Every day in Vermont, over 21,000 children are left alone to care for themselves between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. The statewide shortage of high-quality afterschool and summer programs is a significant challenge for many working families, and leaves kids vulnerable to risk and crime.
Can we really afford to not invest in improving the lives of Vermont’s children? The returns — safer communities, better academic outcomes, supported families, and a brighter future for the children — are just too important to pass up. I ask that legislators support state funding of $2.5 million in the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Special Fund to ensure that all kids in Vermont have access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs.