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BBF Announces Spring 2024 VECF Grant Recipients

Three young children wearing colorful dresses and shirts play in a sandbox together

Building Bright Futures is excited to announce the recipients of the Vermont Early Childhood Fund (VECF) awards for spring 2024! The fund supports creative solutions that will improve the well-being of children from the prenatal period through age 8, their families, and the Vermont communities in which they live.

Thanks to these grants, awardees in every region of Vermont will be able to pursue important and innovative projects, including:

  • Creating more than 75 early childhood care and education slots across multiple counties
  • Increasing access to supports for educators, caregivers, and parents through behavioral interventionists, family support workers, speech and language pathologists, and wraparound services
  • Removing barriers to child sexual abuse prevention education by providing free training and materials
  • Expanding early childhood education workforce recruitment and training
  • Providing free, facilitated playgroups and parental engagement opportunities, including piloting an affinity group for BIPOC families
  • Hiring a bilingual Community Health Worker to ensure immigrant and migrant families have equal access to health, social, and educational opportunities 
  • Improving the quality of early childhood care and education through professional development programs, including Early Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (EMTSS), Schools Excelling in Emotional Development (S.E.E.D.), First Steps Training Program, Montessori Guide Training, Reggio Emilia Approach, System for Program Access to Resources for Quality Supports (SPARQS), and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
  • Growing the community doula workforce to increase access to prenatal, birth, and postpartum supports, with special focus on the unique needs of marginalized families
  • Encouraging families to complete developmental screenings by providing free museum memberships, and providing follow-up supports and resources

The Innovation Grant ($100,000 to $200,000) has the goal of creating innovative, replicable solutions to address some of Vermont’s most persistent barriers to serving children and families. The Innovation Grant recipients are:

  • Kingdom East Unified Union School District in Caledonia and Essex counties
  • Myers Prouty Children’s Campuses in Bennington County
  • Seed & Sew in Caledonia, Essex, and Orlean counties

The Opportunity Grant ($10,000 to $80,000) has the goal of supporting easy-to-achieve solutions with direct results. The Opportunity Grant recipients are:

  • Ascension Childcare in Chittenden County
  • Business and Workforce Development of the City of Burlington in Chittenden County
  • Driver Hill Kiddie Care in Orleans County
  • Good Beginnings of Central VT in Washington County
  • King Street Center in Chittenden County
  • Lil’ Sunshine Child Care Center in Orange County
  • Little Dippers Doodle Children’s Center in Caledonia County
  • Little Lakers Academy in Chittenden County
  • Milton Family Community Center in Chittenden County
  • Montessori School of Central Vermont in Washington County
  • Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, statewide
  • RIVET (Reggio Inspired Vermont EarlyEducation Team) in Chittenden County
  • Rutland County Parent Child Center in Rutland County
  • Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington County
  • Starksboro Cooperative Preschool in Addison County
  • Turn to Joy in Grand Isle County
  • University of Vermont in Addison County
  • Vermont Village School in Windham County
  • Washington County Mental Health Services in Franklin, Grand Isle, and Washington counties
  • Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Windham County
  • Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum in Rutland County

Find details about each of the spring 2024 grantees and their projects on our VECF page.

VECF was established in 2021 thanks to a generous grant from a private donor and is now funded by the Vermont Integration Project: Building Integration in Vermont’s Birth–5 Early Childhood Systems (VIP B–5) Preschool Development Grant. This is a $23 million federal grant to strengthen the state’s early childhood system. The VECF expanded its funding substantially this year, from $105,000 for projects carried out in 2023 to $1.2 million for the grants awarded in December 2023 and $1.6 million for this round of projects. Expanded funding is slated to continue through 2025, with a total of nearly $6 million granted over three years. The grant period for this round runs from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025. BBF will begin accepting applications for the next round of funding in August 2024.

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