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eConnections is the bimonthly e-newsletter published by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children.


Thursday, Friday, & Saturday Oct 17-18-19, 2013
Killington Grand Hotel & Conference Center, Killington, VT


SAVE THE DATES!

Three Days of Learning, Networking and Rejuvenating 

featuring keynote speakers:      

    

                    Luis Hernandez      Daniel Habib       Jeff Johnson


In 2013 we are pleased to host the New England Early Childhood Leadership Day, a conference within our conference on Thursday, October 17th. 
For the second year in a row, in collaboration with Vermont Birth to Three, VAEYC is again extending our conference and adding Saturday as a third day.  The target audience for this day will be home-based providers, with several tracks dedicated to this type of childcare service.

We will be running the first round of our conference registration scholarship process in July.  Find information about that, and other conference related announcements at VAEYC.org and Facebook.com/VAEYC 

Conference brochure available online:
1st full week of August

Early bird registration ends SEPTEMBER 20th
 
 


Vermont's Early Childhood Summit

As many of you know, Governor Shumlin announced an Early Childhood Summit in his second inaugural address and directed Secretary Racine at the Agency of Human Services to oversee its organization. Secretary Vilaseca at the Agency of Education and his staff are also playing a lead role in this effort. The Summit will be held on Tuesday, October 29th, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier.

The Summit Planning Committee will be holding a series of pre-Summit focus sessions this summer and fall. The sessions, which will be open to anyone interested in participating, are intended to provide Vermonters with an opportunity to share their perspectives and ideas on a range of topics. Interested individuals will be encouraged to think beyond their own “role” (employer, parent, educator, community member, advocate, service provider, etc.) when deciding which focus session(s) to attend. These sessions will be a rare opportunity to think expansively and “outside the box” about what it will take to realize the promise of every Vermont child. 

SATURDAY FOCUS SESSION:

In addition to the seven (7) pre-Summit focus sessions that are being held around the state during July, August and September, the Summit Planning Committee will also hold a special focus session on Saturday, September 28th, 9:30-12:30 in Randolph, VT.  This session is for those who are unable to attend weekday sessions. Participants in this Saturday focus session will determine which of the seven topics addressed at the previous focus sessions they would like to discuss. (They may choose any or all of the topics.) This session will be facilitated by Deb Allen, a consultant has been retained to facilitate all the pre-Summit focus sessions.

The ideas and recommendations that emerge from the focus sessions will feed into the Early Childhood Framework, which will be one of the concrete outcomes of the Summit. This Framework will be a set of shared agreements on many aspects of Vermont’s early childhood system. The Framework will build on what we know is working well for Vermont’s young children and their families and outline what needs to change in order to realize the promise of every Vermont child.

Registration for the pre-Summit focus sessions is now open:  Click here to register.



Upcoming Events

(click on the links for more information!)

July 23, 2013 5:30-6:30pm
Membership Mix and Mingle

TBD, Caledonia County

October 17-19, 2013
VAEYC Fall Conference
Killington Grand, Killington, VT

November 20-23, 2013
NAEYC Conference
Washington, DC

Do you have Questions? We'll find the answers! Do you have ideas? We'll share them!

Share your challenges and successes!

Rachel Hunter
May 31, 2013

“Why should I do STARS?”
 
As a mentor with Vermont Birth to Three I have the opportunity to meet and support many registered home providers within both the Windsor and Hartford Regions.  It is always exciting to visit new programs and meet new caregivers.  As part of my work with Vermont Birth to Three I support providers as they work towards becoming STARS participating programs.  I find that the first question I am asked by almost all providers is:  “Why should I do STARS?”  This is a great question, especially with an application that boasts 28 pages I can understand their concern.  Each childcare provider is unique and at different places both personally and professionally.  Becoming a STARS participating program takes dedication to professionalism as well as a commitment to program improvement.

My answer to providers is simple, “STARS is a way to recognize quality programs that work to go above the standard licensing requirements.  A STARS participating program is something to be proud of and is quite often sought out as the only option for many families.  Programs with STARS are listed on the Department for Children and Families website as well as acknowledged within each provider profile on the Bright Futures Childcare Information website.”

Quite often this answer is enough to reach providers on a personal level however it is often followed up with a hard hitting, to the point second question: “What do I get?”  Again, facing a stack of papers with various columns, boxes, blank lines and multiple headings I can see the hesitation in their eyes.  My answer again is simple, “As a STARS participating program you will receive a one-time bonus (excluding 3 STARS with a second year renewal bonus) for each level you obtain within STARS as well as additional funds for families in your care receiving subsidy”.  At that point I always see their eyes light up - they can’t believe that they would receive a financial incentive for work they are already doing as well as increased support for families.  Our conversation from there goes to discussing their program specifics including: regulatory history, years in the field, education, family involvement in the program and business practices.  Providers are always impressed to learn how many ‘pieces’ of STARS they are already doing and have implemented into their program.  With mentoring support many registered homes have become STARS participating programs and learned the answers to their direct questions immediately.  Becoming a STARS program is directly linked to becoming a professional in the Early Childhood field, something I find all providers seek.

