Caledonia & Southern Essex Regional Council Recap – September 2017

Dawn Powers
Caledonia & Southern Essex Regional Coordinator
Building Bright Futures




Shared Services – At our September 18th Regional Council Meeting, 18 early childhood professionals and community partners attended to learn more about a possible Shared Services initiative in the St. Johnsbury region. Lou Ann Beninati, the Regions Manager for Vermont Birth to Five, presented information on what a Shared Services Business Model Approach is, what the core values are, why St. Johnsbury is poised to be chosen to participate as a pilot project as well as next steps to gauge providers ‘interest in pursuing this opportunity’. Providers in attendance provided feedback on a few items that would be beneficial for a Shared Services model in our region, including health care coverage for providers, licensed teachers to meet Universal Preschool requirements, mental health consultants as well as administrative services (i.e. payroll) especially for large centers. Next steps include additional outreach to childcare programs via Starting Points Network meetings & individual interviews to engage in a needs assessment to determine the level of interest in moving forward. For more information about Shared Services, contact LouAnn at:

Lyndon Promise Community – The Lyndon Promise Community’s final RoadMap template submitted in July was approved. The proposal requested funds 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. The proposal requirements will be monitored and carried out by two newly formed sub-committees.

This month, both sub-committees were formed and scheduled to meet. The first, ‘Lyndon Parents Lead Advisory Committee’ is scheduled to meet on September 19th. This group will begin by developing/ adopting a parent leadership program curriculum as well as identifying a selection process for participants. This group will provide continuous oversight for the four sessions to be carried out

The second group, the ‘All Things Lyndon Committee,’ will be charged with the development of the All Things Lyndon website, the creation of a job description for the Resource Coordinator, as well as identification of the Family Fund criteria. The initial meeting of this committee is scheduled for March 20th. For more information about the Lyndon Promise Community initiatives, contact Dawn Powers at

Help Me Grow (HMG) Vermont– Caledonia/Southern Essex BBF hosted a HMG community meeting at the Northern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) in St. Johnsbury on September 8th.  Janet Kilburn and Elizabeth Gilman presented information on the four core components of Help Me Grow – Child Health and Education Provider Outreach; Family and Community Outreach, Data Collection & Analysis and Centralized Phone Access Point.

The audience consisted of a diverse group of stakeholders representing childcare providers, school staff, birthing center staff, Community Connections at NVRH, Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, LUND, DCF – Family Services Division, Little Rivers Heath Care Center, Vermont Department of Health, Kingdom Child Care Connection @Umbrella, Northeast Kingdom Human Services, Northern Counties Health Care, Nurse Family Partnership, Children’s Integrated Services and United Ways 211.

Janet described how HMG- VT supports efforts to build a comprehensive system of universal, early and continuous developmental monitoring and screening. Another objective of the meeting was to explain how this system enhancer promotes the protective factors enhancing child development and parental resilience. Finally, we concluded the meeting with a discussion about how HMG could help practices/agencies serve our families better and how we could provide outreach to promote this resource in our community. The meeting was well received and many community partners were surprised at how comprehensive HMG was, where-as before they thought it was only a call-in center.

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