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Virginia’s first lady visits Blacksburg to highlight child care & agriculture

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia’s First Lady, Pamela Northam, made a few stops in our hometowns this week. Many of these visits come as the state is taking steps to expand access to affordable childcare and recognize Agriculture Week.

“I’m a firm believer that they are our most precious resource,” said Earl Brown, a board member at Valley Interfaith Child Care Center (VICCC).

“I was just reading with the children and they were so smart. They knew what was happening in the room, they were able to follow or able to sit and listen to a long story,” said Northam.

Northam stopped at an early childhood center in Blacksburg to spend a bit of time with kids, but also talk about the state’s Child Care Subsidy Program.

“We are so appreciative of incredible work that the early childhood community has done since the beginning of this pandemic. They always do amazing work with our most important treasure, which is our youngest, littlest learner,” said Northam.

The expansion is designed to support families and childcare providers, like the Valley Interfaith Child Care Center.

“They have been open and in-person keeping their children safe, happy and healthy and learning throughout this whole pandemic, and we just wanted to come and say thank you so very much,” said Northam.

The center supports low-income working parents with infants and toddlers, so having the extra support from the state helps uphold their mission.

“And our mission has always been to have our children be beloved, cared for, valued and educated people, that they are going to need to be and want to be before they start school,” said Jeanne Roper, a board member at VICCC.

“You have to have leaders involved in getting things as far as support and believing in programs that children are our most precious resource. It all starts there.”

You can learn more about the extended eligibility and how to apply by visiting childcareva.com

The first lady also stopped at Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farm to recognize Virginia Agriculture Week.

The first lady toured the farm and got an inside look of how part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences operates.

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