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Vermont Businesses Look To Make Child Care More Affordable, Accessible

Nicole Lesperance sits with her students at a table full of lego blocks.
Elodie Reed
The latest "Brave Little State" episode explored how much money child care providers make. After airing that episode, "Vermont Edition" also looked at what some companies are doing to make child care more affordable and accessible for working Vermonters.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median hourly wage for child care workers in Vermont is just over $13 an hour. As heard in this month's Brave Little State, figuring out how to train, retain and pay child care workers is a complicated question in Vermont.

But for many parents, simply finding a spot for their child in a high-quality early education program can be a big challenge — let alone paying for it. New programs at two Vermont businesses seek to make child care more affordable and accessible to working Vermonters. 

Shelley Sayward, the vice president and assistant general counsel at Casella Waste Systems, joined Vermont Edition to talk about Casella's efforts to provide more funding for child care and family leave benefits — which she says is improving workforce recruitment, increasing employee retention and productivity.

April Hayes, the early education program director at Bolton Valley Resort, also joined the program to explain how she expanded the ski resort's child care offerings into a yearlong program for staff, guests and others in the community.

Broadcast on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

A thin grey line.

More from Brave Little StateWhy Are Child Care Professionals Paid So Poorly In Vermont? [Nov. 8]

Listen to the full episode here:

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Anna Ste. Marie joined the organization in early 2017 in the Marketing & Engagement department. She got her start as an intern for Vermont Edition while receiving her B.A. in Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts from St. Michael’s College in 2016. Anna is a lifelong Vermonter, hailing from the Northeast Kingdom. She loves flowers, cats, TikTok, crafts and the juiciest reality TV drama.
April Qian was a part-time producer for Vermont Edition.
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