The Council just completed our annual legislative event – this year at Capstone’s Lamoille County Early Learning Center in Morrisville. We were excited to hold the event together, and at a time when parents would be dropping off their kids at the Lamoille Early Learning Center at Capstone in Morrisville. Capstone has four classrooms with 30 children. Many families are homeless, and many are having a challenging time – they are supported by Headstart in multiple ways.
Our five legislators who attended were more versed than ever before in early childhood challenges, in the early childhood system, and in the complex but critical value of state and federal supports for vulnerable families and families who are trying to stay in the workforce and contribute to the community.
We discussed child care financial assistance, paid family and medical leave, the pending reduction of support for Children’s Integrated Services and the Parent Child Centers – all long term Council priorities, and parents and representatives spoke of transportation challenges and the benefits cliff. Yes, quite a busy morning!
In general, our legislators, professionals, and parents have a broader and more sophisticated understanding of the challenges young families face, and are united in their support for children. The Council looks forward to following up throughout the session to inform regional stakeholders on ways to support each other.
Through the end of the year, the Council was able to support several large initiatives including a collaborative playgroup at Northern Vermont University-Johnson’s pool facility – where we teamed up with the Family Center and Just Ducky Aquatics to offer a learn to swim playgroup. We also celebrated the Family Center’s Holiday Project!
Additionally, we are excited to report that a new private PreK was recently qualified by the Agency of Education in Craftsbury. Council members and the Regional Coordinator helped to support Craftsbury Saplings, in Craftsbury to obtain pre-qualification in the early weeks of January.