Vt. leaders go to NYC to push for early education

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NEW YORK — ReadyNation convened in New York City last week for the Global Business Summit on Early Childhood, attracting hundreds of business leaders from across the United States and representatives from more than 50 countries, all with the common goal of coming together to better understand how businesses could help advance care for children from birth to age five.

Vermont sent a delegation of five business professionals, lead by Emily Blistein, director of business strategy for Let's Grow Kids. The Vermont delegation spent time learning about how businesses could play a roll in making early childhood education and care more accessible for their employees and how to work to influence their legislators on this issue.

In addition to Blistein, members of the Vermont delegation included Gina Kelley, VELCO; Mary Evslin, former energy and technology business leader; Newell Lessell, Chroma Technology; and Nicole Junas Ravlin, People Making Good PR.

"The Summit was an amazing opportunity to bring our goal of high-quality early care to the national stage, and position Vermont's business leaders as champions for the cause," Blistein explains.

"Investing in our youngest children allows parents to enter the workforce today while leveling the skills gap for all Vermont children as they grow. This is a crucial foundation for a ensuring a vibrant future for Vermont."

Throughout the sessions, parallels were drawn to the importance of early childhood education in building a future workforce, reducing strains on the criminal justice system, and retention of workforce. For states and countries that that are actively working towards implementation of a policy around early childhood education, speaker after speaker reiterated the need for public and private sectors coming together, and the importance of legislative action on the state-level.

For more information or to get involved, visit letsgrowkids.org.

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