This Issue Update newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Alliance's 2021 Legislative Agenda. The Legislative Agenda is crafted annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing legislative policy solutions related to health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education. The 11 priority issues were selected by the Alliance's 21 member Steering Committee.

H.171 – Child Care is Essential

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the importance of Vermont’s early childhood education system: more than ever, Vermonters understand that this system is essential for children, families, early educators, businesses, and our state’s economic recovery. However, even before the pandemic, 3 out of 5 of Vermont’s youngest children did not have access to the early childhood education they need.

This year the Alliance supports its members’ efforts to pass H.171, a bill that establishes state goals for affordability, access, and quality and lays the foundation of our future early childhood education system by:

  • Restructuring the Child Care Financial Assistance Program to cap family co-payments at affordable rates and establish goals for fair compensation for early childhood educators;
  • Formally convening experts and stakeholders to develop plans for raising new revenue as well as system coordination and accountability;
  • Fully funding an updated IT system critical to effective and efficient administration; and
  • Increasing strategic investments in early childhood education workforce development and early childhood education program capacity.

Continue reading for more information on this priority issue, including data and talking points, connections to the lead organizations, and advocacy tools.


Data and Talking Points

  • The median income of a child care worker in Vermont is only $27,600 – often without benefits.  This is less than what Vermont’s own Joint Fiscal Office says is a livable wage.
  • Families are struggling to pay for child care.  Middle-income families with two parents and two young children are spending as much as 30% of their income on child care, even with financial assistance from the state.
  • Every $1 dollar invested in strengthening Vermont’s early childhood education system generates around $3 in the Vermont economy.

Transforming Early Childhood Education: Equitable, Affordable, Sustainable Early Childhood Education for Children Birth to Five

Child care is essential for Vermont families, but 3 out of 5 of Vermont’s youngest children do not have access to the early childhood education they need. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated already pressing challenges, making it even harder for families to find affordable high-quality care for children birth to five. This is making it more difficult for early childhood education programs that cannot find and retain qualified educators. Without a high-quality and affordable early childhood education system, Vermont cannot fully recover and grow its workforce, support young families, or set its youngest citizens up for future success in school, relationships, work, and life.


Lead Organizations:


Resources and Advocacy Tools


Get Involved

  • Sign on to Let’s Grow Kids’ three-year plan to show your support for prioritizing children and increasing public investments in high-quality, affordable child care to ensure every Vermont child has a strong start.
  • Register for Early Childhood Day at the Legislature on March 10 – registration link coming soon!

Schedule an Advocacy Training

Schedule an Alliance training for a group of early childhood professionals, providers, parents, or employers interested in strengthening their advocacy skills or learning more about the issues on the Alliance’s Legislative Agenda. Be informed and ensure your voice is heard on issues impacting Vermont's young children and families!

To set up a training, email Matt Levin, Alliance Executive Director, at


The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals, parents, organizations, businesses, and strategic partners committed to improving public policies that impact young children between birth and age eight in the areas of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.

The Alliance crafts an annual Legislative Agenda in partnership with early childhood organizations, provides year-round advocacy support, and facilitates meaningful interactions with policymakers at key times during the decision making process.


15 State Street | Montpelier , Vermont 05602

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a program of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.

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