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New England News

Burlington Mayor Discusses Child Care Initiative And Memorial Auditorium Survey

Mayor Miro Weinberger
Pat Bradley/WAMC
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Mayor Miro Weinberger

The city of Burlington, Vermont’s 2018 fiscal year budget included $500,000 to launch an Early Learning Initiative. During this month’s City Council meeting, grant awards were approved that will help organizations expand or create child care availability for infants and toddlers.  The program has been a priority since Mayor Miro Weinberger was first elected in 2012. Now in his third term, the Democrat says the grants fund a vital program for the city and its children.
"This is something we’ve been working at for many years.  I’ve long really thought we did not make enough investments in our youngest Burlingtonians, infants and toddlers.  We know there’s a huge unmet need for high quality child care slots for infants and toddlers and what  we’ve done now with this half-million investment is become one of just a handful of communities in America that really recognizes that these years are an area that you need to make public investment in when you know when you can have the largest impact on children’s lives and help insure that low income children in particular have the opportunity to thrive in the years ahead.  We know that investments in high quality child care can improve educational outcomes and health outcomes and really a whole series of life outcomes.  And that’s why you know much of the world does that.  America generally doesn’t.  We’re 31st out of 32 industrial nations in terms of investments in children zero to five.  And almost all the investments that we make is for four and five year olds.  This is a different kind of program. It’s for zero to three year olds. Some of the largest investments are going to the YMCA and to the Sara Holbrook Center to support be one small piece of funding that will allow them to dramatically expand their facilities, increase 58 new high quality child care slots for Burlington infants and toddlers.  So I’m very excited about it.  I think you’ll see this program leverage other sources of money and evolve over time and hopefully someday Burlington can be truly a place where really all children have an opportunity to thrive."

Burlington’s Memorial Auditorium was built in 1927 to honor World War I veterans.  Due to safety concerns the building was closed in December 2016.
A link for more information is here.
 

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