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A Little of This, A Little of That 

click to enlarge Alison Novak
  • Alison Novak

Believe it or not, some people have never read Kids VT. So I am sometimes asked to describe our publication. I usually explain that it's a combination of fun pieces that showcase local families and kid-friendly places, activities and events, as well as articles that address weightier topics — personal essays and longer features about parenting challenges and topics such as foster care, addiction, gender identity and technology.

Nowhere is that mix on better display than in this month's pages. It's our annual Money Issue, which centers on families and finances. In "Undervalued," I dig into the subject of compensation for childcare providers. It's an aspect that's sometimes overlooked in conversations about the cost of care and lack of spots for children. In reporting the piece, I was shocked to learn that the median hourly wage for childcare workers in Vermont is $12.71. I imagine many fellow parents will be, too. The piece explores the financial toll on both early childhood educators and childcare center owners, and it lays out why their work is so critical.

Staff writer Brett Ann Stanciu shares advice for raising a family on a budget. In "On the Cheap," local experts weigh in on how to spend leisure time, spruce up a house, throw a birthday party, and shop for clothing and groceries without breaking the bank. In the same vein, I describe how to create an Instagram-worthy snack board for around $20 in "The Art of."

You'll also find Heather Polifka-Rivas' take on "Small Worlds," the current exhibit at the University of Vermont's Fleming Museum of Art that highlights miniatures. It's a cultural outing that will cost your whole family just $10. Mary Ann Lickteig breaks down the cost of rearing kids in "By the Numbers." And Heather Fitzgerald explains why she invests time and energy to expose her son to nature in "Use Your Words."

For a bountiful assortment of free or low-cost events this month, check out our April calendar. And check out another installment of our Camp Guide, where you'll find camp staffers describing the sweet and simple pleasures their camps offer, as well as lots of great information about both day and overnight summer programs. If you haven't signed up your kids for camp yet, there's no time to lose!

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Editor's Note