(Host) Governor Jim Douglas signed an executive order Monday that’s designed to strengthen early education programs throughout the state. The order establishes a transitional governance board that will be asked to recommend comprehensive changes to the state’s existing public-private system for child care.
Speaking at a child care center in Middlesex, Douglas said the state needs to develop a more centralized focus to many of the issues dealing with early childhood education:
(Douglas) “Clearly the six different departments in state government that have responsibilities for early childhood health and education programs need to have those efforts better coordinated than they are today – that’s one major reason for implementation of the executive order now. But more than that, we have to put into place a transitional structure that will design a way to provide services comprehensively around the state.”
(Host) Douglas says this is an issue where the state needs to develop a strong partnership with the private sector if child care programs are going to be expanded:
(Douglas) “As I talk with employers all across Vermont, they tell me repeatedly how important it is to their success that we have a quality environment for the young people of our communities, especially single moms who are looking for work or are trying to maintain a career, where there have to be quality care and education opportunities for their kids.”
(Host) Douglas is hoping that the new panel will have a set of specific recommendations for the 2005 Legislature to consider in January.