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Blog: New Child Care Center Downtown

Posted May 15, 2024 by Mark Rosalbo

(From the left: Cathy Reitz of First Children's Finance, Kim McKerley, pastor of Bethany Church; Nancy Hutchinson, founding member of Lil'Sunshine; Didi Harris of Let's Grow Kids; and Jennifer Severance of First Children's Finance)

Lil' Sunshine Makes a Big Difference 

Like many communities in Orange County, Randolph has grappled with the challenge of providing sufficient child care. The recent start of construction for a new downtown child care center, located opposite Chandler Center for the Arts, is a big step towards that goal. This facility, which can provide for up to 18 children under three years old, exemplifies the community’s dedication to public welfare.

Lil' Sunshine Child Care Center is a shining example of the positive outcomes that can be achieved with community investment. It represents a commitment to building strong institutions that strengthen social infrastructure and increase quality of life. And we have Nancy Hutchinson and her team to thank for it! She has worked tirelessly to raise the necessary funds and build a business plan that is highly likely to succeed. 

A successful project is not just about building facilities, it’s also about making them affordable and equitable. A just society ensures everyone has access to education and other fundamental services. This is particularly important in the context of child care, where affordability and accessibility can significantly impact a family’s quality of life.

Lil’ Sunshine is committed to high quality care, fair wages for staff, and accessibility for low- to moderate-income families. The center will participate in the Child Care Financial Assistance program, assuring that all families, regardless of income, can take advantage of their services. 

From an economic development standpoint, Vermont faces a demographic shift with a static population. This poses significant challenges for the state’s workforce and economy. Without action, the worker shortage could lead to negative outcomes such as a shrinking workforce, declining state revenues, increased cost of living, and loss of community vitality. This risk is real. 

The State of Vermont has many aspirational goals and plans in various sectors, but these goals cannot be achieved without an adequate supply of people, and quality places for them to live. The impact of climate change also requires a more global perspective, and Vermont needs to consider how this will affect its population and workforce.

There is support for increasing Vermont’s population size to strengthen its workforce. The new child care center in Randolph is a step in the right direction. It not only addresses a critical need in the community but also contributes to the broader goal of economic development and population growth.

Three woman standing in an empty room discussing a child care center

(From left to right: Jennifer Severance of First Children's Finance; Nancy Hitchinson, founding member of Lil' Sunshine; and Cathy Reitz of First Children's Finance)

The new child care center in Randolph is more than just a new business; it’s a symbol of the community’s commitment to investing in public good and creating a more just society. It serves as a reminder that when we invest in our communities, we create places worth living in. That's a win for us all. 

Making Randolph a better place to live, work, and play.