The Alliance's weekly newsletter includes policy updates, legislative news, and events related to the Alliance's Legislative Agenda. Stay informed by checking the Alliance's Facebook page. To share early childhood advocacy news with the Alliance to be included in future updates, email Sarah Galbraith at email@example.com.
Meet the Steering Committee: Member Introductions
In last week’s newsletter, we shared an overview of the role of the Alliance’s Steering Committee within our coalition of early childhood members (see the Alliance website for more information, too). In review, the Steering Committee guides the operations of the Alliance and sets the annual Legislative Agenda.
The Alliance Steering Committee includes 21 members representing the issues of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education, as well as parents and businesses. See a list of members, with their affiliations and topic assignments, below.
Diane Nichols-Fleming, Self, Early Care/Early Education, Public K-3
Ellen Drolette, Self, Early Care/Early Education, Home-based
Faye Longo, Self, Parents
Floyd Nease, Vermont Parent Child Center Network, Family Support
Holly Morehouse, Vermont Afterschool, Early Care/Early Education Afterschool
Jesse Carpenter, Vermont Food Bank, Food Security
Katie Watts, Vermont Head Start Association, Family Support
Margaret Atkinson, Winston Prouty Center, At Large
Michelle Fay, Voices for Vermont's Children, Economic Security
Pam McCarthy, Vermont Family Network, Health
Sarah Kenney, Let's Grow Kids, At Large
Sonja Raymond, Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children, At Large
Steve Ames, Self, Safety
Tabitha McGlynn, Self, Health
The Executive Committee assists the Executive Director in managing the day-to-day affairs of the Alliance, and conducts other duties as identified by the Steering Committee. Members of the Executive Committee are Faye Mack (Chair), Judy Pransky (Vice Chair), Becca Schrader (Treasurer), Ilene Dickenson (Secretary), and Steve Ames (At Large).
Visit the Alliance website for Steering Committee Meeting Minutes and our Governance Document, which details the purpose and structure of the Alliance. The Governance Document is written and updated by the Steering Committee.
The Alliance Structure: Backbone Support in a Collective Impact Framework
The Alliance serves as a Backbone Organization in supporting advocacy and advancing an annual early childhood legislative agenda. The Alliance staff work closely with the coalition’s leadership, which include Steering Committee members and Lead Organization representatives, on managing the organizational infrastructure that enables effective, collaborative early childhood advocacy.
The Steering Committee guides a responsive and sustainable structure for coalition operations through governance decision-making and setting the annual Legislative Agenda. Lead organizations provide expertise on legislative and organizing strategy, especially during the Legislative session. Staff gives year-round, hands-on support inside and outside the State House, from managing the coalition’s functions to strategic planning on issue development and messaging, consultation on ever-changing strategy, and skill building directly with advocates. Specific processes throughout the year, such as the Agenda-setting process, and evaluation mechanisms, such as the Annual Membership Meeting, annually affirm the Alliance’s role as a backbone organization for Vermont’s early childhood advocacy efforts.
One way that Alliance staff facilitate collaboration and leadership on early childhood issues is holding weekly policy phone calls of the Policy/Advocacy Committee, which is made up of staff from Lead Organizations. “[These calls] are really helpful,” said Claire Kendall, from the Family Center of Washington County, at this year’s Annual Membership Meeting. “It broadens the view and perspective from your own issue.”
Sarah Kenney, with Let’s Grow Kids, added that this type of coordination helped elevate together all of the issues affecting early childhood. “Because of the weekly policy calls and data we had all put together, it was much easier for us to go in to the Legislature and say, ‘Yes, kids need child care and they need a roof over their head and they need food.’”
Visit the Alliance website to learn more about the Alliance’s structure and the five components of a Collective Impact framework.
Invite Legislators to Your Summer Events
This week marks the official start of summer and the season is a great time to connect with your legislator about early childhood. Invite them to lunch or to your program. Introduce yourself at a local parade or community event. Thank them for their work in supporting early childhood and families in Vermont!
Early childhood organizations, professionals, providers, parents, and employers are working together to improve the lives of Vermont's young children, families and the early childhood workforce. As members of the Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance, these advocates are working to advance a shared early childhood Legislative Agenda using a Collective Impact organizational framework.
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.