In the past months the Rutland Council has been reviewing several reports and identifying trends and areas where support could be provided.
A review of the Think Tank report produced a lot of discussion. There was concern for those who work outside of centers and how they might be affected by the recommendations (home-care providers, family members, nannies). In the discussion with a Think Tank member it was clear that there are gaps in communication between schools and early education providers. This issue hinders transitions between Preschool and Kindergarten. The Council identified several members to begin work on a transition plan that will work better for children, families, schools and providers.
The Council was very interested in Think Tank recommendation 3: Early Care and Learning Hubs, citing that a shared services model could be important and cost saving for many. The idea of creating a “sub-pool” was of great interest as subs are in tremendously low supply. One of the challenges identified was the fact that many providers do not like to share their subs. The discussion turned to the challenges of such a system. Whose policies would a sub be expected to follow if they were part of a pool? Who would recruit subs? How would payroll be handled? The idea of reaching out to retired early educators was discussed as a potentially untapped market for substitutes.
Recommendation 4: New Sources of Revenue. The discussion around this recommendation was concerned with getting the right people to the table to support the conversation, knowing that there are other groups who are also interested in some of the possible funding sources mentioned.
Serveal council members took part in Rutland Region Medical Center’s Community Health Needs Assesment discussion group on Supports for Children and Families. RRMC polled communities throughout Rutland county about their concerns. Suppports for Children and Familes was one of the top 4 issues indentified. A sub committee consisting of early educators, mental health workers, housing specialists, school partners, United Way and others was formed and met serval times over the winter to map out possible next steps. The council will be joined in April by Marjanna E. Barber-Dubois, RRMC Community Health Improvement Specialist, who will report out on the findings and suggestions of the assessment.
As spring approaches, the Rutland Council continues to review the action plan to find areas to crosswalk our efforts with our community partners. Our concentration will be to further our school partnerships with the work of the Kindergarten Readiness subcommittee and to continue to offer professional development opportunities for early educators.