Southeast Vermont Regional Council Recap – July 2018
In Southeast Vermont, we have been wrapping up the past fiscal year and planning for FY19. Three main developments in process are: identifying a focus topic for council work, disseminating a pair of early care and learning opportunity surveys, and budgeting council funds.
As a council, we have identified the increasing rate of children in custody in our region as a focus topic for the coming year. We are starting to convene conversations to bring our collaborative attention to the multiple, complex, and systemic variables contributing to this outcomes. A subcommittee focused on the rising rate of custody held a preliminary meeting in early July to identify questions and next steps to gain, and share clarity on policy, practice, and planned improvements for the child welfare system. The ‘How?’ of this process is especially important for building trust and community capacity for resilience. This will include learning from our impacted families, community members, partner agencies, and local and outside experts.
The newly formed Child Care Counts group fielded two surveys about early care and learning opportunities and barriers in May and June; one to families and one to employers. They received 129 responses from families and 36 responses from employers. These responses can be compared to a similar survey from five years ago. The Child Care Counts group is planning to use the information gathered to inform their meetings with stakeholders from the business and early childhood worlds and to continue to measure progress. More information about the questions and responses can be found in this article from the Brattleboro Reformer.
The council has allocated the majority of $5,000 in Race to the Top funds to Early Educator training in the region. We have already allocated $1,500, and have two other proposals in process. Additionally, in partnership with CCV, we are surveying Early Educators to determine their training needs and hope to provide at least two trainings that will meet those needs this fall. We are excited about the ground up approach that will allow for Early Educators to be heard and to provide trainings that will meet the needs of this region.