Yesterday, the State Advisory Council (SAC) formally endorsed the Policy Recommendations of the Vermont Early Childhood State Advisory Council Network for 2023. These recommendations represent the most pressing and actionable priorities for early childhood stakeholders throughout the Building Bright Futures Network.
The SAC is Vermont’s Governor-appointed, primary advisory body on the well-being of children prenatal to age 8 and their families. In partnership with Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan (VECAP) Committees and the Regional Councils, the SAC sets priorities and strategic direction for statewide initiatives using the VECAP and the most high-quality, up-to-date data. The annual recommendations are developed with input from all BBF Network gatherings. They seek to identify the current gaps and needs in policy, promote and monitor action in strategic areas for the coming year, and move Vermont toward a more equitable early childhood system.
This year’s recommendations focus on a wide array of priorities for improving the well-being of young children and their families, strengthening the quality of the settings and services in which they spend their time, and supporting the early childhood professionals who serve them. From better supporting the mental health workforce, to promoting the value of care coordination, to ensuring families are compensated and fully supported when offered leadership and engagement opportunities, this year’s policy recommendations represent needs and emerging priorities from across the state’s early childhood system. These priorities include:
- Investing in the current early childhood education workforce
- Providing commensurate compensation for families participating in engagement, leadership, or feedback opportunities
- Supporting families who are unhoused or experiencing housing transitions by investing in trauma-responsive shelters, transitional housing, transportation resources, and related staffing
- Responding to inequities in data collection and reporting in order to better represent and understand the intersectional experiences of people of color, children with disabilities, and other marginalized communities in Vermont
- Along with many more; read the full recommendations here
We are proud of the work the BBF Network—including countless state leaders, parents, early childhood professionals, regional partners, and others—put into developing and formally endorsing the 2023 Policy Recommendations of the Vermont Early Childhood State Advisory Council Network. We look forward to monitoring progress on implementing these recommendations as Vermont strives toward building the highest quality, most inclusive and equitable early childhood system possible.