Evidence to inform Early
Childhood Policy in Vermont

Overview

Vermont’s Early Childhood Data and Policy Center was created to meet a critical need in Vermont in 2020: a centralized hub of the most high-quality, up-to-date information on the status of children and families across sectors. It is a critical tool for answering policy questions by centralizing data from the complex early childhood system. 

The Center is part of Building Bright Futures, Vermont’s early childhood public-private partnership charged under Title 33, Chapter 46, to be Vermont’s Early Childhood State Advisory Council (SAC), the mechanism used to advise the Governor and legislature on the well-being of children in the prenatal period through age eight and their families. One of BBF's primary responsibilities is to monitor the early childhood system and maintain progress toward Vermont's vision for the Early Childhood System. The Center is one key component of how BBF meets this obligation.

Led by Director, Morgan K. Crossman, Ph.D., M.A., the Vermont Early Childhood Data and Policy Center is the go-to source for data on outcomes for children and families as well as resources, services and policy in Vermont. The Center delivers the most high-quality, up-to-date information on the status of children and families across sectors using Vermont-specific, national, and community data sources.  

Mission: Evidence to inform early childhood policy in Vermont

How We’re Different

  • Focused on identifying data-driven strategies to improve child and family outcomes through Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan (VECAP)
  • Interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach
  • 3 major initiatives
    • DATA
      • Vermont Early Childhood Action Plan (VECAP) Data Dashboard: If you have a data question, you can see what data exists through our VECAP data dashboard, which is searchable by topic area. BBF has centralized over 40 indicators or data points in a data dashboard to monitor our strategic plan across different domains of well-being and services (child development, education, health, basic needs, communities, etc.), which we also present through the State of Vermont’s Children report annually. To centralize this data, we partner with data stewards across all of the agencies, departments and divisions that support children and families (AOE, CDD/CIS, DMH, ESD, FSD, MCH, DCF, etc.), alongside private partners (PCCs, Head Start Directors, Let’s Grow Kids, Hunger Free Vermont, Education Development Center, etc.) and pulling national data, to compile and make data publicly available.
      • The State of Vermont's Children Report: Each year the report includes compiled state and national data on the well-being of children and families; the Policy Recommendations of the Vermont Early Childhood State Advisory Council Network; and a profile for each of Vermont’s 12 Building Bright Futures regions which align with the Agency of Human Services Districts and a Data Spotlight. The State of Vermont’s Children: 2021 Year in Review was released on January 10, 2022 along with a virtual briefing on the key findings. The BBF also released a three-minute video on key takeaways.  The 2021 Data Spotlight was on Vermont’s Early Childhood Workforce Crisis (p 10-12).
      • Early Childhood Data Gaps & Vermont's Early Childhood Data Development Agenda: In collaboration with the Data and Evaluation VECAP Committee, BBF is in the process of developing an early childhood data development agenda for Vermont by synthesizing the know cross-sector data gaps and data priorities among public and private partners, and supporting the state in prioritizing and tackling these data efforts through the development of a research consortium.
    • POLICY
      • SAC Network Policy Recommendations: The policy section allows you to track early childhood policy in Vermont by seeing previous and current SAC Network Policy Recommendations,
      • Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council Testimony & Advisement: As the primary advisor to the Governor and Legislature on the well-being of children and families prenatal through age eight, BBF consistently monitors early childhood priorities, needs of families, and data to inform decisions and presents this information through formal testimony during annual legislative sessions. Testimony by committee has been uploaded and linked.
      • Federal Early Childhood Policy Monitoring: BBF also monitors legislation on the federal level in order to inform partners on upcoming changes, support the state in readying itself for potential investments, and help inform policymakers on the current state of programs, data, and initiatives related to early childhood in Vermont. Memos summarizing these efforts can be found on the policy page.
    • PUBLICATIONS:  BBF has compiled a robust collection of Vermont-specific and national publications, policy briefs and webinars organized by topic and year.

Our Team

To execute the vision for the Center, we’ve assembled a small staff in addition to collaborating with a variety of incredibly talented content experts, data stewards, researchers, agency and community partners, and faculty in Vermont.

Core Center Staff

Morgan Crossman, PhD

Executive Director

Dora Levinson, MPH

Research and Data Director

Affiliated Researchers and Faculty

Lori Meyers, PhD, Associate Professor, UVM, College of Education and Social Services

Kaitlin Northey, PhD, Assistant Professor, UVM, College of Education and Social Services

Valerie Wood, PhD, Assistant Professor, UVM College of Education and Social Services, Center on Disability and Community Inclusion

Clare Waterman Irwin, PhD, Education Development Center

Community Data Stewards & Partners