The Vermont Early Childhood Fund (VECF) is a BBF initiative to support creative solutions that will improve the well-being of children (prenatal-age 8), families, as well as the Vermont communities in which they live.
Each year BBF Regional Early Childhood Councils, the early childhood experts within communities, identify two key issues impacting children and families in each of Vermont’s 12 regions. Recognizing the expertise of Regional Councils and in order to use the funds most effectively, the Vermont Early Childhood Fund uses these regional priorities to guide the investment. Eligible projects address at least one of the regional priorities identified by the BBF Regional Early Childhood Council and support the vision stated in Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan (VECAP).
Projects funded in the past included:
Building Bright Futures is grateful to the Sunflower Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation and the private donor who has made this fund possible for 2022. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know about future funding opportunities (and more!)Apply Now to the Vermont Early Childhood Fund Application Process and FAQ Cover Page Template Budget Template (Google Sheet) 9.19.22 Information Session Recording
In January 2022, Building Bright Futures announced seven grantees of the Vermont Early Childhood Fund.
Bennington Hearing and Vision Screening Project:
Bennington County’s Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) Early Intervention Program will provide vision and hearing screenings to eligible children birth to age 3. Families who are eligible for services through the IDEA – Part C early intervention services include children (birth to age 3) who are experiencing developmental delays or who have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay. CIS/Early Intervention will complete screenings using the Spot Vision Screener and Welch Allyn OAE at the initial evaluation, in the child’s natural environment where they feel most comfortable. Then the children will be re-checked at their annual evaluation or sooner if necessary. Further assessment by ophthalmology and/or audiology providers will be provided as needed, based on the child’s developmental delay/diagnosis .
BBF Blog: Bringing vision and hearing screening to more Bennington kids published on April 5, 2022.
Addison Early Care and Learning Partnership – Resiliency, Understanding, Art, Cooking and Happiness (RUACH):
A workforce and resilience building project providing hands-on experiences in creative and culinary arts to early care and learning professionals and the children and families they serve. This three-part project includes a Castleton University course for educators called Meaning Making and Creative Expression, sponsorship for educators to attend the Early Educators Summer Institute, and an artist-in-residence program with women from the Viva El Sabor Culinary Collective to visit five Addison early care and learning programs. During a week-long intensive, the women of the Collective will share indigenous cooking, art, and stories of resilience about coming to Vermont with children and teachers to inspire class projects related to resilience, diversity, and inclusion. The project’s name, RUACH, is a traditional word for the spirit of life that moves through us all.
Franklin Grand Isle Community Action Transportation Project:
Expanding access to services for children and families by addressing their transportation barriers. The program will support eligible families by providing gas cards and financial assistance with vehicle repairs, inspections, and winter tires purchases. This project addresses a critical gap in the social service system, as funding to address transportation needs is very limited and often not available at all.
Racial Justice within Early Education Consortium:
Illuminating and addressing racial bias in early educational spaces through educator practice, discussion, and development. The Full Story School will work with educators from several Chittenden County-area programs in a collaborative practice to explore personal and systemic biases. Educators will participate in reflection, collaboration, communion, and growth as a step to actively combat racist practices within the classroom environment now and in the future.
Good Beginnings of Central Vermont Family Support Project:
Working in partnership with Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) and the Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice Maternal Child Health team, Good Beginnings will connect prenatally with all families birthing at CVMC in 2022 to ensure that each family has information about available perinatal support options and to help create a “postpartum support plan” for their family. The VECF grant also provides financial assistance for income-eligible families to access the perinatal support services identified in their plan.
Rutland County Parent Child Center (RCPCC) Early Childhood Education Mentorship Workforce Development Project: Expanding on-the-job training for interns and apprentices serving in the RCPCC Rutland and Brandon early education programs. The project addresses the state’s need for qualified and educated professionals and expands the type of mentorship that promotes pre-professionals to develop skills and passion and to choose to enter the field.
Morrisville Step Up to Child Care:
Launching a new workforce development training program where participants develop skills to pursue employment in the early childhood education field. The Morrisville Step Up to Child Care program is launching in partnership with Morrisville area early care and learning centers, professionals, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, and the BBF Regional Council.
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