 


T.E.A.C.H. is coming to Vermont: Seeking Administrative Home

     T.E.A.C.H. is coming to Vermont soon and will be a great addition to the strategies currently in place to support professional achievements of the Vermont Workforce!
 

For anyone who doesn't know, T.E.A.C.H. stands for Teacher Education and Compensation Helps and provides a prescriptive and very successful framework for assisting professionals in achieving credentials and degrees.

In order to implement T.E.A.C.H., it requires that an organization serve as "host." So in pursuit of such, this announcement serves to inform potential interested parties to contact Julie Coffey at Building Bright Futures via email, jcoffey@buildingbrightfutures.org as soon as possible.

As of today, there is only one organization, V.A.E.Y.C. (Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children), that has expressed an interest in serving as the host for T.E.A.C.H. in Vermont. Both V.S.A.C. and V.C.C.I.C.C. have expressed they are not interested at this time but there may be others that haven't heard about this plan.

Therefore, this announcement may help your organization determine if there is interest in being the host for T.E.A.C.H. in Vermont.

Guidelines to help you understand whether your organization is qualified or not. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood(r) Projects must be in non-profit organizations that:
a. Have experience delivering services to the early childhood education community on a statewide basis.
b. Have no conflicts of interest as an organization that either could receive scholarships for staff or provide higher education.

Below is additional information about T.E.A.C.H. and being the Vermont host.
The Vermont T.E.A.C.H. host's responsibilities include attaining the T.E.A.C.H. license from the national T.E.A.C.H. organization Child Care Services and agreeing to abide by its requirements which include:
* Establishing an office and hiring T.E.A.C.H staff
* Creating and implementing a T.E.A.C.H. pilot/project that meets the criteria of T.E.A.C.H. and meets the targeted needs of Vermont
* All T.E.A.C.H. hosts must work to have agreements with child care centers, and participating staff and with family child care home providers.
* T.E.A.C.H. agreements must meet three criteria; Scholarships, support for participants, and a financial benefit for participants.

If no other organizations express an interest in this role, we will use this process of acclamation to award V.A.E.Y.C. the first opportunity to host Vermont's T.E.A.C.H. program. The precise details of how T.E.A.C.H. in Vermont will implement will be determined through a T.E.A.C.H. advisory board to be established and closely affiliated with the current statewide Building Bright Futures Professional Preparation and Development Committee and the Professional Development Think Tank.

Sincerely,
Julie Coffey


FOR FAMILIES

          The NAEYC For Families website is here to support your family engagement efforts. This month, you'll find articles on learning about science through toys, advice on swaddling techniques for infants, and how to help children cross the bridge from preschool to kindergarten.    
   


2013 VAEYC Programs & Services Survey 

 

On behalf of VAEYC, I would like to extend a thank you to the people who took time to complete our annual Programs and Services Survey in May. A focus of the VAEYC Governing Board continues to highlight the value of membership in the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. We strive to develop and improve upon programs and services provided to our members and others. We gained a lot of information from the 74 survey responses, including 50 from VAEYC members representing just over 10% of our current membership. Here are some highlights from this year’s surveys.
 
Respondents were highly satisfied with our annual fall conference and will continue to attend venues in both Killington and Burlington. One member commented, “The quality of the conference has improved over the years and is excellent. I bring my whole staff which is a significant commitment of our limited resources. We all think it is worth it, thank you.” There was positive feedback with the VAEYC Spring Speaker event and while fewer members have attended, the majority was satisfied with the topics and presenters.
 
We continue to reach out to our membership and others interested in the world of early education, providing a variety of avenues to stay abreast of current information of interest, upcoming events and conferences, advocacy efforts, and resources. Respondents shared an overall high satisfaction with efforts including VAEYC’s bi-monthly online newsletter, eConnections; the VAEYC website www.vaeyc.org; and social media such as Facebook and blogs on our website home page. VAEYC is also venturing into the world of Twitter!
 
VAEYC’s new Quality Improvement Project began in September 2012. Through this project, mentors are offering support to childcare programs and providers in an effort to help them improve quality and implement a model of continuous quality improvement. Those who responded are generally happy with their experience.  Other potential services VAEYC is considering such as T.E.A.C.H. and shared services/group purchasing for Vermont providers received mixed responses for likelihood of interest or potential access from our members.
 
During the past year, we have begun to host “Mix & Mingles” around the state in an effort to bring together professionals to network through informal gatherings. While attendance has grown, we are sensitive to respondent’s comments regarding region of the state, times and suggestions for venues. We value your feedback and will continue to develop this further to make connections to our members and potential members throughout the state!
 
Thank you for helping us to become a stronger organization and for all you do to support the education and well being of young children and their families.   Sandra Graves, VAEYC Board Membership Chair

Copyright © 2013 Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children, All rights reserved.
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