Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Families & Communities Committee

The BBF Families and Communities Committee works to develop a statewide approach that enriches and expands family partnership and leadership at the provider, agency, and community levels.



The Families and Communities Committee strives to be made up of majority parents and caregivers, with providers in partnership, to help create an early childhood system that mirrors the diverse needs of Vermont families. By providing parents and caregivers opportunities to bring forward thoughts and concerns, and partner in systems conversations and decision-making processes, families become leaders in designing a responsive system that works for them.


The committee carries this out by:

  • Bring together parents, caregivers, and professionals to talk about early childhood experiences and their impact
  • Review draft policies and initiatives
  • Learn about and promote family centered, equitable practices that support diverse families
  • Connect families to leadership and advocacy opportunities
  • Share ideas about how to create meaningful, inclusive, and empowering spaces for parents
  • Elevate concerns, gaps, and barriers in services for families and communities to system leaders


  • We believe that systems are better when the families they serve are leaders and partners in their creation
  • We believe in the wisdom and expertise of parents and caregivers to help guide meaningful program and policy change
  • We believe that family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds should always be incorporated into the planning and delivery of policies and services
  • We believe in holding space where providers are encouraged to step back and parents are given priority to share and bring forward thoughts and concerns freely while providing resources and a space to connect with professionals
  • We support policies and practices that increase equity and access for all families in the Vermont early childhood system
  • We believe that learning happens in community and that we all have a role to play in educating ourselves on how create positive, socially just, change


Jenifer Fortman

Hilary Watson

Committee Membership

Emily Merrill

Molly Lawney

Rex Butt

Lisa Boeckman

Stephanie Eames

Zeinab Bulle

Crystal Alexander

Lexi Duquette

Annemieke Thoolen

Sarah Morrison

Rebecca Speisman

Charlotte Safran

Renee Kelly

Upcoming Meetings

Families and Communities Committee Meeting

January 8, 2021 at 1:00 pm |via Zoom

Families and Communities Committee Meeting

December 4 at 1:00 pm |via Zoom

Meeting Minutes

Families and Communities Committee Meeting

November 6 at 1:00 pm |via Zoom
Meeting Minutes

Families and Communities Committee Meeting

October 2 at 1:00 pm |via Zoom
Meeting Minutes

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