Policy Resource

Vermont - Building Bright Futures

Feb 9, 2016

Vermont’s Building Bright Futures (BBF) Initiative is working to ensure that the state’s children are healthy and successful by building a system of coordinated and integrated services and funding for children birth to age six.

In June 2006, former Governor Jim Douglas signed an executive order creating the Building Bright Futures Early Childhood Advisory Council. The Executive Order was in place until June 30, 2010 when BBF was established in Vermont statute, Act 104, protecting it from changing political climates.

The BBF network is made up of the State Advisory Council and 12 regional councils. The purpose of this network of regional councils is to align solutions at the local level with effective policy at the state level.

In 2011, the Council issued a Policy Guidance document with recommendations to improve access to and the quality of early care and education programs; reduce child abuse and neglect among children under six; and increase the number of children receiving screenings to determine developmental delays and promote early intervention.

In 2013, former Governor Peter Shumlin announced an Early Childhood Summit, which nine months later resulted in the development of Vermont’s Early Childhood Framework. The implementation of the framework is being led by BBF. The work of BBF is to coordinate the work of the regional councils to implement The Early Childhood Action Plan, a plan designed to carry out the goals of the Early Childhood Framework. The regional councils bring together public and private partners, families and communities to work on each component of the plan.

The plan has six overarching goals:

  • a healthy start for all children;
  • families and communities play a leading role;
  • high-quality opportunities for all children;
  • invest now for our future;
  • know we’re making a difference; and
  • an innovative and connected system.

For the past five years, BBF has produced a report examining the wellbeing of young children. The latest edition of How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families? was released in 2017. It highlights progress on selected indicators and outcomes for the early care, health, and educational system. It is a useful tool for government leaders, service providers, parents and caregivers, educators, and other community members interested in improving neighborhoods and communities to better support a safe, healthy, and prosperous future for Vermont.

Updated July 2018.

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