Vermont is a model for how a determined community can deliver accessible, affordable, high-quality child care for all – and how to scale these successes as a replicable model for the nation. With a population around 625,000, Vermont is a solution-sized state. Vermonters are nimble and willing to experiment and try new things.
The state can incubate ideas because government is accessible, and the citizen Legislature keeps legislative bureaucracy to a minimum. The governor’s office, lawmakers, businesses, higher education, health care and philanthropic partners collaborate frequently.
Vermonters have a successful history of influencing public opinion and creating policy changes that dramatically improve children’s well-being. These include establishing universal, publicly funded, voluntary pre-K for all three and four-year-olds; requiring personalized learning plans for students from kindergarten through high school; establishing a statewide network of parent-child centers; and expanding the Child Health Improvement Program to create virtually universal children’s health insurance.
We believe so strongly in our work that we will be creating an open-source toolkit designed to inspire other visionaries and support other states and organizations aiming to invest in early childhood education and transform an early care and learning system.
In Vermont, we have a dedicated community of early childhood advocates and signature programs like Make Way for Kids and the Vermont Community Preschool Collaborative that have paved our early path to success.
Now, the aim is much more sweeping – affordable, accessible, high-quality child care for all by 2025. We need individual, corporate and foundation funders as well as our many cross-sector partners to act together so that we can realize this extraordinary vision for 2025 and beyond.
THE Let's Grow Kids Scalable Toolkit WILL FEATURE:
Strategic Public Awareness and Education
Elevate public awareness to inspire grassroots responses that generate public and political will for change
Generate new, sustainable high-quality slots through short-term financial assistance and expert coaching to close child care gap
Strengthen resources to recruit and retain qualified early educators
Build toolkit for businesses to assess need and implement child care benefits for employees to encourage family-friendly workplaces
Generate political will among legislators and partners to incite legislative and social progress
Leverage coordinated, strategic philanthropy to secure transformational change