2:00 PM ­ 4:00 PM, February 23, 2015 | BBF Conference Room, Suite 309


  • Call to Order ­ Mary Burns, Chair
  • Consent Age
  • Agenda ­ Acceptance of January 2015 Meeting Minutes
  • Presentation of BBF Proposed Organizational Plan ­ Julie Coffey, BBF Executive Director
  • Promise Communities Presentation ­ Julianne Nickerson, Promise Communities Director
  • Professional Preparation and Development Career Ladder ­ Nancy Sugarman
  • Project LAUNCH: Mid­Project Evaluation Findings ­ Naomi Clemmons
  • FY16 Budget Cuts Impact Statement ­ Julie Coffey, BBF Executive Director and Steve Ames, Regional Coordinator, Lamoille Valley


  • February 27, 2015 ­ How Are Vermont’s Young Children? Report and Press Release scheduled
  • March 11, 2015 ­ Early Childhood Day at the Legislature
  • March 16, 2015 ­ Vermont Early Childhood Action Plan Coordinator Kick­Off Meeting
  • March 23, 2015 ­ BBF SAC Meeting to be held in Montpelier, Governor Shumlin tentatively scheduled to attend
  • May 5­7, 2015 ­ Smart Start BBF is sending a team of Regional Coordinators, Regional Council representatives and 2 State Council reps.


BBF SAC Board Members: ​Mary Burns, Kim Coe, Breena Holmes, Betsy Rathburn­Gunn, Charlie Bliss, David Young, Manuela Fonesca, Julie Coffey, Ben Allen, Malika Clark, Reeva Murphy, Monica Hutt, Pat Moulton, Stacey Weinberger (by phone)

Other Guests: ​Mark Sustic, Nancy Sugarman, Mark Sustic, Bethany Hale, Beth Truzansky, Laura Bernard, Julianne Nickerson, Steve Ames, Julie Cadwallader­Staub, Matt Levin, Debra McLaughlin, Ann Dillenback, Traci Sawyers, Dr. Naomi Clemmons, Dawn Powers (by phone), Loli Berard (by phone), and Becky Raymond (by phone).


Debra McLaughlin


  • Call to Order:​ Mary Burns called the meeting to order at 2:05 Burns asked folks to introduce themselves. Mark Sustic was thanked by Burns for this 20 years of service to BBF. He will remain on BBF’s Data and Evaluation Committee.
  • Acceptance of January 2015 Minutes: ​It was determined that a quorum was not yet present to approve the January 2015 At 2:45 PM, a quorum was present. Bliss made the motion, with Fonseca seconded the minutes. Mouton asked the protocol. Burns said if absent at the meeting, you cannot vote. Clark said that folks generally have access to the minutes about a week before the meeting. Burns said there could be further discussion about voting. All the minutes were passed with Moulten abstaining as this was her first meeting.
  • Promise Communities Presentation: ​Julianne Nickerson, Director of the Promise Communities effort, provided a brief overview of this project (see handout). This project includes training, technical assistance and community planning to ensure communities do “whatever it takes” to help support young children. This is Project 24 of the ELC­RTT grant, a $6M

Promise Communities focus on 0­6 population. This is modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone project in NYC. The group may have heard of Promise Zones, place­based neighborhoods, but it is based on this effort. The elementary school will be the central piece of the community and expand out. We are asked that it is not as big as a county, don’t want the whole AHS district to apply, at least 40 kids need to be impacted.

Nickerson is the statewide director and there is a statewide advisory team, comprised of some people in this room. But diverse representatives are being asked to participate both statewide and in the local level. Flint Springs Associates are the evaluation team. Three Promise Community coaches have also been hired in the Northern (Mark McMillen), Central (Shannon Hottinger) and Southern (Emile Kornheiser) . They will help the communities shape their plan once they are selected.

The goal of the project is for kids to be ready to go to school. Third grade achievement is being used as an outcome measurement. Kids and families need to have access to high quality programs. A medical home is key to this application as well.

There is an open invitation for communities to apply using the criteria of poverty, KRS, etc. Data was provided as part of the invitation packet, which can be found on the CDD website. A webinar, held on February 19, was re­recorded to improve the sound quality. There will be FAQs posted on the website as well.

