Kids & Parenting

VPR's home for content that focuses on kids and parenting.

Have a voracious reader? 

Explore Dorothy's List, VPR's book club for kids.

Each month we highlight a book nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award. We visit schools and libraries where the book is being read, check out how young readers are interacting with the book and relay students’ questions to the author. Explore the list.

Have curious kiddos?

Check out VPR's podcast made just for kids — But Why!

Find the latest episodes at or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


In homes in which a family member has autism, day-to-day tasks can be challenging. One family is now trying to solve some of those issues, by pairing up with engineering students from the University of Connecticut.

A person at a keyboard while another person nearby holds a baby.
Lund Residential Program, Courtesy

"I've made mistakes / I know it's true / but you're so strong, so reach the sky."

You haven't heard these lyrics before, but one new baby will — maybe each and every night, right before bathtime or bedtime or at 2 a.m., when the world seems scariest. It will be their song.

It was written by a new parent with help from local musicians and groups for something called The Lullaby Project, from Carnegie Hall's Weill Institute of Music.

A woman stands in the center of children on a blue rug.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The smell of fish sticks, crayons, and the sweet-yet-slightly-grubby smell of small children. If you’re a parent, you know what we’re talking about. If you’re not? Welcome to child care.

A boy places a grapefruit into a shopping car full of healthy fruits and vegetables.
Light Field Studios / iStock

A new dieting app targets kids and teens to help them track their food and lose weight. But is using technology a good way to help young people eat well and be healthy, or can diets and apps be counterproductive for kids and achieving a healthy weight? We're talking with nutritionists about the role of food, family, technology and habits when it comes to kids, weight loss and healthy eating. 

When Lesley Del Rio goes to the library to do her college math homework, she often has a study buddy: her precocious 8-year-old son, Leo.

Del Rio is working on her associate degree; Leo is working on third grade.

And Del Rio is not alone: More than 1 in 5 college students in the U.S. are raising kids. That's more than 4 million undergraduates, and they are disproportionately women and people of color. Of those students, more than half will leave school without getting a degree.

More teens and young adults — particularly girls and young women — are reporting being depressed and anxious, compared with comparable numbers from the mid-2000s. Suicides are up too in that time period, most noticeably among girls ages 10 to 14.

These trends are the basis of a scientific controversy.

One hypothesis that has gotten a lot of traction is that with nearly every teen using a smartphone these days, digital media must take some of the blame for worsening mental health.

Welcome to parenthood! For many of us, parenthood is like being air-dropped into a foreign land, where protohumans rule and communication is performed through cryptic screams and colorful fluids. And to top it off, in this new world, sleep is like gold: precious and rare. (Oh, so precious.)

Throughout human history, children were typically raised in large, extended families filled with aunts, uncles, grannies, grandpas and siblings. Adding another baby to the mix didn't really make a big dent.

Cutting the ribbon on an new Mamava suite.
Mamava, Courtesy

Two leaders in the breastfeeding industry are joining forces to support lactating mothers returning to work.

'Downstream: The Effects of Parental Incarceration' is a film that tells the struggles of Vermont families when a parent goes to jail.
Lamoille Restorative Center, Courtesy

A film about the effects of parental incarceration is making its way around the state. The movie, a project of the Lamoille Restorative Center, features young Vermonters growing up with a parent in jail.

A pink illustration of the human brain on a blue background
Jolygon / iStock

A new study has revealed some interesting findings about how kids' involvement in team sports can impact the development of the adolescent brain in positive ways.

The interior of the VPR talk studio with a microphone, chair and VPR logo on the wall.
Meg Malone / VPR File

Republican Gov. Phil Scott and lawmakers in the Vermont House want to pour more than $10 million into Vermont's child care system, to address issues of affordability and availability. However, leaders in the Senate say they aren’t ready to commit to the funding plan.

Barre mother Nina Lemieux sits with her three kids, Billie, Brightlynn and Boston (from left). Shortly after Lemieux's daycare provider shut down unexpectedly in 2017, Lemieux lost her job, her savings and her apartment.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

House lawmakers last month approved a substantial increase in funding for childcare services, but leaders in the Senate say they aren’t ready to commit to the proposal.

A wood baby crip with pink wallpaper and a teddy bear.
zclobes / iStock

Family and friends of 6-month-old Harper Rose Briar will hold a fundraiser in Rutland Monday to offset funeral and legal bills.

The Pittsford infant’s death in January was ruled a homicide. Stacey Vaillancourt, the baby’s daycare provider, faces felony manslaughter charges for allegedly administering unprescribed allergy medicine. She pleaded not guilty.

While experts say this tragedy may be a first in Vermont, infant deaths from drugs like Benadryl are not uncommon.

Stacks of diapers in a row.
Vrabelpeter1 / iStock

Food shelves rarely stock diapers, and families can't use federal subsidies like WIC or SNAP to buy them. To address this need, a new diaper bank is opening to serve communities in Chittenden County.

Being a foster parent can present incredible challenges, but also unimagined rewards. We hear from Vermont foster parents and an adult who went through the foster care system.
fizkes / iStock

In 2018 more than 700 children needed to be placed in foster homes in Vermont by the Department for Children and Families. The department says it needs foster parents in all communities for children of all ages. We'll hear from foster parents who share why they made the decision to help children in need.

A piggy bank straddling the line of two different color backgrounds.
HighLaZ / iStock

Key lawmakers are questioning Gov. Phil Scott's plan to finance a $7-million increase in child care funds, saying the proposal is akin to "raiding" the state's education fund.

A lunch from Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury features whole-grain spaghetti with meat sauce, local apple, salad, broccoli, and a roll.
Vermont Agency of Education

Vermont schools offer free or reduced-cost meals to thousands of students every day. But how did schools become the venue to enact food policy? We're looking at school meal programs and the role they play in nutrition and education in school today.

Amy Mulherin, a teacher in the Winston Prouty toddler program in Brattleboro, gets two of her students dressed to go outside and play in the snow.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

High-quality child care in Vermont can be tough to find and tougher to afford. And elected officials from the governor on down seem to agree that this is a serious problem for the state. So what's being done to address the issue? We're looking at the state of child care in Vermont. And going through some of the ideas on the table to make that care more accessible and affordable.

Researchers at UVM and 20 other sites across the country are studying more than 11,800 children to learn how brain development relates to behavior, achievement, mental health outcomes and more.

Nearly 12,000 children aged nine and ten are now taking part in a decade-long, nationwide study looking at how young brains develop. And 577 of them are right here in Vermont.

We're talking with investigators leading the research at UVM about this landmark study and what they're learning about this pivotal decade in the development of young brains. 

Preschoolers from Coventry march into the woods for their first Forest Day in the NEK activity.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The Jay Community Recreational Centre is 300 acres of wooded trails surrounding an open meadow and a mountain stream. It also serves as a classroom for preschoolers from across the Northeast Kingdom.