Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan (VECAP) is a bold, collaborative approach to building a comprehensive and integrated early childhood system that promotes healthy child development and family stability. The VECAP outlines a cohesive vision by the year 2026 and establishes shared accountability to achieve statewide priorities for children and families from the prenatal period through age 8. Originally established in 2013 along with the Vermont Early Childhood Framework, the updated VECAP is a structure around which to build coordinated action across public and private stakeholders throughout Vermont. It centers around making measurable changes in early childhood outcomes through identification of common goals, strategies to reach those goals, and the use of common language to align initiatives. It is built on Vermont’s Guiding Principles, which articulate Vermont’s commitment to fully include each and every child and their family in a continuum of meaningful experiences to ensure their health, mental health, safety, happiness, and success now and into the future.
The VECAP is a dynamic collective vision and plan, but accountability has been challenging to articulate. Frequently throughout the development of this action plan, members of focus groups and VECAP Committees vocalized this struggle. The question of who is responsible for what, when, and how is difficult to answer in a large statewide system with a culture of ever-increasing engagement and a structure of disparate stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
All early childhood partners, including state agencies, community partners, and families, will be held responsible for working toward this vision by creating positive change in the early childhood system. Together, we will implement this plan and hold each other accountable to the goals, objectives, strategies, and outcomes identified within this plan. The Building Bright Futures Network infrastructure, including Regional Councils, VECAP committees, and the State Advisory Council, will provide accountability, structure, support, and monitoring.
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