Highlights from ECDL 2023

After three years of being virtual, over 120 early childhood professionals and providers, parents, employers, business owners, and others came together in-person for Early Childhood Day at the Legislature (ECDL) on March 15, 2023, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Vermont State House. People from all over the state gathered despite a winter storm to engage with over 60 legislators as well as members of the Administration.

Continue reading for photos and a recap of the Day, and remember to save the date for the 30th annual ECDL on Wednesday, March 13, 2024!

This inspiring annual day of advocacy, education, and networking was sponsored by 13 funders, agencies, organizations, providers, and businesses. 

The Day began with breakfast in the State House cafeteria, where advocates used the opportunity to talk with legislators about early childhood issues over coffee.

This year’s event marked the 29th annual day of advocacy, education, and networking. Across the street in the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Rep. Jubilee McGill opened the event with inspiring comments about the role of advocacy in the policy-making process and the importance of our voices in securing better outcomes for children and families. Her main message was “You make a difference”.

The Day included issue update workshops facilitated by the lead organizations on issues on the Alliance’s 2023 Legislative Agenda. The Governor’s Ballroom was packed for a luncheon attended by legislators and administrators. During lunch, participants had an opportunity to speak with policy makers about key issues such as: family and medical leave insurance; high-quality, affordable child care; housing programs; and funding for Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) and Parent Child Centers, among other issues.

After lunch, students from the Turtle Island Children’s Center sang in the House Chamber and Representative McGill acknowledged advocates for their important work.

Then, advocates returned to the Capitol Plaza for afternoon sessions on topics that ranged from the building blocks of advocacy to what Farm to Early Childhood programs look like in a classroom. 

Amber Hewston, a CIS Early Intervention Physical Therapist for the Family Place, said, “I had an amazing time at Early Childhood Day. The energy around current topics and active legislation was palpable in the sessions I attended…The highlight of the day was lunch with Senator Becca White and Representative Esme Cole. I made great connections with our local legislators, and it was amazing to talk about our local communities and the work we do at The Family Place. We appreciated the questions and discussions around support needed to keep our programs strong and to provide what is needed for children and families in our community.” 

We are grateful to all Vermont’s advocates for lending their voice towards policy change and for their important work on behalf of Vermont’s children and families! And to those of you who were not able to attend, we hope that you weathered the storm safely and look forward to seeing you at another advocacy event in the future.

Thank you to everyone who was part of this wonderful event this year. We look forward to seeing you again next year. 

Thank you to the following entities for their generous sponsorship of ECDL: 

The Turrell Fund

Let’s Grow Kids

Prevent Child Abuse Vermont

Vermont Community Loan Fund

Vermont Head Start Association 

Public Assets Institute – Child Tax Credit

Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children

Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Developent

Vermont Child Care Providers Association

Vermont Parent Child Center Network

Building Bright Futures

Concept 2

Action Circles

ECDL Session Materials

ECDL Toolkit


About Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide coalition of early childhood professionals and providers, parents, organizations, and businesses working together to improve public policies that impact children from birth to age eight and families in the areas of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.

To achieve this goal, the Alliance focuses on the creation and support of an annual Legislative Agenda in the Vermont legislature. The Agenda includes priority issues for the coalition’s diverse voices from around the state.

The Alliance is a program of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.

For more information visit vecaa.org