Bennington Regional Council Recap – January 2018
Even during the heart of the holiday season, there continued to be an incredible amount of energy in the Bennington region. In December, we looked back to the Building Vermont’s Future from the Child Up Summit. The purpose of the meeting was to take a look at the early care and learning system design ideas that emerged at the Summit and to clarify and identify what the Bennington Council could focus on. We limited the discussion to three of the six Summit outcomes:
- Developing and assuring high-quality early care and learning programs for all children and families
- Developing and supporting Vermont’s early care and learning workforce
- Coordinating comprehensive/wrap around services
We recognized what Bennington was already doing, determined areas where there was need for further clarification, and identified areas for local next steps. If we are going to impact the early care and education system, it is important to work locally with all sectors involved. The identified areas will become part of the work of our standing and ad-hoc council committees. This work will also influence Council priorities and work for the year.
In January, we looked at the updated version of the Bennington Regional Plan. Bennington has had a working regional plan since 2005. It has been a guide to the work that we do and acts as an evaluation tool for that work. The goal was to look at the plan and enrich it.
All of the additions will be part of the Bennington work plan. Our work plan is tied to the regional plan and committees, and outlines short and medium term goals. It is important to remember that actions happen throughout the region within a project, agency or system that has its own outcomes and criteria. It is important that we are aware of, support, and celebrate the goals and challenges for our region.
Both of the Promise Communities, Bennington and Pownal, are close to receiving funding. Bennington has had the first meeting with the evaluation team. Pownal’s will be in February. As soon as the funding is received, both communities will look to hire staff to begin the process of opening their centers. Both Pownal and Bennington are citizen-led and have strong parents in the lead.