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 butwhykids.org or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

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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.

People with sensory processing challenges can often be sensitve to type and levels of lighting, audio stimuli, texture, movement and more; sensory-friendly experiences tend to limit or alter them.
Fabiana Aroni / iStock

School is out for the summer and for some parents, that means scrambling to find activities for your kids. But for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other sensory processing challenges, it can be much more difficult to find accessible options. Vermont Edition will look at why and how some organizations are adapting their offerings to be more sensory-friendly.

'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.
iStock

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.

Illustrator Harry Bliss, his dog Penny, author Kate DiCamillo and The Flying Pig Bookstore owner Elizabeth Bluemle pose at The Film House, in Burlington. All three (humans) happen to be creators of picture books about dogs, published by Candlewick Press.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Over the weekend, a crowd of picture book fans got a chance to meet award-winning author Kate DiCamillo and illustrator Harry Bliss, a part-time Burlington resident. Attendees also got to know one of the furry, four-legged inspirations for the duo's new picture book.

The two toddlers currently enrolled at LouLou's Pre-K & Family Child Care have a lot of books and toys to choose from. Once the home day care is licensed by the state, up to ten children will be allowed to enroll.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

If you've ever looked for child care in Vermont, you know it can be tough to find openings. But it can also be a tough, and expensive, process for providers to open up and register with the state.

The organization Vermont Birth to Five is trying to help make it easier. 

We're looking  at the debates around how much independence to allow to kids.
_jure / iStock

Are today's parents overprotecting their kids and setting them up for failure? Or just keeping them safe? We're talking about the tricky balancing act between independence and safety, and what it means for kids’ development. 

Prevention Works! VT is hoping to make marijuana a less desirable choice for youth in Vermont.
Jessica Hyde / istock

It's now legal to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana under Vermont law if you're over 21. The law, which was passed in January, took effect on Sunday.

Julie Jacobson / AP

When I heard that the Miss America Pageant was ditching its swimsuit competition, I thought … it’s about time.

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