The Importance of High Quality and Affordable Child Care
Steve Adubato talks with Aly Richards, CEO, and Rick Davis, President, The Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children, about the importance of access to high quality, affordable child care for families in states like as Vermont, New Jersey and across the country.
"We are pleased to welcome Aly Richards, CEO of the Permanent Fund for Vermont's children. And Rick Davis, President of the Permanent Fund for Vermont's children It's so good to see both of you. You too Steve. It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you. Last time I saw you was in Vermont. In Vermont. Yeah. I was honored to be part of a very important forum. That was put together by the folks at the Turrell fund. We are part of a series that you may have picked up at this point, called "Right from the Start NJ." You can see the website coming up. And that is series that focuses on the issues, and challenges, and the opportunities connected to infants and toddlers up in Vermont. You've been doing this for a while we have? We have. We've been at this well, the permanent funds been at this for 18 years. And really the motivation for getting started is really, two things. One, was it was a human equity issue, a fairness issue. And so I was working in a restoring a block of buildings and Burlington's waterfront and it was surrounded by a low-income area. And I got to know those families in the challenges they were facing. And sort of the culture of poverty, and then I got to know the kids. And I watched these children grow up and have babies of their own. And I was able to hold these babies, and see what beautiful babies they were and realize they had two to three strikes against them just because of... Hmm. ...the circumstances in which they were born. So, that was one motivation to create a level playing field for all children in Vermont. The second one, is through 15 years of focusing on these issues I saw that we weren't making major headway in. Issues of childhood poverty, the achievement gap that starts as early as three years old. Special ed costs were continued continue increasing and so, there was nobody, there's no philanthropy or foundation at the time that was focused on lasting impact. And so there seemed to be an opportunity to do a different type of foundation that was focused on systems change. Right. And so that's what led us to where we are today. Aly, now I am curious about something. As I listen to Rick paint a big picture of it, I get curious about this. Your focus is birth to five right? Exactly. Right from the start NJ is birth to three. Mmhm. But talk about those early years. What makes them so critical in a child's development? That's exactly the right question..."