Could Universal Public Prekindergarten Be the Key to Childcare?

Testimony from the Vermont Principals’ Association in the Senate Education Committee stated there is capacity and infrastructure in place to stand up a high-quality statewide program as outlined in a proposal for universal prekindergarten for 4-year-olds through the public school system. By transitioning an age group to universal public prekindergarten, the proposal could create a significant number of newly available private care provider spots for younger children, addressing availability concerns. 

While the committee response was generally supportive of the program, it was made clear that even with the capacity of schools to implement the proposal now, the only possibility this year would be for a further study on how it would work.  In contrast to private care providers that manage waitlists, public schools accept all students. Additionally, school enrollment has decreased, meaning that the required capacity and infrastructure for the program exists.