This Issue Update newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Alliance's 2024 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 priority issues were selected by the Alliance's 21 member Steering Committee.


Delivering on the Promise of Act 76

Act 76 makes Vermont’s child care system one of the most expansive in the nation. The new law includes long-term, sustainable public funding that will make a difference for years into the future, not just for young children, their families and early childhood educators, but for businesses and our state’s economy. On an annual basis, it invests $125 million into Vermont’s child care system. This historic investment will help families afford child care and will help child care programs improve quality and early childhood educator recruitment and retention by increasing compensation, resources, and professional training.

The Alliance supports Let’s Grow Kids and the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children in their work to monitor implementation of Act 76 with the goal of making it work for all Vermont families, and to ensure that funding gets into the hands of those who need it most – child care programs and early childhood educators, families, and kids.

Act 76 took effect in July 2023. By fall DCF began distributing Readiness Payments to child care programs, and the first Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) reimbursement rate increase went into effect ahead of schedule in December. The next big steps will be expansion of income eligibility for CCFAP in April, with an even bigger expansion impacting more families in October.

Update: While the FY25 Budget faces serious fiscal challenges, the Governor’s Recommended FY25 Budget supports most Act 76 costs with the exception of a $9 million cut to base funding for CCFAP. Key legislators have already expressed deep concern over this cut and have recommended rejecting it. The Governor is also recommending a one-time reduction in funding to CCFAP of $10 million in the current year's budget, since CCFAP eligibility expansion won't happen until near the end of this fiscal year. Legislators are less concerned about this proposal, given that Act 76 implementation is going relatively smoothly. Finally, the Budget Adjustment Act, which passed on Friday, March 1st, included an additional $1 million for one last round of Readiness Payments to be distributed in April.


Data and Talking Points

  • In 2023, Vermonters worked together with lawmakers to pass Act 76! This new law makes Vermont a national leader in child care. The law’s historic investments will stabilize our child care sector; providing access to affordable, quality child care for thousands of Vermont kids and their families and increasing compensation for essential early childhood educators. Act 76 proves that solving our state’s child care crisis is within our reach.
  • In 2024, the Vermont Legislature must deliver on the promise of Act 76, which will invest an additional $125 million a year into Vermont’s child care system. Our primary policy goal this year is to make sure Act 76 is fully funded and properly implemented. We owe it to Vermonters to get this right!
  • We’re already seeing early results from Act 76:
    • In South Burlington, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating a new center for over 40 kids.
    • In St. Johnsbury, we saw a program increase by 55 slots while also increasing compensation and seeing a welcome uptick in applications for open teacher positions.
    • In Wilmington, a program is working with the town to expand child care, using space in an old high school turned community center.

Lead Organizations

Let’s Grow Kids

Known for their transformational social mission and family-friendly policies, Let’s Grow Kids staff, board of directors, and volunteers include state government leaders, national nonprofit directors, business executives, marketers, grassroots organizers, and early childhood educators and administrators with proven successes creating social transformation, advocating for policy change, and upgrading Vermont’s child care system. 

Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children

The Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children advances equity and excellence in early childhood education with early childhood educators as their foundation. As a membership organization, they provide resources and advocate for policies that move early childhood education forward now and for the future.


  • Share your story! What does progress on child care mean to you? Let us know how this new child care law will make your life (or the lives of your family, friends, and loved ones) better!
  • 2024 Child Care Agenda 

Alliance Legislative Agenda: Weekly Issue Spotlight – Early Childhood Education and State Tax Credits – 3/25

This winter, the Alliance is hosting virtual Weekly Issue Spotlights leading up to ECDL. Each session focuses on one or two issues from the Alliance’s 2024 Legislative Agenda. Joined by representatives from the lead organizations, participants can ask direct questions and hear a brief legislative update regarding the issues. 

The next session will be held Monday, March 25, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, and focuses on two issues on our Legislative Agenda – Early Childhood Education: Act 76 Implementation - Deliver on the Promise, and State Tax Credits: Expand Vermont Tax Credits to Help Vermonters Meet Their Basic Needs.

Led by Sarah Kenney from Let’s Grow Kids and Julie Lowell from the Public Assets Institute, this session is a great opportunity to learn more about these issues, where they stand in the Legislature, and how to get involved.


Register for ECDL '24!

Join us in person for the 30th Annual Early Childhood Day at the Legislature (ECDL) on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier.

The issues on our 2024 Legislative Agenda will play central roles at this year’s ECDL, and we are filling the Day's schedule with informative sessions that cover all of our issues and more.

Visit the Alliance website for more information and to register! 


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.


Alliance Weekly Issue Spotlight – 3/25; Alliance Equity Discussion – 3/29; VCLF is Hiring; Register for ECDL

Issue Update - Housing

7 School Street | Montpelier , Vermont 05602

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

Follow Us

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences