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  

Alliance Releases 2019 Legislative Agenda

The Alliance's Legislative Agenda is crafted annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing policy solutions through the legislative process related to health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education. The following nine issues were selected by the Alliance's 21-member Steering Committee. One or more lead organizations will direct legislative and advocacy strategy on each issue. 

See below for a description of each of the issues included on this year's Legislative Agenda. A downloadable PDF is available on the Alliance's website.

We look forward to working together!

For questions, please contact Matt Levin, Executive Director, at



Help End Child Homelessness by Investing In Housing and Services

All Vermonters deserve safe, stable and affordable housing, especially our children. We are making progress on homelessness, but need to increase state investments. The Alliance supports the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition in securing full, statutory funding for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), $21.8 million for FY'20. The 2017 housing bond is making a real difference, but it doesn't make up for more than $50 million VHCB lost over the last 20 years — and doesn't address the need for rental assistance and supportive services. Because of the state's chronic underfunding of housing needs, we must find new revenue sources dedicated to funding them, like the proposed $2 motel/hotel occupancy fee.

Lead Organization: Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition 



Increase Reach Up Grants to Families

Children raised in poverty experience poor health and wellness outcomes in relationship to their higher-income peers. Current appropriations to the Reach Up program effectively ensure that this safety-net program meant "to improve the well-being of children by providing for their immediate basic needs" provides only 30-50% of the income needed to achieve its purpose. The Alliance supports Voices for Vermont's Children's proposal to increase the Reach Up cash grant to children and families incrementally until it meets 100% of the basic needs of participants, with automatic inflation indexing going forward. 

Lead Organization: Voices for Vermont's Children 



Create a Statewide Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

Nearly every working Vermonter at some point will need to take time away from their job to care for or bond with a new child or to deal with a serious personal or family illness. A statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program will support the health, well-being, and economic security of Vermont's children and families and ensure that future generations thrive. The Alliance supports the VT Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FaMLI) Coalition in advocating for passage of a strong bill in 2019.

Lead Organization: FaMLI Coalition 



Increase Access to Farm to School and Early Childhood Programming 

Vermont Farm to School is a nationally recognized initiative that supports Vermont's economy, communities, and the healthy development and learning for Vermont's children. In 2017, Act 63, the Farm to School bill, was signed into law allowing both registered and licensed child care providers to be eligible for Vermont Farm to School grants. The Alliance supports Vermont FEED, Hunger Free Vermont, and champion organizations in their efforts to fully fund Farm to School and Early Childhood at $500,000. An increase of $269,000 in state funds will ensure we reach this goal, and support early childhood programs and K-3 classrooms in accessing Farm to School and Early Childhood funding.

Lead Organizations: Vermont FEED, Hunger Free Vermont



Increase Funding to Support Child and Family Resilience and Prevent ACEs

Children's Integrated Services (CIS) was designed to maximize children's health, development, and learning by providing individualized support to families and child care programs. Integrating services for children and families improves outcomes while reducing costs. Due to level funding since 2009, Vermont is coming up short in meeting its obligations to its youngest learners. The Alliance supports the work of the PCC Network, VT Family Network and the Winston Prouty Center to secure increased funding to support CIS, which will allow the agencies delivering essential CIS services to meet increased demand for services that support resilient children and families and prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Lead Organizations: Vermont Parent Child Center Network, Vermont Family Network, Winston Prouty Center for Child & Family Development



Support Critical Investments

In 2019, early childhood programs will have to continue to advocate for needed funding increases, as there is no relief in sight to the prolonged trend of level funding social service programs. Budget allocations for these programs are critical not just to lower-income Vermonters but to the entire community. All Vermonters are impacted when these services cannot function well because of chronic under-funding. The Alliance will work with allies to oppose cuts to essential programs and direct services in the Human Services and other state budgets, and will actively investigate potential revenue sources in support of a state budget based on needs, not revenue limitations. The Alliance will continue to press for active discussions about tax reform and ending the level-funding cycle.

Lead Organization: Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance 



Strengthen Vermont's Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP)

CCFAP is a critical resource that helps Vermont families afford child care. However, the level of financial assistance offered by the program does not reflect the current cost of child care in Vermont, meaning the program no longer works as intended for families or child care providers. The Building Vermont's Future Think Tank recommends that CCFAP provide the full cost of child care tuition for all families earning less than Vermont's livable wage. The Alliance supports advocacy by Let's Grow Kids, VT Association for the Education of Young Children, VT Child Care Providers Association, and Voices for VT's Children to make immediate progress toward this goal by allocating additional funds to expand program eligibility, increase financial assistance for families, and increase the rates paid by the program to reflect current costs of child care.

Lead Organizations: Let's Grow Kids, Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children, Vermont Child Care Providers Association, Voices for Vermont's Children



Support and Build the Early Education Workforce

A prepared, professional, nurturing early childhood workforce is essential to the healthy development of our children, as well as to supporting a robust Vermont economy. In order to respond to an urgent workforce demand and shore up the future of the state's high-quality early care and learning system, Vermont must invest in early educators. The Alliance joins the VT Association for the Education of Young Children, VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council, and Let's Grow Kids in supporting scholarships for early educators to attain necessary degrees and credentials through the T.E.A.C.H. program, and the establishment of a student loan repayment program for early educators in order to retain current teachers and attract new educators to the field.

Lead Organization: Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children, Vermont Child Care Industry and Careers Council, Let's Grow Kids



Fully Fund Parent Child Centers' Master Grant

Parent Child Centers (PCCs) provide essential state services through grants and contracts with the state's Department for Children and Families. The Master Grant combines these funding sources and develops consistent measures and outcomes for the PCCs' work, and is base funding for the eight core services that PCCs deliver on behalf of the state. PCC funding has been stagnant for decades, while the workload and case complexity has increased. Therefore, PCC staff wages and benefits have suffered. The Alliance supports the PCC Network's request to incrementally increase state funding to the Master Grant by $8 million (for a total of $10 million per year) for the statewide network of 15 PCCs. Specifically, for FY'20, PCCs are asking for a $1.5 million Master Grant increase (for a total of $3.5 million statewide).

Lead Organizations: Vermont Parent Child Center Network

Early Childhood Day at the Legislature - 3/13/19

Mark your calendar for the 25th Annual Early Childhood Day at the Legislature at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Vermont State House in Montpelier on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm! Registration will open in late January, but in the meantime, see a recap of ECDL 2018 on our website

Early Childhood Day at the Legislature (ECDL) is an annual day of advocacy, education, and networking co-hosted by the Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance, Let's Grow Kids, and Building Bright Futures, that brings together early childhood professionals and providers, parents, employers, business owners, and policymakers to engage on early childhood issues.

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.


Happy Holidays, 2019 Advocacy Days

Public Meeting on Poverty, Pre-K Conference and Report 

Election Results, Issue Resources, Upcoming Events

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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