Communities will submit an application that is community­based. From there a road map will be developed where is community­based. They are not applying for dollars ­ they are applying to be a community at the moment. The funding will come later once the road map has been developed.

The Coaches will be in the communities for 2 years. This year, they will have 2 communities; next year 4 communities and finally 6 communities each.

Communities need to attend meetings, support the implementation of the plan. There is a desire to work together to develop this plan. Sustainability will also be a focus of this work.

The Promise Communities excited to work with the BBF Regional Coordinators to align the work with the Regional Planning work underway at present. Asking for communities that are applying to be a Promise Communities to get the BBF sign­off as well as the AHS regional director signoff.

Allen asked is there was a specific ask of the BBF SAC? Nickerson asked that the BBF State Council spread the word about the Promise Communities as this is an open invitation now. The effort is a aligning with the Vermont Action Plan, and the BBF Regional Action Plans. The data is coming from Vermont Insights for this project, except for those data sets available from AHS and AOE.

Young asked if there are communities that stand out that could be a “perfect” match. Nickerson said that there are some communities.

Bliss asked what the grant size was. Nickerson said up to $200,000 was available for each applicant.

Fonseca asked for folks who are interested, what is the next step. Nickerson said all the invitation materials are posted on the CDD website. Nickerson wants to make sure folks know that this is not a grant program. Fonseca asked if the community wanted to move into one direction and the data pointed to another direction. Murphy said the he needs assessment comes first by the community with support from the coaches. This is not about the money. This is about a planning process that talks about what it takes to make young children ready for kindergarten. This is just seed money.

This is only $200,000 one time money.

Clark asked who could apply. Could a PTA apply? Nickerson said they can as long as they are sponsored by BBF or AHS. Murphy said it has to be tied to a school district, a health care provider, BBF, and AHS sign­offs. The idea is to look at assets and gaps. This will be an opportunity to find out if the services are reaching the people who need them. The $200,000 is seed money to help communities get started.

Rathman­Gunn asked if faith­based communities could apply. Nickerson said yes. Fonseca asked if faith­based organizations are allowed. Nickerson said yes.

  • Review and Discuss 2015 Annual Organization, Vote to Accept: ​Coffey reviewed the draft 2015 Annual Organizational Plan, with Murphy asked if comments were going to be solicited. Coffey said there was a clear mandate to change the meetings. Burns said there was a lot of discussion about how to make the State Council meetings more meaningful instead of “sit and get” and focus more on substantive issues. Coffey reviewed these changes with the members (see attached). She reviewed the new tag line: “Harnessing the power of Vermont communities to improve child and family well­being.”

There are five emerging areas: community, policy, data, operations and communications.

Allen asked about sustainability and it is included under “operations”. It is not called out as part of the five areas.

Proposed Changes:

  • From monthly to every other
  • From 2­hour meeting to 4­hour meeting
  • Retreat moved from annual calendar to fiscal calendar, from December to June
  • August Action Plan Conference results in annual Policy recommendations, vote
  • How Are Vermont’s Young Children? Starting in 2015, it will be published in December on an annual There will be mini profiles from the regions.
  • March 23, 2015, Pavillion in Montpelier, VT will be the March SAC Questions:
  • The Bylaws require 10 meetings and how they can be
  • How will the ELC­RTT quarterly meetings be affected by this proposed changed? Tentatively planned for April 27,l 2015 for this first 4 hour meeting and integrate the ELC­RTT Advisory Mobbs will send out the list of calendar invites to the members to get all these dates. Mobbs will cancel the original calendar and re­sent to the members.
  • Cynthia Greene sent out an email re: March 16 How does this Action Plan Coordination meeting occur in March and what are the implications for the August conference?
  • What time frame works for folks to attend BBF SAC meetings six times a year? Discussion:
  • What will be the content of the meetings to justify the 4­ hour meeting? Movement will be important as brain science indicated that 40 minutes
  • Ensure there is enough there to spend the time on; when we do have the ELC­RTT meetings, if they piggyback on a 4­hour meeting. We would include the ELC­RTT meeting with in.
  • The August conference would be separate from the 6 meetings during the
  • How can a schedule of upcoming meetings be created and circulated between members?

