues to work, we will keep you informed, and we will let you know when there are opportunities to get involved, through:

  • This web page, which will have the latest information and updates on the Commission
  • Up-to-the-minute posts on social media for those following Let’s Grow Kids on Facebook and Twitter

Along with our partners and supporters, we have been preparing for this opportunity. Now we will need your help to make the most of it.

Stay tuned—and keep in touch.

Additional Resources on the Blue Ribbon Commission:




Charlotte Ancel, Vice President, Power Supply & General Counsel at Green Mountain Power. Business Representative.

Donna Bailey, Co-Director of the Addison County Parent/Child Center. Parent/Child Center Representative.

Paul Behrman, Director at Champlain Valley Head Start. Head Start Representative. 

Laurel Bongiorno, Dean of Champlain College Division of Education and Human Services. Higher Education Representative. 

Frank Cioffi, President of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation. Business Representative.

Michelle Fay, Associate Director. Voices for Vermonts Children. Child Advocacy Representative.

Christine Gibson, IT Manager at WhistlePig Whiskey. Parent Representative.

Rachel Hunter, Child Care Provider/Pre-K Teacher and Mentor at an in-home child care. Licensed and Registered Home-Based Child Care Program Representative. 

Steven "Curly" Lambrecht, Lieutenant Colonel, Vermont Air National Guard. Military Parent Representative.

Chloe Learey, Executive Director of Winston Prouty Center for Child Development. Licensed Center-Based Child Care Program Representative. 

Lauren Norford, Coordinator of Early Childhood Mental Health Services at Rutland Mental Health, Business Representative.

David Rubel, Commercial Lending Portfolio Manager at the Community National Bank. Financial Services Representative. 


Jessica Blackman, Administrator of the Commission.

Paul Dragon, Director of Policy & Program Integration at the Agency of Human Services. Secretary of Human Services Appointee.

Jessica Gingras, Director of Appointments to Boards and Commissions for the Governor's Office. Secretary of Administration Appointee.

Rebecca Holcombe, Secretary of Education, Agency of Education Representative.

Reeva Murphy, Deputy Commissioner for the Vermont Department for Children and Families. Child Development Division Representative.

Sarah Squirrell, Executive Director, Building Bright Futures Representative.