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Vermont Awarded $23M Grant to Support Children, Families, and the Early Childhood System

Seated preschooler, laughing preschooler, and gesturing preschooler with teacher in foreground

We have big news! Check out this press release that just went out to regional and statewide outlets:

Jan. 31, 2023 (MONTPELIER, Vt.)—Vermont has been awarded a $23 million federal grant to strengthen the state’s early childhood system, support the early childhood workforce, and improve the quality and availability of services for children from birth to age 8. The Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Renewal Grant will provide the state with approximately $7.7 million per year for three years (2023–2025), with $2 million of subgrants going to local communities annually to support mental health care for children and families, high-quality child care, and family engagement along with support for the early childhood workforce.

The award will support Vermont in improving service delivery to families with young children across settings and services, including child care, Universal Prekindergarten Education, Head Start, health care, mental health care, and other services and programs that support the health and well-being of Vermont children and their families. 

“This investment in Vermont’s early childhood system will move Vermont forward on the critical work identified with broad stakeholder input to improve outcomes for children and families,” said Morgan Crossman, executive director of Building Bright Futures (BBF), the state’s early childhood State Advisory Council and Network. “We are particularly excited to continue utilizing the expertise of communities and professionals working directly with children and families and the early childhood workforce, as well as partnering with and learning from families themselves.”

The new grant-funded initiative, titled “Vermont Integration Project: Building Integration in Vermont’s Birth-5 Early Childhood Systems (VIP B-5),” was awarded to the Vermont Agency of Human Services’ Child Development Division and will be collaboratively directed by Building Bright Futures, the Vermont Department of Health’s Division of Maternal and Child Health, the Vermont Agency of Education, and the Vermont Department of Mental Health.

“Investing in and supporting early childhood education is a top priority for Vermont, and this grant will go a long way in supporting our efforts,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I want to thank our federal partners, Building Bright Futures, and all of our partners for their continued commitment to building strong foundations for future generations.”  

VIP B-5 will build on the work conducted under a one-year PDG Planning Grant that Vermont received in 2018. The new funding will bolster the state’s existing early childhood infrastructure, investments, and partnerships. Through VIP B-5, Vermont will:

  • Prioritize equitable and inclusive access to Vermont’s mixed-delivery system of early childhood care and education, which includes licensed family and center-based child care programs, public schools, Head Start, and community-based organizations.
  • Support the early childhood workforce by providing professional development and training opportunities, utilization of the Vermont Early Learning Standards, and better integrating health and mental health care with early childhood care and education programs.
  • Seek out input from families about the needs of Vermont’s young children, create leadership opportunities for families, and increase access to early childhood resources, services, and supports.
  • Update Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan (VECAP), the five-year strategic plan for the state’s early childhood system.
  • Strengthen monitoring and accountability practices through data integration, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement efforts.

Further details of grant activities, key partners, funding, and how to get involved can be found at buildingbrightfutures.org/pdg

If you have any questions about the PDG, you can submit them here. We will use the submissions we receive to build an FAQ document for the PDG webpage.

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