A Rally in Support of Child Care
More than 700 Vermonters packed the State House steps and lawn to rally with lawmakers, uniting together to show support for solving Vermont’s child care crisis. The Courage to Care Rally on April 12 was among the largest legislative rallies in recent years and a testament to the growing and intensifying support for progress to address the state’s child care crisis.
About the Courage to Care Rally
Show your support for state lawmakers in getting a child care solution over the finish line this year. It takes courage to solve a crisis like this, just like it takes courage to do what's right—even if it's not always what's easiest. Vermonters know what courage is—it's a part of who we are.
That's why we're showing our Courage to Care on Wednesday, April 12 on the State House lawn in Montpelier. For the first time in Vermont history, the pieces are finally in place to solve the child care crisis. Vermont’s youngest children are relying on us to get this done, and our economic stability hangs in the balance.
Lawmakers are currently working on a bill to make long-term public investment in our state’s child care system that will revitalize our economy; support our children, families, and early childhood educators; and shape future generations. This is the moment to show our support and tell them to solve the child care crisis NOW—we simply can’t afford not to.
How to Show Your Support
Festivities will begin at 1 PM on the State House Lawn, which is located at 115 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602. Make sure you check in with the Child Care Campaign for free rally giveaways, photo opportunities, and kid-friendly activities.
Courage to Care Rally Program
- 12:15 PM: shuttles will begin running from designated parking areas to usher attendees to the state house lawn (more info below). Check in on the statehouse lawn.
- 12:30 PM: Check in and pick up your rally giveaways. Kids’ Zone opens with games, crafts, and music from Linda Bassick.
- 1:00 PM: Kat Wright Band kicks off the rally with a musical performance. (Learn the choreography to the kid anthem, "Something Beautiful," here.)
- 1:45 PM: Speaker program begins; hear from parents, educators, business leaders, and lawmakers all in support of solving Vermont's child care crisis.
- 2:15 PM: Speaker program concludes; visit the advocacy tent to learn how to further your impact and the Kids’ Zone to participate in games and crafts.
- 3:00 PM: Rally concludes.
Guest Speakers & Musical Performances
We're so excited to welcome Vermont community members, as well as these VIPs. Be sure to follow us on social media, @letsgrowkids, for inspiration from these folks leading up to the rally.
Musical performance by Kat Wright
Vermont’s own Kat Wright and her trio will perform at the upcoming Courage to Care Rally in Montpelier. We are incredibly excited about this. You see, way back in 2017 Kat and her friend Chris Dorman co-wrote the song “Something Beautiful” for our Kids Out Loud! Event, which was a smashing success attended by hundreds of Vermonters. And, several years later their song is still the anthem for Vermont’s child care movement! We couldn’t be more excited to have Kat and her trio join us for another historic moment for child care.
Dance to "Something Beautiful"
Excited for Kat Wright's performance? Learn the choreography to her child care anthem, "Something Beautiful," and dance along in real-time on rally day!
Meet the Speakers
Alyssa Campbell is a teacher, parent, and emotional development expert with a masters degree in early childhood education. She's also the owner of Seed & Sew — an online village and resource center dedicated to raising emotionally intelligent humans.
Su White is the teaching director at Quarry Hill School in Middlebury. Su excels at communication, teamwork, and bringing out the best in her staff, board members, parents, and kiddos. She encourages collaborative problem-solving both within the school and in the larger educational community.
Caitlin D'Onofrio is a licensed toddler teacher at Robin's Nest Children's Center in Burlington. She helps to foster a play-based environment for students while nurturing minds, families, and friendships.
Ilia Gilligan is a parent and early childhood educator program director. She also serves on the Families of Color Advisory Board at Let's Grow Kids. Ilia is passionate about actualizing a more equitable child care system for families of color and ensuring a better future for all Vermonters.
Brian Leffler began working with Instrumart in 1989 as an outside consultant, and today oversees the company's overall administration as its CEO. Brian says that investment in quality, affordable child care not only supports Vermont's families, but its workforce and businesses.
Dr. Rebecca Bell is a pediatric critical care physician, President of the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and President-Elect of the Vermont Medical Society. Becca knows firsthand how crucial early educators for a child's network and ensuring healthy development.
Mieko Ozeki is a mother; wife; advocate; owner of Radiance Studios, a boutique content creation and branding agency; and cofounder of Vermont Womenpreneurs, an event production and platform that connects and amplifies the stories of women business owners in the state. Child care is essential for women-owned businesses to thrive, she says.
Transportation & Parking
There are several public parking lots in the area. We will run shuttles from the Montpelier Recreation Field on Elm St.; the Park and Ride lot on Dog River Rd.; and the Department of Labor lot; shuttles will begin at 12:15 PM.
Did you sign up for a bus ride or to receive a fuel card? Please direct any questions, concerns, or updates to Maria (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Family Fun & Activities
The Child Care Campaign is all about serving Vermont's children, so this is a completely free and family-friendly event. Bring your students, kiddos, and family friends for bubbles, sign-making, LEGOS, and music by performer Linda Bassick. Find the Kids' Zone on the statehouse lawn.
Visit the Advocacy Tent
We're sending the message that Vermonters support public investment in child care. Stop by the advocacy tent on the statehouse lawn to continue your impact with a 'thank you' message to lawmakers.
Show your #CouragetoCare
There are so many ways to tell the world why you support the 2023 child care solution, from promoting the rally to volunteering. Here are some ideas to get started:
Tell your Friends
Endorse the Rally
Want to better support your employees with accessible and affordable child care? Leverage your networks (and ours) and promote the rally on your channels with the RSVP link. Don't forget to RSVP yourself and create a presence at the rally on April 12.
Volunteer Before & During the Rally
The #CouragetoCare is widespread across Vermont, and we are looking for volunteers to help us host this rally. If you are interested in helping at the event, please sign up here.