ST. ALBANS — Richford and Alburgh have lost half of their child care providers in the past year, while Swanton has lost 11 programs.

Overall, the county has lost 42 registered programs and two childcare centers, since last May, according to Michelle Trayah, the childcare resource development specialist for NCSS.

In response to the growing shortage of early and afterschool childcare slots, a newly created action team held its first meeting on Monday at the Northwestern Counseling & Support Services’ (NCSS) Parent Child Center.

More than 20 people showed up, including childcare providers, Franklin County legislators and representatives from the Dept. for Children and Families, NCSS, Vermont Birth to Five, Building Bright Futures and other early care related agencies.

Amy Johnson, the Franklin Grand Isle regional coordinator for Building Bright Futures and soon-to-be director of NCSS’ Parent Child Center, led the meeting, informing the group of the mission and vision of the child care action team.

Johnson said the mission of the team is to meet early care and afterschool capacity needs in Franklin & Grand Isle counties and provide local support and advocacy to retain those already in the field and recruit additional providers.

“From birth and beyond, every baby born has access to a learning environment that is the right fit for their family” is the vision, according to the childcare action team recruitment flyer.

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