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Early Childhood Action Plan Implementation Cycle

Becky Gonyea, Building Bright Futures’ (BBF) Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP) Strategic Consultant, presented the proposed annual ECAP implementation cycle to the State Advisory Council (SAC) for approval during the May council meeting.

To ensure that we make progress on our shared goal of realizing the promise of every Vermont child, Becky has been working diligently over the past six months to develop a strategy that will move the Action Plan forward.

Becky’s work has included defining the authority and charge of the ECAP, articulating the structures we need for adoption, developing clear roles and responsibilities, and developing the procedures and processes to update the action plan and monitor the progress of all committees using a results based accountability (RBA) dashboard.

Over the past few months, she has consulted with Sarah Squirrell, Executive Director of BBF, regional council members, regional coordinators, and committee leaders to ensure functionality of the annual implementation cycle.

The annual implementation cycle includes the following elements:

In July, there will be an early childhood summit where a broad group of stakeholders will develop priorities for the upcoming year while celebrating the accomplishments of the previous year. Over the following few months, goals will be defined and implementation teams developed. Once September arrives, these implementation teams will develop a plan for SAC approval. Implementation teams would then continue to form, meet, track progress, report to BBF and the ECAP coordinator, and eventually list accomplishments over the past year when the annual “How Are Vermont’s Young Children & Families” report releases in the winter.

Becky’s plan provides BBF with both flexibility and nimbleness; if there is no committee currently established to carry out priority strategy of the action plan, one can be nested within a committee that already exists, or a new one can form.

Using an online scorecard, BBF will have the ability to track performance measures and even switch directions for maximum efficiency and effectiveness as time goes on. This platform will allow any member of BBF, a committee, an implementation team, or a legislative authority to see what’s being worked on, who’s working on it, how they’re measuring their progress, and how they’re performing at any given time.

The SAC responded positively to Becky’s work and appreciated the nimbleness of the implementation cycle. It was also brought up that we might need to remind implementation teams to pull back and look at the broader scope of what we’re all trying to achieve in order to avoid tunnel vision within specific tasks. This will provide us with a collective impact focus.

While learning is a large component of the new implementation cycle, the SAC expressed excitement in seeing this process unfold and to be able to track progress of the Action Plan in real time.

At the end of Becky’s presentation, the SAC unanimously approved the adoption of the new implementation cycle.

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