by Janet McLaughlin
Our legislature is about to return to Montpelier. VTAEYC and our advocacy partners Let’s Grow Kids and the Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance are ready with a 2022 policy agenda that reflects the needs of early childhood educators and the communities they serve.
Collectively, we all need to focus on both short-term and long-term solutions. The early childhood education workforce is in crisis, and needs immediate lifelines. At the same time, the field of early childhood education requires transformative change.
Our agenda prioritizes policy updates and adequate funding to make sure that early childhood education survives the present moment, and that early childhood education is valued and early childhood educators are compensated appropriately going forward.
We need you to help ensure that our legislators understand what’s needed this legislative session, and what’s at stake. Please read and sign on to our shared agenda.
Our areas of focus:
- Immediately address our workforce crisis through recruitment and retention initiatives
- Fund next steps in the transformation plan laid out out in H.171 (Act 45) that includes long-term investments to adequately and sustainably support early childhood education programs and early childhood educators
This legislative session arrives as our workforce-led efforts to advance early childhood education as a profession approaches implementation: with a cohesive identity, aligned preparation pathways, three consistent designations, professional compensation, individual professional licensure, necessary supports, and a bridge to honor the experience and expertise of our current workforce. (For more on that bridge, watch the Task Force’s video.)
This work is the foundation of the future system. It relies on Vermont’s legislature to continue to prioritize and expand investment in early childhood education.
And fortunately, many, many Vermont legislators recognize the importance of early childhood education to our children, families, workforce, communities, and economy.
But as you well know, we can not wait to invest in early childhood education now and for the long term. And we can not let our legislators forget just how essential early childhood education is and these legislative priorities are.
Please read and sign on to our shared agenda.
Let’s Grow Kids calls it the Child Care Transformation Plan.
VECAA calls it Transforming Early Childhood Education.
We’re all working for the same thing, and we ask for your support: contacting legislators, staying involved with Advancing as a Profession, talking to families and community members, sharing stories and social posts, and adding your name to the campaign.
Janet McLaughlin is the Executive Director of VTAEYC.