Rutland County Regional Council Recap – July 2018
Regional Action Plans
In June and July the Rutland council took a deep dive into the Regional Action Plan. This included reviewing regional data, celebrating successes, and identifying opportunities, gaps, and priorities.
a) Immunization rates of children 19-35 months increased by 66.4%
b) Families have access to high quality and affordable child care. STARS Participation increased by 70.1%, 2010-2017, (2017 BBF “How are Vermont’s Young Children and Families)
c) Access to Healthy foods is a growing concern in Rutland County. The number of families accessing WIC has continued to drop. Children’s BMI are rising nationwide and area Food Bank use is on the rise. (per Rutland office of the Dept. of Health)
The Council participated in trainings around ACES with Dr. Johanna Brakeley. This along with a screening of the Resilience film helped deepen the understanding of families with these issues and how providers can best support them. The Council looks to continue and expand upon this topic recognizing the importance of their role as early educators.
With an increased need for high quality child care, support for professional development for providers is essential. With special attention in the area of safety training around children with ACES/mental health issues & incarcerated family members. As a Council, we will seek out training opportunities for continued educational supports for providers in an effort to create a “toolbox” of resources. At the State level, funding to support Mental Health resources would be important.
The ability to offer wages for providers that will aide in attracting and retaining quality staffing is a barrier to many area providers. The council will continue to seek out and promote professional development opportunities for area providers. In order to maintain and expand upon the level of high quality child care already available in Rutland County. Continued increases to the subsidy rates, bringing them to current true cost levels would support this greatly.
The council spent time in the last few months identifying key community partners. We discussed who attends our council meetings and who should we be reaching out to so that we may help support their work? We discussed best ways to contact and invite new members to our table. The group reviewed the current contact list and made edits and additions
The conversation around Kindergarten readiness continues. Kelley Todriff recommended the book titled “Successful Kindergarten Transitions” Brooks Publishing, to the group as a resource. We continue to brainstorm ideas as to how make better connections with schools and how to make the entry into kindergarten not only more meaningful for students but also parents and teachers.
A subcommittee will be formed to set goals and guide the project forward. The committee would ideally consist of home providers, centers, parents, teachers and others who work with transitioning students. We look forward to working with area schools as we move forward with this project.
Community Health Needs Assessment
Rutland County held their Community Health Needs Assessment prioritization meeting on June 13. There was a concern before the meeting that child care and family supports did not rank highly on the community surveys returned. A closer look at the demographic of those completing the survey showed that many were 60 or over and were in a higher income bracket than average. A plea went out to those agencies in the area that support children and families to attend the meeting. After much discussion and work, childcare and family supports did rise to be one of the main concerns for Rutland County. This meeting, brought together by Rutland Hospital helps to determine where funds will go to support the community for the next three years.