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Big Changes Start Small

by Ellen Drolette
March/April 2018
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/big-changes-start-small/5024016/

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

With a population of just over 620,000 people, Vermont may be a small state, but it has a big child care challenge: nearly 80 percent of the state’s infants and toddlers in need of child care don’t have access to high-quality programs. That caught the attention of a prominent Vermont real estate developer who realized the importance of early childhood experiences 50 years ago, when a group of local kids stole tools from one of his construction sites. Rather than press charges, he asked to meet with the kids and their families. Struck by the cycle of poverty he saw playing out before his eyes, he made it his life’s work to give every Vermont child the opportunity for a strong start. In 2000, this developer turned philanthropist, Rick Davis, co-founded the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children.

By bringing together key early childhood funders in Vermont, including the Turrell Fund and A.D. Henderson Foundation, the Permanent Fund developed a collaborative philanthropic approach for a greater impact than any one organization could achieve alone. Recently, ...

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