BBF’s Approach to Advisement in 2024

Vermont Capitol building in summer
Photo: Corey Templeton, Flickr Creative Commons

On May 11, Vermont’s General Assembly officially adjourned and brought the 2023-2024 biennium to a close in Montpelier. Over the course of the session, Building Bright Futures (BBF) played a key role as the primary advisor to the Legislature on the early childhood period. This advisement played out in a variety of ways, both formal and informal. Some of the ways in which BBF fulfilled its charge to advise the Legislature on the well-being of young children and their families in Vermont included:

  • Updating key committees and caucuses on the implementation of Act 76 and related indicators of progress through testimony and communications
    • Delivering our annual report to the Legislature on Act 76 monitoring and impact
  • Publishing the annual State of Vermont’s Children report to provide the most up-to-date, high-quality data on the status of children and their families 
  • Providing testimony and expertise to legislators on other issues, including testimony to the House Committee on Government Operations and Military Affairs on government accountability and data-driven policy making
  • Hosting over 80 team and one-on-one meetings over the course of session with members of the Administration, legislators, and early childhood partners to advise on over 20 key policy issues (see more below)

When called to testify, the Building Bright Futures team reviewed available and relevant resources, data, and partner feedback and consulted with the Executive Committee of Vermont’s Early Childhood State Advisory Council (SAC) and other key partners in order to deliver the most effective, evidence-based information to lawmakers. Through this process, the BBF team prioritized elevating the voices of families and communities and ensuring that every level of the BBF Network—from Regional Councils to the State Advisory Council to the VECAP Committees—was represented.

Since Building Bright Futures and Vermont’s Early Childhood State Advisory Council do not specifically endorse or oppose any legislation, this advisement called attention to legislative proposals’ alignment (or in some cases, misalignment) with:

FY24 Formal Written or Verbal Testimony

During the course of the 2024 legislative session, BBF provided formal written or verbal  testimony to Vermont lawmakers, legislative staff, committees, caucuses, and the Administration four times.

FY24 General Advisement

Through trusted relationships, regular meetings, and opportunities to support and provide guidance to members of the Legislature, Administration, and other early childhood partners, Building Bright Futures advised on over 20 policy issues related to young children, families, and the early childhood system over the course of the session. These issues included:

  • Early childhood governance
  • Children’s Integrated Services: data, value-based payments, funding
  • Act 76: monitoring and indicator development, state-required reporting, CCFAP, rate caps, timing of implementation, pupil weighting
  • Building Bright Futures’ responsibilities in statute
  • Discrepancies and missing data in the Bright Futures Information System
  • State Advisory Council-endorsed Policy Recommendations
  • Cross-agency partnerships
  • Special Accommodations Grants 
  • Prekindergarten Education Implementation Committee
  • Agency of Education Secretary appointment
  • Preschool Development Grant
  • Universal Prekindergarten education data and monitoring
  • SPARQS Implementation 
  • Alignment between the Vermont Interagency Coordinating Council and the Families and Communities Committee
  • Government accountability and data-driven policy-making
  • System-wide response to school safety protocols and implementation
  • Afterschool and out-of-school-time care
  • Metrics for mental, emotional, and behavioral health conditions through national survey efforts
  • Early childhood integration and alignment efforts
  • Child care market rate survey
  • State grantmaking practices
  • Orientations and connections for agency leadership

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