MONTPELIER (AP) - Top officials with the administration of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin are defending his proposal to take $17 million from benefits for low-income working Vermonters and use it to subsidize child care for the same category of people.

Human Services Secretary Doug Racine said Tuesday that good child care is an investment that will pay off in better outcomes later in life. He also argued that the earned income tax credit, from which Shumlin wants to take the money, may not be the best use of the state's money.

Racine's comments followed a news conference by leading Progressive lawmakers, who said they support increasing child care subsidies, but don't want the money to come from people who are using it for groceries and heat.