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I was nervous in the present economy to get a loan, but it was nice to have the Loan Fund there.  I didn't realize how necessary their work is in Vermont, especially to the child care industry.

Christine Tullgren
Little Feet Children's Center

April, 2014

The Vermont Community Loan Fund announced that it has become the fiscal sponsor for the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance (VECA).

Formerly known as Kids Are Priority One, VECA is a statewide, independent, advocacy coalition of parents, community members, organizations, businesses, early care providers and strategic partners. The organization aims to improve public policy affecting young children between birth and age eight - in matters of health, safety, food, economic security - and early child care and education. Together with the Loan Fund, VECA will work to build leadership capacity and build public awareness of early childhood issues.
"VECA's goals and mission compliment both VCLF's current work and our broader strategic goals of leadership and philanthropy," said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia.

VECA had been in search of a fiscal sponsor that could provide both organizational infrastructure and serve as a charitable arm for fundraising, Belongia added. The new alliance will also serve VCLF in its goal of becoming more engaged in advocacy and development of public policy, and link to other Vermont organizations also concerned with children and poverty.
VCLF's Director of Child Care Programs Hope Campbell, who sits on VECA's advisory committee, expressed her enthusiasm about the new alliance. "With this new level of involvement in advocacy efforts, VCLF - and VECA are hoping to move the entire child care industry forward," she said.

"Ultimately, the goal is to address the long term of how to move children out of poverty and prepare them so they will have greater opportunities as they grow older, " said Belongia. "I'm excited about how VCLF can incorporate its energy, capital and time toward this end," he said.