VBSR Responds to VT Early Care & Learning Dividend Report
New report demonstrates strong economic case for increasing public investment in Vermont’s early care and learning system
Yesterday, the Vermont Business Roundtable’s Research & Education Foundation released a report, titled Vermont’s Early Care and Learning Dividend, which details the Vermont-specific return on investment the state stands to gain by increasing public investments in high-quality early care and learning programs. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility was pleased to be a part of the report’s advisory group, and we believe that ensuring access to high-quality, affordable child care is an essential piece of a stable, growing, and just Vermont economy.
The report, compiled by Wilder Research on behalf of the Foundation, stems from recent work conducted by Vermont’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care. The Blue Ribbon Commission found that after accounting for parent contributions and current public funding, the state would need to increase investments in Vermont’s early care and learning system by $206 million to achieve an equitable, affordable, and high-quality early care and learning system that met the needs of children birth to five who have all available parents in the labor force. Vermont’s Early Care and Learning Dividend examines the economic benefits that would be generated if the state made this level of investment in Vermont’s early care and learning system.
The report found that enacting the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendation of a high-quality, affordable early care and learning system would yield net benefits to Vermont’s economy of $22 million a year. These benefits would continue to accrue over the working lifetime of the children receiving that care, totaling $1.3 billion over the next 60 years. This equates to a return of $3.08 for every dollar invested.
While many national studies that have found high returns for investments in early childhood have focused on high-risk children, this report utilizes a more holistic approach and is based on providing high-quality, affordable early care and learning programs to Vermont’s youngest children as a whole and is based on Vermont-specific data sets.
We encourage members of the media, businesses, policy makers, and community members to read the report to learn more about the gains our children, their families, and our economy stand to gain through increased investment in Vermont’s early care and learning system.