The importance of high quality early childhood experiences as the foundation for school success and lifelong learning has been demonstrated by research, practice, and public opinion. Plainly said, early experiences matter—whether children are at home, in child care, preschool, kindergarten, or the primary grades. The forces that shape these early experiences are embedded in families, schools, and communities, and are largely controlled by adults who have a stake in children growing and developing to their fullest potential. These adult stakeholders come from a variety of backgrounds, and need a common understanding of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that children gain through quality early childhood experiences, regardless of where they spend their waking hours. The Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) are central to a shared vision of what we want for young children in our state in the years from birth to third grade.