Caledonia & Southern Essex Regional Council Recap – July 2017
Early Childhood Professional Development: At our March 20th BBF Regional Council Meeting, 29 licensed and registered child care providers and other community partners discussed the impact on professional development, as well as gaps in child care services and resources due to the statewide transforming the workplace process and loss of our Resource Development Specialist at Kingdom Child Care Services. Registered and Licensed early childhood providers expressed concerns regarding new child care licensing regulations; the need for orientation and clear guidance; capacity concerns (both time and financial); providers expressing concerns regarding need to take college courses due to capacity issues and that 2- to 3-hour workshops allowed them to get information about multiple topics that fit their needs and availability. We discussed how our BBF Regional Council could help meet the professional development needs of early childhood professionals in our region. Lorraine Vernet from VB5 shared their role in the upcoming year to provide professional development until CCV was able to fully implement the transition plan. This led to discussion about the VB5 contract to coordinate professional development. Previously, representatives from BBF, CCV, Springfield College, St. Johnsbury School and Little Dippers had met as a sub group of BBF to discuss how we could collaborate to bring high quality professional development opportunities to our region for early childhood professionals. The VB5 contract was one of the ideas we explored and seemed to be the best fit for our council. This initiative aligns with our BBF Regional Action Plan Outcome – “Children are ready for school”; Strategy – “Increase early childhood staff and home visitor qualifications / experience”. Action- “Improve the quality of childcare and home visitor services by offering advanced professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals”. BBF Regional Council members voted to support the submission of a VB5 contract for professional development. Our ad-hoc BBF Professional Development subcommittee will oversee this initiative/ funding. Since our proposal was accepted by VB5 at the end of May, BBF in Caledonia/ Southern Essex has offered professional development opportunities and local support to early childhood professionals in our region through a sub-contract with Little Dippers Doodle Children’s Center. This is a great example of how our BBF Regional Council took a leadership role to identify an issue, assess it and identify a solution to address the needs of early childhood professionals in our region. In the process, we have strengthened several partnerships and created new relationships.
Lyndon Promise Community – Over the past year, the BBF Coordinator has facilitated the Lyndon Promise Community meetings. The work of this group has been a collaborative effort with the Lyndon Community Visit. Strategies to address key issues identified have been in alignment and efforts to collaborate continue. We submitted our final RoadMap template in July. The proposal includes a request for monies to support a Parent Education Leadership Program called ‘Lyndon Parents Lead’; a community website and Resource Coordinator position as well as discretionary funds to support community events, activities and transportation and scholarship subsidies.
Pet Parade – Held in St. Johnsbury on June 17th. BBF and VDH promoted Help Me Grow (HMG) at the event. Our MCH Coordinator created water labels for water bottles and printed HMG information on lunch bags that were filled with popcorn and given out to children and adults. In addition, we had a Frog Mascot from the Froggy Radio station 100.9 that helped us get the word out. We distributed 100 water bottles and 150 bags of popcorn as well as having visibility in the local parade.