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

Tell Us Which Issues You Care About

Take this brief survey to let us know which of the issues on the Alliance's 2019 Legislative Agenda you are interested in. Responses will be used to help the Alliance tailor our communications to your interests and deliver you timely resources, events, and calls to action.  

FY19 Budget Adjustment Bill Under Consideration

The legislature is in the process of passing the annual Budget Adjustment Act, which makes mid-(fiscal) year corrections to state spending, and in some cases, state policy. As is often the case, there are many issues at play in the bill, and the situation changes rapidly. This bill only impacts the current fiscal year (FY19), but also sets the stage for discussions over the budget for the next fiscal year (FY20).

One of the key issues being considered is the Governor's proposal to cut $2.5 million from the Child Care Financial Assistance Program in FY19, on account of under-utilization of the program. Legislators have pushed back on this proposal, and instead are discussing a variety of ways to use the funding for one-time purposes during the current fiscal year. Negotiations over options are on-going.

The Governor is also recommending a small reduction in Reach Up expenditures, also due to under-utilization. Unfortunately, it appears the legislature will agree to this proposal, rather than re-investing these funds. Other issues being discussed include expenditures on child protection and financial support for expanded testing for lead in water systems in schools and child care facilities.

Look for more information on this still-fluid situation as the bill moves towards final approval, expected in the next two weeks.


New Child Care Bill Introduced

A bill aimed at increasing Vermonters' access to affordable, high-quality child care was announced by legislative sponsors at a State House press conference organized by Let's Grow Kids on January 29, 2019. H.194, An act relating to establishing incentives for early learning professionals and improving access to child care, was introduced into the House on Friday, February 8, 2019, with 70 sponsoring legislators. Testimony on the child care landscape will begin during the week of February 11. 

During the January press conference, Representative Theresa Wood, one of the bill's lead sponsors, shared that the average child care worker makes only $12.70 an hour. She described the proposals included in the bill, such as a scholarship program and a refundable tax credit to support child care workers. The legislative package would also increase child care financial assistance to families and begin to address the wage gap. Altogether, the bill would make investments in three key areas: expanding Vermont's tuition assistance program (known as the Child Care Financial Assistance Program); supporting the early education workforce; and, offering tax credits to businesses that help their employees access child care. See the LGK website for more details.  

The Alliance and lead organizations are hosting a call for advocates on CCFAP and the child care bill on Tuesday, February 12 from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm. RSVP to Kelly Ault by email at or by phone at (802) 272-0795.

Improving Vermont's Child Care Financial Assistance Program is one of nine issues on the Alliance's Legislative Agenda. Lead organizations on this issue are Let's Grow Kids, Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children, Vermont Child Care Providers Association, and Voices for Vermont's Children, all of which are members of the Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance.


Family and Medical Leave Insurance Bill Introduced

This week H.107, an act relating to family and medical leave, was introduced in the House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee. Testimony has been presented in the Committee throughout the week. See the Committee agenda and read testimony on the Committee's webpage.

Family and medical leave insurance is one of nine issues on the Alliance's 2019 Legislative Agenda.


Attend a Public Hearing on the FY20 Budget

Advocates are encouraged to attend one of the community-based public State Budget hearings on Monday, February 25, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are seeking public input on the Governor's Recommended FY20 State Budget at the following 5 locations:

Morrisville – People's Academy High School, Auditorium, top of Copley Avenue

Rutland City – Rutland Public Schools, Longfellow School Building, Board Room

St. Johnsbury – St. Johnsbury House, Main dining room, 1207 Main Street

St. Albans City – St. Albans City School, Library, 29 Bellows Street

Winooski – Community College of Vermont, Room 108, 1 Abenaki Way

Also, on the SAME DAY, but at a DIFFERENT TIME, another hearing will be held in Springfield at the Springfield Town Hall located at 96 Main Street in the third-floor Conference Room (Selectmen's Hall) from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

If you cannot attend a hearing, consider submitting written testimony to Theresa Utton-Jerman or Rebecca Buck at or

Find additional details and a link to the FY20 budget here.

For more information or support with testifying, please contact Alliance Public Engagement Director Kelly Ault at Recommendations for investments that benefit young children, families, and service providers are included on the Alliance's 2019 Legislative Agenda. Follow the link for more information on the issues, data, talking points, and other resources.


Upcoming Advocacy Days

Check the Alliance website for a listing of all upcoming advocacy days and events related to early childhood advocacy. If you have an event to share, please email Sarah Galbraith at See the purple box below for information on Early Childhood Day at the Legislature on March 13, 2019 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Vermont State House in Montpelier. 


Voices for Vermont's Children Advocacy Day – 2/12

Coordinated by Voices for Vermont's Children  

Tuesday, February 12, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Vermont State House, Montpelier 

Voices will be set up in the Card Room outside the House chamber with information about their legislative agenda, coalitions, and campaigns. Voices will be formally launching their campaign to establish an Office of Child Advocate to provide independent oversight and recommendations for the child protection system, and talking with legislators about the need to strengthen the Reach Up income assistance program for Vermont families living in extreme poverty.

Visit the event listing for more information, or call 229-6377 or email to learn more.


After School and Summer Learning Day

Coordinated by Vermont Afterschool

Thursday, February 14, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm, Vermont State House

Join advocates at the State House for a day of action to advance afterschool and expanded learning policy in Vermont. This statewide event brings together afterschool program providers, partners, and parents to inspire awareness and action. 

Visit the Vermont Afterschool website for more information. 


Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition Day

Coordinated by the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition

Tuesday, February 19, 7:30 am to 2:00 pm, Vermont State House

Join housing and conservation advocates to show support for projects that help end homelessness and create affordable housing.

Get more information and register on the Vermont Land Trust website

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

Registration has opened for this important annual day of advocacy and skill-building workshops. 

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 agenda for this 25th annual event includes issue and advocacy workshops, lunch with Legislators, state house tours, a rally, a birthday party celebrating 25 years of ECDL, and more. Stay tuned for a detailed agenda to be released in February.

Register online and download the registration flyer at the bottom of this webpage

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.


Governor's Budget Address Includes Proposals for Early Childhood

Issue Update: Child Care Financial Assistance Program 

Issue Update: Housing and Ending Homelessness

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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