This fall, Vermont Early Educators United is working with First Book to deliver free books to children across the state through our early education providers.
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Vermont Senate Approves the Right to Organize for Vermont's Early Educators

The Vermont Senate today approved offering Vermont's Early Educators the right to organize and collectively bargain with the state. With a final vote of 20-7, the Senate has passed a bill that has been four years in the making.

Kay Curtis of Happy Hands--a School for Little People, celebrated, saying, "Early care and education providers across Vermont and the families they serve are elated that the right to organize has passed the Senate. We want to make sure that working families have the support they need and that Vermont has the best early education system in the country. We thank the Senators for their support."

The bill will now move to the House, where the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs committee is expected to take the bill up sometime after the Town Meeting Day break.

Stephanie Wheelock, of Play 2 Learn Child Care in Rutland, who was listening to the debate online, enthused, "I wish I was able to give every Senator a hug for all the support they have given. Their testimonies showed such appreciation and passion for our work. It's a good day!"

Child-care workers collective bargaining bill sails through Senate committee

Read the full article at VTDigger
John Herrick, Jan 7, 2014

[...] Sen. Dick McCormack, D-Windsor, who chairs the Education Committee, said early education unionization, one of his top priorities this year, has the votes to pass the Senate.

“It’s a good bill, it creates a good policy. Collective bargaining in a fundamental human right and these people – overwhelming woman, though not all – who do this important work ought to have the power that comes with the union,” he said. “This is the moment when it will come to the full Senate on its merits.”

McCormack said the legislation has never had a clean up or down vote and has been previously buckled under procedural scrutiny.

Last year, the bill, which was tacked on to a miscellaneous education bill, stalled in the Senate after Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, who chairs the Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee, questioned whether the collective bargaining provision was germane to the underlying education bill.

The bill is heading for Senate Appropriations Committee. It is likely to hit the floor sometime in the next week, said Committee Vice Chair Don Collins, D-Franklin. [...]

Kay Curtis: Collective bargaining needed to win Race to the Top

Read the full commentary at VTDigger

January 5, 2014

[...] We know that in order to achieve our goals, we must ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care, and too few families in Vermont qualify for state subsidies. Unfortunately, the Race to the Top funding cannot be used to support working families in this way.

We also know that one of the biggest issues we must address is the wage gap between early educators and other teachers who work in the K-12 schools. In part because of this wage gap, the turnover rate in early education is approximately 40 percent. Gov. Shumlin acknowledged that early educators need to be granted the ability to organize so that the issue of fair pay can be addressed.

Vermont Early Educators United is committed to ensuring quality, affordable early education for all Vermont families and also to ensuring that our providers are treated with respect and paid fairly for the important work that they do. The National Women’s Law Center conducted a study in 2010 that shows that union representation of the early education workforce results in improved services, increased reimbursement rates, and more access to early education for low-income families. [...]

New Study Reveals Portrait of Family Child Care Providers

Full blog post here
Tom Copeland. November 12, 2013.

There are about one million paid family child care providers and another 2.7 million unpaid caregivers regularly providing home-based care to children ages birth through age five other than their own.

This number is much higher than previous reports that only looked at the number of licensed or regulated family child care providers.

This data is from a newly released study that surveyed a nationally representative portrait of early care and education teachers and caregivers in center and home-based settings. They based their report on data collected in the first half of 2012.

Early Learning: This Is Not a Test

by Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education, Lesley University

Published in New York Times and Huffington Post. Read in full here.

Accepting anything for our young learners other than an engaging and developmentally appropriate curriculum and teacher-driven assessments is a disservice to them, their parents and their teachers.

VEEU Lobby Day January 24


Join with Early Educator colleagues from around the state on Friday January 24 from 9am to 3pm as we meet with legislators to advocate for ourselves and the families we serve.

Have lunch with your Representatives and Senators at Capitol Plaza.

Early Educators deserve respect and the right to organize!

Register online here:
http://action.aft.org/c/458/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=11581

or contact Heather Riemer at veeu@upvaft.org for more information

Can America’s Kids Succeed? Critical Investments Should Target the First Eight Years of Life, Report Finds

News release from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. November 4, 2013
Read the full release here

Only 36 percent of third graders on track in cognitive development; low-income and minority children faring even worse.

BALTIMORE — The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest KIDS COUNT® policy report, The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success, presents a strong case for investing in the early years of a child's life. Decades of brain and child development research show that kids who enter kindergarten with below-average language and cognitive skills can catch up — but only if they are physically healthy and have strong social and emotional skills.

Read more

Rhode Island childcare providers vote to unionize

By Randal Edgar, Providence Journal. October 31,2013
Full article, video and photos, at the Providence Journal

CRANSTON — The childcare providers sat quietly, mostly toward the back. But when they heard the results, they stood up and cheered.

By an overwhelming margin — 390 to 19 — providers who serve children from low-income families had voted to unionize, winning what they said was an overdue dose of respect and recognition, intangibles that also come with the right to bargain.

“We finally got it, we’ve finally got a voice,” said Rosemary Raygada of Providence, one of about 50 providers who watched Thursday as state Department of Labor and Training officials counted the ballots. “We want to make sure that when we raise up Rhode Island, no child, no family, and no professional is left behind.”

Read more

Shumlin plugs early ed agenda at summit

By Alicia Freese, VT Digger. October 29, 2013.
Read the full article at Vermont Digger
Participants in the Governor’s Early Childhood Summit listen to Gov. Peter Shumlin speech. They were charged with drafting a “statewide action plan” to expand early education in Vermont. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDiggerParticipants in the Governor’s Early Childhood Summit listen to Gov. Peter Shumlin speech. They were charged with drafting a “statewide action plan” to expand early education in Vermont. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDigger

At the Governor’s Early Childhood Summit on Tuesday, Gov. Peter Shumlin said that Vermont’s economic future hinges on improving early education in the state.

Shumlin called for the summit during his second inaugural speech in January.

His goal, the governor told the group of about 250 policymakers, philanthropists, educators, advocates, parents and business leaders at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Montpelier, is “to make Vermont the first state where early childhood education, zero to first grade, or zero on up, is as important or more important than the rest of the education experience.”

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Vt. considers uniform education tailored to its youngest citizens

Full article at WPTZ
By Stewart Ledbetter. October 29, 2013

So while [Governor Shumlin] plans no comprehensive proposal to the Legislature this winter, he will ask lawmakers once again to establish universal kindergarten in every community, and allow child care workers to unionize.

That idea, supporters say, would improve wages and benefits and reduce turnover in a profession essential to working parents and to successful childhood development.

Read more