The Starting Points Leaders of Franklin and Grand Isle are now known as the Vermont Early Childhood Network of Franklin and Grand Isle. They are child care providers who have stepped up to be leaders in their field to offer professional development and networking to their colleagues through a grant from Let’s Grow Kids and the Vermont Child Development Division. This year they will be focusing on regional professional development around areas identified by their colleagues that include reflective practice. Some topics will be around business practices, self-care and trauma informed practices. Other work with be done around communities of practice, a Month of the Young Child Event and Provider Appreciation to celebrate themselves and their colleagues. The leaders also hold regular networking meetings for child care providers to be able to discuss relevant issues to their profession and support each other in best practice for family-centered care.
Our BBF Regional Council was approached by our partners at DCF about an opportunity to work together to design a space at the state office building, ultimately creating an additional, trauma-informed space for family visitations. The BBF Regional Council committed to this opportunity, broadening family engagement supports for children and their parents. The BBF Regional Council purchased new toys, arts/crafts, furniture and more for a designated family visitation room to be used by families with children of all ages!
The Parents as Teachers (PAT) curriculum, offered through the Early Childhood and Family Mental Health team at the Parent Child Center, has been able to promote PAT curriculum at the region’s local community play group. This has been a huge success, as a PAT-trained clinician facilitates the playgroup, offers PAT resources for families to take home, and helps create structured educational opportunities for parents as they come to a community playgroup for social connection and opportunities to play with their children.
The Franklin/Grand Isle BBF Regional Council ended the year with a bang! The council utilized $1,000 from its annual budget to purchase over 30 pairs of children’s winter boots and 20+ pairs ski pants, of varying sizes, to supplement a winter clothing drive hosted by the Community Action team at CVOEO. With the ability to provide these concrete supports for children, in wintery Vermont during the holiday season, the council was thrilled to join in a collective impact strategy to meet the immediate needs of our children and families.