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Vermont

The Alliance’s key allies in Vermont are Let’s Grow Kids (LGK) and Voices for Vermont’s Children (VVC). LGK is a statewide movement to secure affordable access to high-quality child care for all Vermonters by 2025. LGK partners with local communities to strengthen the existing early care and learning system and mobilizes Vermonters to demand policy change and increased public investment in high-quality child care. VVC conducts research and analysis on policy solutions to improve the lives of children and youth, and advocates for those changes in the legislature and beyond. Their efforts focus on addressing equity through systemic change rather than individual-level interventions.

2020 State Policy Environment and Progress

State early childhood policy progress is dependent both on the state’s policy environment and the numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

Advocacy Landscape:

Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance coalition
Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance

 

2020 Policy Environment and Progress:

$1.66B STATE BUDGET
Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

UNALIGNED GOVERNMENT
House (D), Senate (D),
Governor (R)

35% LOW-INCOME
18,484 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

In Vermont there is a feeling of “protect what we have.” While there was widespread talk about the need for cuts in the FY21 budget, there were no clawbacks in FY20. Early childhood education received attention, but it focused on getting people back to work, not the well-being of children, families, or the community. In the end, with better-than-forecasted tax revenues and federal assistance, Vermont was able to avoid making large spending cuts in the FY21 budget. However, large cuts may be proposed in FY22, as the economic impacts of COVID-19 further erode the state’s tax revenues.

The legislature approved three bills that allocated about $600 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide emergency relief to Vermonters. The bills included a wide variety of provisions that will benefit the state’s early childhood community.

*Early childhood policy progress in a state is the result of numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

Download the full 50-State report.

The Alliance for Early Success 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy expands state data (disaggregating low-income young children by race) and provides high-level state policy trend analysis for the nation as a whole. Click the icon to download the report.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020

Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”

State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”

Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 

 

GOING FORWARD:

Top Alliance Grant Priorities for 2021

Invest in Vermont’s early childhood educators through a variety of initiatives to sustain and grow the workforce. (Let’s Grow Kids)

Engage employers in supporting Vermont’s early care and education system through targeted, publicly funded business-community partnership pilots. (Let’s Grow Kids)

Convene and lead a coalition to advance policies to eliminate child poverty, including cash assistance, refundable tax credits, and access to safe housing and nutritious food. (Voices for Vermont’s Children)

Continue to transform Vermont’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program to better support children, their families, and early care and education programs. (Let’s Grow Kids)

Protect and strengthen Vermont’s Universal Pre-k Program. (Let’s Grow Kids)

Continue organizing stakeholders around child protection systemaccountability and reforms. (Voices for Vermont’s Children)

Advance health care integration with early care and education (ECE) to increase investments in the ECE system and better align supports for children and families. (Let’s Grow Kids)

Establish a universal, publicly administered, equitable paid family and medical leave program. (Voices for Vermont’s Children)

Expand coverage to provide birth doula services to all Medicaid-eligible parents. (Voices for Vermont’s Children)

More from Vermont:

The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape Vermont early childhood policy.