Letter: Support Parent Child Center funding

To the editor:

As a member of Sunrise Family Resource Center's leadership team, and as its development director, I am writing to express our strong support for the efforts of the Parent Child Center network to secure increased funding from the State of Vermont to support the essential work we do in communities up and down and across the State.

We and our sister Parent Child Centers — there are 15 of us — serve thousands of families and individuals all over Vermont, providing education, support, strengthening families and helping them become more resilient and self-sufficient.

You probably know about us. You sent your children to our 5-STARs NAEYC-Accredited child care program; or your sibling or daughter was a teen parent who earned high school credits in Opportunities; or perhaps a Sunrise Family Advocate helped you put your life together so that the State didn't remove your children from your home; or a home visitor showed you how to care for your newborn; or a case manager helped you and your family move out of a motel and into stable, safe, affordable housing; or maybe you have applied for childcare financial assistance, or needed referrals to licensed/registered child care programs in the County.

What you may not know is that those Sunrise staff, whose lives are dedicated to your lives, are paid 30 percent less than their State Employee counterparts. In 20 years Parent Child Center funding has not risen.

If we are to continue to provide the excellent services you rely on, the State of Vermont must increase our base grant.

It is axiomatic that prevention dollars are the best dollars we can spend--they go farther because they save. Reduction of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as neglect, abuse, homelessness, incarceration and addiction, demonstrably reduces the costs of chronic medical conditions. This community deserves and needs our services. I hope you will join our voices as we ask the Legislature to allocate the funds we need to continue providing them.


— Amelia W. Silver, development director/family development coordinator, Sunrise Family Resource Center



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