Addison County Regional Council Recap – September 2018

Darla Senecal
Addison & Rutland Region Coordinator
Building Bright Futures




The Addison Building Bright Futures Council is excited to announce the recipients of Pilot Grant funds established earlier this year. The grant was created to support leadership and skill development among early childhood professionals in Addison County to back the collective impact efforts of the regional council. This pilot allows BBF to explore how funding can be used to support regional councils and council activities, and leverage regional leadership. The grant awards were given to:

Community College of Vermont-Leadership Class

The Addison Council proposed developing a leadership class with CCV to help build specific skills for those interested in preparing to take on Director roles in child care centers in the future. Key elements of the class will be Small Business Management, Principles of Supervision, Effective Workplace Communication, Community Development, Board Management, Grant Writing, Consensus Building & Employee Supervision.

Wrens Nest– Building Leadership and Pre-K Capacity through Nature-Based Program Development 

Wren’s Nest will be working to develop high­quality, nature­based PreK programs in Addison County. Interest in this type of program for young children has been growing over the last decade in Addison County.  Wrens Nest will work to cultivate not only new programs (and expanding Pre-K capacity in Addison County) but also to cultivate leadership in our local early ed community through deepening connections and consultation with area experts.

Quarry Hill- Technology in our Communities and Families

Quarry Hill looks to expand on what started as a parent-led group concerned about the effects of screen time on children.  This effort will bring together parents, educators, school administrators and healthcare providers who will share their experiences and expertise around technology, particularly its impact on how the young child’s brain develops and the impact on the development of social skills. 

College Street Children’s Center – Music Together

The Music Together curriculum will help early childhood professionals understand developmentally appropriate practice in music, learn how to assess children’s music development, communicate the importance of music to parents and caregivers, learn how to design lesson plans with artistic energy flow, and learn new repertoire including songs, chants, instrument, prop and movement activities.  

Congratulations to all of the grantees.

In August, the Addison Early MTSS group held an in-service training for nearly 100 early educators. The workshop was led by Meg Baker, Mary Jane Broughton, Sue Bloomer, and Craig Carpenter. The in-service focused on supporting social-emotional development and best practices in programs for children from birth through age five. The content of the training and follow-up coaching will include attachment and relationship building and establishing daily routines and environments that support social-emotional development. Teachers were shown tools for coping with challenging behaviors and teaching social-emotional skills such as self-regulation, emotional literacy, friendship skills, problem-solving, and anger management. There will be 3 follow up sessions throughout the year.

During a recent Addison Council meeting there was a discussion about the need for an anti-bias/equity education covering race/class/gender and beyond. The goal is to strengthen understanding with staff about proper use of terminology, recognizing bias, and how to talk to children and families about equity. The council will seek out a training or series of trainings to foster a better understanding and to give meaningful tools to educators for classroom use.

The Addison County Economic Development Agency held a Workforce Development Summit on 9/12 at Basin Harbor. The summit was co-sponsored by the Department of Labor. Several of the Addison Council members were able to attend. The summit brought together business, education, service providers, and community members. The evening included panel discussions with local employers and educators. Several times during the discussion the topic of childcare came up.  Sarah Kaeck of Bees Wrap and Sean Flynn of Silver Maple Construction both spoke about the impact that lack of adequate childcare has on their business from production to the home office and how it effects the lives of employees and the bottom line of their companies when employees cannot be at work.  During the breakout session 2 of the 8 tables identified childcare as a priority in Addison County. They acknowledged low wages as a barrier to attract and retain workers to the field of early ed. The evening ended with the announcement that there will be a workforce task group formed to take next steps on the identified issues in the coming months.

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