Coffey asked McLaughlin to provide a brief overview of the FY15 Regional Coordinator’s Scope of Work. McLaughlin distributed the draft document that resulted from the work of the Regional Coordinators. Due to time constraints, McLaughlin just mentioned the 5 priority areas:

  • Systems Change
  • Collective Impact
  • Public Education, Outreach and Engagement
  • Family Engagement
  • Regional Council Operations

She said this was part of a larger document that outlines the Scope of Work guidance with specific outcomes, deliverables and timelines. They the Action Plan as the driver for the other activities listed.

Rathburn Gunn asked about the Regional Plan timeline of September 30 and if there were other specific measurements where the State Action Council could plug into. McLaughlin said the Guidance would include those. And the feedback loop between the State Regional Council and Regional Councils are very important.

Murphy asked if the Regional Councils intended to be 501 c 3’s? McLaughlin said no. The item under Regional Council operations is to report on grants such as the BBF Direct Services grants administered by CDD.

Young said he was very excited to see the BBF Operational Plan and wanted to make sure there was alignment between the BBF Scope of Work and this document. McLaughlin said that the “community” area of the BBF Operational Plan encompasses this work. Coffey said that additional alignment can occur. Young also wanted to see balance in the BBF Operational Plan so that there are no efforts in one area and numerous efforts in another ­ want to make sure there is balance.

McLaughlin said they will work to ensure alignment ­ something they have been talking a lot about at the regional level.

  • Professional Preparation and Development Career Ladder ­ Nancy Sugarman Nancy Sugarman provided a presentation on Vermont’s career ladder for Early Childhood professionals (see PPT).

Six college credits can be offered for free, there are additional incentives for the apprenticeship program as well. There is high level of participation at Levels I and II.

Fonseca indicated that more aggressive outreach could occur to help help individuals become early childhood licensed providers, especially in light of Act 166. This could also help appeal to career changers. Only four colleges offer higher education opportunities:


Coffey said if there was a longer meeting, BBF could delve more deeply into this. Young said if there a demand/supply issue and how to get the word out. This could be a role for BBF to get the word out because of the tentacles.

Coffey asked about the Higher Education Collaborative but this is a different issue than Project 16 that is support of ELC­RTTT. It is great to have scholarships but if someone has to spend 10 years to get an undergraduate degree, it can be discouraging. What is the pipeline, especially for young people to stay in the state. Fonseca said that a facilitator is nearly hired to get this process underway. Young don’t underestimate VSAC as a re­purposed organization. This could be a great opportunity to recruit young people.

TEACH is part of Project 16 as well. A scholarship model is being explored. These strategies are part of the Action Plan work.

  • Project LAUNCH: Mid­Project Evaluation Findings ­ Traci Sawyer and Naomi Clemmons: Sawyer said LAUNCH is mid­way through the grant and shared a PPT with the (Get copy from Traci). Clemmons just issued the second year evaluation report and it will be posted on the BBF website. Coffey said the evaluation has been rigorous to see how supports (training, TA) to support systems integration. This is the direction that the federal government is moving in with evidence­based practices.

Key takeaways:

  • Great committed folks at the table
  • How to make sure the connections are happening to improve and enhance systems
  • How do outreach workers help families navigate the system of care
  • Evidence­based ­ slow and steady build but going into implementation into the 3rd Sustainability is key. Sawyer said there is a Work Team working on these issues at present. Clark said that BBF is helping to make data availability to help aid in collaboration.

Coffey said that VB3 with Department of Health is training child care providers to train other child care providers in child development funding. There may be an opportunity to apply for LAUNCH extension funding. LAUNCH will be invited to speak at a conference in Washington next month.

Murphy asked about the scatter map charts. Cadwallader­Staub asked about quantatative indings will be about collaboration, cooperation,coordination. This is baseline data and there will be more data collected to compare Years 2 and 4.

  • Budget Impact Statement: ​Will be deferred to the next meeting due to time

Motion to adjourn the meeting ­ Charlie; and Clark seconded.