Schedule an Advocacy Training

Do you see an early childhood policy challenge in your community and want to be part of a legislative solution?

Are you planning to attend Early Childhood Day at the Legislature?

Do you want to engage in the legislative processes that result in laws and budgets that affect Vermont kids and families?

Alliance training sessions are designed for any parent, professional, and employer interested in strengthening their advocacy techniques and communication skills in order to ensure their voice is heard on issues impacting Vermont’s young children, families, and early childhood professionals.

“[Because of the training, I plan to] get more involved in advocacy activities in my community and advocate for issues affecting my families in care.”
 
“[The Alliance instructor] created an informational and supportive training, along with a slight push out of our comfort zone with our personal topic/issues while developing our elevator speeches.”
 
“I attended Early Childhood Day at the Legislature (ECDL) and had my first tour of the State House. I had been in the building before but never had a tour. Just having a chance to walk into the cafeteria or to understand that I can walk into a committee hearing at any point – and simple things like knowing that the agenda is posted outside the door – demystified the process for me. It made me much more comfortable when I returned to the State House to meet with legislators a few more times this year.”

 

Training Topics

Review Legislative Processes

Understand the legislative process that creates Vermont’s public policies, and the advocacy efforts that support the programs and services of the early childhood system. Explore the role of legislators, administrators, and advocates in improving them. Review the mechanics of how a bill becomes a law and how the state budget is crafted. 

Discuss Early Childhood Issues 

Discuss early childhood issues that affect families, providers, and early childhood businesses. Identify who is involved, learn where policy proposals are headed for the 2019 Legislative Session, and how to engage in campaigns and coalitions.

Strengthen Advocacy Skills

Review techniques for strengthening relationships with legislators and communication approaches in order to better advocate for policies impacting children, families and early childhood professionals. Identify your legislators and the committees of jurisdiction over early childhood issues and ways for you to effectively influence policymaking for children and families.

Craft a Compelling Story

What do you have to say about an issue that is important to you? How can you say it to policymakers in a way that influences their decisions that impact kids and families? Discuss different roles that early childhood advocates can play in the advocacy process. Develop an “elevator speech” for talking to community members, administrators, and/or legislators about an issue. Combine issue talking points, data, and personal stories to build a case for public investment in a program and service. 

Use Data for Advocacy

[Co-facilitator: Building Bright Futures/VT Insights staff]

Discuss ways that data can be valuable as an evaluation tool for a program or service, and how key data points can be used to persuasively tell a story of positive impact on Vermonters. Learn about data resources like VT Insights website and the “How Are Vermont’s Young Children” report and how to find helpful information for advocacy purposes. This session will provide time for small-group discussion to consider key aspects of building a data-based, story, including:

  • Review a piece of advocacy communications (newsletter, activation email, etc.) that was compelling and discuss why. How does it convey impact? Identify beneficiaries of a public investment? Make a policy ask personal?
  • Craft your data-based “elevator speech” on an issue and roleplay to hone delivery and build comfort levels in talking to others.
  • Discuss opportunities to tell data-based advocacy stories for education and advocacy purposes and identify a personal next step for the coming months.
Be Prepared for Federal Budget Advocacy

Learn how the federal budget is written and approved and how to more deeply engage with Vermont’s Congressional delegation as they consider spending plans. This session provides attendees with a chance to:

  • Learn how the federal budget is written and approved
  • Demystify the jargon used to describe the process
  • Go beyond relying on “click-and-send” emails for your advocacy
  • Learn how to more deeply engage Vermont’s Congressional delegation
  • Develop your own advocacy plan for in-state advocacy
Design Your Organization’s Advocacy Strategic Plan

Does your organization’s mission include policy change? Is your leadership or Board exploring the most effective way to dedicate capacity and resources to advocacy efforts? Conversations with Alliance staff can support your thinking about ways your organization can add value to campaigns, carve out time for staff to participate, and join collaborations.

Understand Your Financial Story as an Early Childhood Business

** Provided in conjunction with the VT Community Loan Fund **

Learn tools to ensure your child care program is financially strong in the future and how to make strategic decisions about professional development opportunities and public early childhood programs. Understand how to use the information from financial statements for everything from determining child care tuition rates to being able to advocate for the true cost of providing quality child care. Can you afford to expand? Provide more training for your staff? Give your employees (or yourself) a raise? Confidence in your numbers allows you to make informed business decisions to help the families you work with, as well as contribute to policy conversations on the child care industry. 

LETS GET STARTED!

Trainings are available to any group of five or more and can be tailored to the interests of the audience and time available (from 45 minutes to 2+ hours). Sessions can be designed for conferences, meetings, and other events that are already scheduled. Professional development credit from Northern Lights Career and Development Center at CCV is available for longer formats.

To discuss ideas, contact Charlie Gliserman, Public Engagement Director: 802-595-9913; charlie@vecaa.org.