2019 Legislative Agenda Issue Update

Reach Up Funding

Increasing the Reach Up cash grant is one of nine issues on the Alliance's 2019 Legislative Agenda, along with two additional issues being monitored. This issue newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Agenda. This Agenda is crafted by the Alliance Steering Committee annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing policy solutions through the legislative process.

Continue reading for more information on this priority issue, including data and talking points, connections to the lead organizations and other partners, and advocacy tools.

Data and Talking Points

"Investing in children is key to turning the curve on a number of issues that impact state budgets now and in the future."

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.

The cash grant to children and families should be increased incrementally until it meets 100 percent of the basic needs of participants, with automatic inflation indexing going forward. There are a number of ways to approach this end result, which Voices and the Reach Up Coalition will explore with the legislature.

For more information on the Reach Up program, visit Voices for Vermont's Children.

Resources and Advocacy Tools 

2019 Reach Up Policy Brief and Talking Points

Find resources from lead organization Voices for Vermont's Children, such as 2019 talking points, the 2019 Policy Brief, and recent news coverage on the issue, all available as links or downloads on the Reach Up Funding webpage on the Alliance's website. 

Schedule an Advocacy Training on Legislative Issues 

Schedule an Alliance training for parents and professionals interested in strengthening advocacy techniques and communication skills. Be informed and ensure your voice is heard on issues impacting Vermont's young children, families, and the early childhood workforce.

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide advocacy coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals and providers, parents, and employers committed to improving public policies that impact young children from birth to age eight on issues 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.


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

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