Cabot, News

Child Care Center Expands to Cabot

CABOT – ABC and LOL Child Care Center and Preschool will expand and open the Cabot Children’s Center, providing 15 new child care slots and four new jobs for the Cabot community. The Cabot Children’s Center, which was able to open as a result of new state funding from Act 76, the child care law passed in 2023, serves infants and toddlers up to age three out of the renovated ground floor of the Cabot Church. ABC and LOL currently operates child care, Pre-K, afterschool, and summer camp programs in St Johnsbury and Peacham, employing 65 staff and serving over 200 children.

“I had families in Cabot reaching out to me, asking us to open a child care center in their town. Thanks to new state funding from Act 76, we were able to finally say yes and make this expansion possible,” said Heather Smires, owner of ABC and LOL and Cabot Children’s Center. “We’ve been seeing this across the state for years. There just aren’t enough programs or enough spots to meet the demand for child care. But now, thanks to Act 76, not only are we opening a new center, we’re also able to provide our staff with the compensation increases and health benefits they need and deserve.”

Act 76, the child care law passed in 2023, is in its initial stages of implementation. In the fall the state rolled out the first phase, readiness payments to help programs stay afloat and expand capacity. Beginning in January, child care programs began receiving greater reimbursement rates from the state – which Smires said were used to rent, renovate, and furnish the new program space in Cabot. ABC and LOL also used new funds to increase wages for staff and, as of March 1, to begin offering health insurance to program employees for the first time.

The Cabot Children’s Center is also being celebrated by employers in the area, including Vermont’s Cabot Creamery, which, after many years without sufficient child care options in town, now has access to a local, quality program for some of its employees’ children. Nick Managan, Chief of Staff for Cabot Creamery said: “The lack of child care in the area has been a challenge for the Cabot Creamery workforce and the broader community. The town of Cabot was considered to be in a vast ‘child care desert,’ meaning parents didn’t have viable child care options in the area. That created a problem for parents, kids, and local businesses. Having a quality program like Cabot Children’s Center open in our community is a game-changer. It’s a great resource for our whole community and will help both current and future Cabot Creamery employees.”

Comments are closed.