How Are Vermont’s Young Children & Families Report Update – November State Advisory Council Meeting

 

Sarah Squirrell, Executive Director of Building Bright Futures (BBF), shared the latest draft of the How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families (HAVYC&F) Report, which serves to update the Legislature, Administration, governor, and other key stakeholders on how Vermont’s children and families are doing. One of BBF’s duties and powers under Act 104 is to advise the Governor, and this report is designed to do so in a neutral, data-focused way.

Each section of the report serves to elevate the needs of children and families and to inspire action. The report features five chapters that focus on key issues facing Vermonters including family and social relationships, safety, health and development, early care and learning, and family economic well-being. A regional section also profiles all 12 Vermont regions to underscore local progress and successes.

This year, the report includes links to the Early Childhood Action Plan, a new design developed by our agency partner, Stride Creative Group, a more robust recommendation section, and information relating to substance use in our state.

Production of the report began in July by BBF staff members. Over the next several months, BBF utilized the Data & Evaluation Committee, as well as an Advisory Committee of key stakeholders and content experts to review in-chapter content for consistency and accuracy. In mid-December, the report will go to print. It will then be presented at a press conference at the State House on Wednesday, January 10th.

Sarah asked the State Advisory Council (SAC) to collectively review the rough draft of HAVYC&F to provide feedback on the in-chapter content, as well as approval for the recommendation section.

A rich discussion unfolded about each chapter regarding data visualizations, narrative, design, and content for the report. The SAC was very engaged and looked forward to seeing the next round of changes based on their feedback, understanding that major changes to the report would not be able to be incorporated until the following year.

BBF staff and Stride Creative will work together over the next several weeks to ensure consistency, accuracy, and cohesion for the report. Together, a process will be put in place for future years to ensure the SAC has adequate time to review the report’s content and recommendations more fully.

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