Walking the Talk

The 2011 National Business Summit on Early Childhood Investment will be held in Boston on July 21-22, and it will have more than a little Vermont flavor. In addition to Chair Steve Voigt presenting on a panel entitled “New Frames for Early Childhood: STEM Education and Economic Development”, the Roundtable will be represented by another seven members that have made this leadership initiative a priority. The Summit, which is sold out, is designed to bring together CEOs from around the country to share models, research, messages, tools, and techniques that have demonstrated success in developing early childhood policy agendas at the state level.

Hosted by our friends at the Pew Center on the States and Partnership for America’s Economic Success (PAES), which jointly funded this Roundtable’s efforts in 2010, the lineup of speakers will also feature CEOs of major national companies, leaders of significant private foundations and research centers, as well as governors and other elected officials from several states.

Despite continuing fiscal strain at the federal and state levels, proponents are confident that the development of an influential and highly visible corps of advocates, armed with research-based policy recommendations, will be successful over time in bringing the kind of investments needed in early childhood programs across the country. The Vermont Business Roundtable’s success this year in leading the campaign to eliminate preK enrollment caps is one step toward improving the prospects for the youngest Vermonters in the near term while, at the same time, improving the state’s fiscal condition in the long term.