At our October 15th council meeting, 38 early childhood professionals and community partners representing both regions in the Northeast Kingdom attended the presentation on the STep Ahead Recognition Systems (STARS), the state’s quality and improvement rating system for early care and learning programs, with Melissa Riegel-Garrett and Heather Mattison from the Child Development Division (CDD). The presentation included information on the results of the STARS Evaluation and Validation Study. Melissa shared information about the proposed changes to the STARS program in both Phase 1 and 2 and shared the timelines for each phase. Finally, there was an opportunity for stakeholders to share feedback on how changes will impact programs, what supports are needed, and provide input on certain elements of the proposed recommendations.
For more information on the STARS evolution process or if you have questions visit: https://dcf.vermont.gov/childcare/providers/stars/evolution
Questions about changes to the STARS program can be submitted using the survey link below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/STARS-Evolution-Questions
This presentation was followed by another one on Shared Services presented by Michelle Tarryk, NEKLS and Lorraine Vernet, Vermont Birth to Five (VB5). They provided an overview on the NEK Shared Services Hub, the approach, implementation timeline and next steps.
At our November 19, 2018 BBF Regional Council meeting, Kelly Ault from Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance (VECAA) presented the preliminary 2019 Vermont Early Childhood Legislative Agenda. Kelly briefly reviewed the outcome of the 2018 legislative issues. VECAA will be posting the 2019 Agenda on their website by December and each issue will have a page with details about the proposals and how to get involved.
Annual Diaper Dash: On Saturday, November 3, community partners and residents came together at Four Seasons Park in St. Johnsbury for the 1st Annual Diaper Dash to benefit the Caledonia Community Diaper Bank. Through this effort, we were able to raise money and collect diapers to support the four local distribution sites: Umbrella Inc., Kingdom Community Services Food Shelf, and United Community Church, all in St. Johnsbury and H.O.P.E. in Lyndonville. For more information about this program, contact Lew Apgar at Community Connections at NVRH at (802) 748-7969. Donations accepted at distribution sites, newborn through adult.
Upcoming BBF Regional Council Meeting/Trainings:
December 17, 2018 – Substance Use Disorder -Presented by Carol Smith- Oak Leaf and Pine Counseling, PLC. Training will be held at the AHS Conference Room at the Vermont Department of Health in St. Johnsbury from 5:30-7:30 PM. 2 Hours of Advanced Specialized Child Care professional development is available. Please RSVP to Dawn at email@example.com .
January 14, 2019 – Follow up discussion on Substance Use Disorder Programs and Services– we will host a panel of community partners to share information on their programs and services before opening it up to questions from participants. Panel discussion will be held at the AHS Conference Room at the Vermont Department of Health in St. Johnsbury from 5:30-7:30 PM. Please RSVP to Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org .