This Issue Update newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Alliance's 2022 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 nine priority issues were selected by the Alliance's 21 member Steering Committee.


Stop the Historic Underfunding of CIS

Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) delivers evidence-based and informed services to families with young children as part of a coordinated continuum of care across multiple types of providers and settings. CIS has been shown to be effective in mitigating the effects of childhood trauma for thousands of Vermont families. In 2021 CIS received its first increase in funding since it started in 2009.

However, the demand and actual costs to the 12 regional non-profit agencies that coordinate the delivery of services have steadily increased. There is a critical lack of capacity to serve children and families that struggle with multiple risk factors including increased child welfare involvement, exposure to parental opiate use, poverty, homelessness, and autism prevalence. CIS also lacks a common data system, meaning both state agencies and providers lack the ability to compare outcomes, track client progress, identify improvements and efficiencies, and make real-time changes to their service plans as needed. 

The Alliance supports the lead organizations’ efforts to secure an increased investment of $1.8 million in CIS, which would meet the cost of care and ensure continued progress on family safety and stability, healthy child development, and young children’s access to quality early childhood education. A one-time investment of federal pandemic relief funds of $1.6 million is needed to build a statewide CIS data reporting platform.

The Governor’s Recommended FY23 Budget includes level funding for CIS compared to FY22. Responding to requests from advocates, the House Human Services Committee recommended an increase in the case rate from $600/month to $650/month for FY23 in their letter to House Appropriations. This increase would mean an additional $880,000 in annual funding for the program – still short of actual cost of care, but a badly needed increase. The House Appropriations Committee supported the recommendation, which is included in the FY23 budget the House is considering this week.

Advocacy also continues in support of the request for $1.6m in one-time funds for the development of a system-wide CIS data system. Both the House Human Services and Energy & Technology Committees supported this request in their budget letters to House Appropriations, but funding was not included in the House FY23 budget. Advocacy on this proposal continues in the Senate.


Data and Talking Points

  • The pandemic has created significant strains on the CIS system, and these will continue as public health impacts are felt in the coming months and years. In the Brattleboro AHS District we have seen a 6% increase in referrals, a 21% increase in clients put onto CIS One Plans, and a 50% reduction in clients lost to follow up, indicating an increase in engagement in services. 


  • The Child Development Division’s own study in 2019 revealed that the current rate of $600 per member per month (PMPM) does not cover the cost of providing services. Based on that study, the inflation adjusted rate to cover actual costs would now be $700 PMPM, requiring a $1.8 million increase to the annual CIS budget to bring it to $13.3 million. This level of funding would be adequate to fully fund services at the pre-pandemic levels. 


  • With the large influx of federal pandemic response funding, we have a unique opportunity to utilize one-time federal funding to make a desperately needed upgrade of CIS’ data collection and reporting system that also fully integrates with CDD’s data system CDDIS. Without a common data system, CIS providers lack the ability to visualize the data, track client progress, and make real time changes to their service plans as needed, and CDD cannot compare and track data across the CIS regions. 

Lead Organizations

Vermont Parent Child Center Network 

Vermont Parent Child Center Network was originally created by four innovative thinking Parent Child Center leaders in 1986, and then delegated by Vermont State Statute in 1988 to become the current fifteen legislatively designed centers that now serve children and families throughout all of Vermont. Its goals are to help all Vermont’s families with young children get off to a healthy start; promote well-being; build on family strengths, and prevent problems, i.e. illiteracy, poor health, welfare dependency, family violence, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, that have proved to be so costly to our society in both human and financial terms.


Vermont Family Network

The mission of Vermont Family Network is to empower and support all Vermont children, youth, and families, especially those with disabilities or special health needs. We do this by giving a strong start, lifting family voices, and advancing inclusive communities. Its vision is that all Vermont children and youth reach their full potential. The values which guide its work are: family-centered, respect, collaboration, making a difference, and accessibility.


Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development

The Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development provides inclusive education and family support to promote the success of children and families. The Center is comprised of the Early Learning Center, which provides high-quality early care and education to children ages 6 weeks through age 5, and Community Based Services, which includes Children’s Integrated Services, Family Supportive Housing, and Child Care Support Services.



Resources and Advocacy Tools


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.


7 School Street | Montpelier , Vermont 05602

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

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