Vermont Birth to Five formed in July 2015 to combine two programs of the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children: Vermont Birth to Three and the Vermont Community Preschool Collaborative. This new entity will ensure greater coordination of efforts toward achieving the Permanent Fund’s mission, which is to assure that every Vermont child has access to high-quality, affordable early care and education.
For a decade, VCPC has worked to break down historic divisions between private programs and public schools. Through technical assistance and community grants, VCPC supports the establishment of partnerships between private child care providers and public schools to offer public pre-kindergarten education in more than 100 Vermont communities. With the passage of Act 166 in 2014, which ensures universal access to 10 hours of pre-kindergarten education for all of Vermont’s three and four year olds, VCPC has focused its efforts on a successful implementation of the law by September 2016.
Established in 2011, VB5 sought to address gaps and augment existing services to directly support registered home based child care providers, with a specific focus on infant and toddler care. Its quality improvement initiatives have included professional development, mentoring, and creating sustainable business practices. Over the past three years, VB5 initiatives have expanded to include center-based programs and children ages birth to five. Most recently, VB5 launched a center-based mentoring initiative to support programs to successfully create partnerships with schools to offer public pre-kindergarten education under Act 166.
Why? Research shows that when children have enriching early life experiences and responsive relationships, they get off to a good start, establishing a strong foundation for success in school and throughout life as responsible citizens. Quality early care and education in all its forms – play, rest, nutrition, safety, learning and more – is our expectation and commitment to Vermont children and families. The time to invest is now.
The Permanent Fund’s signature programs also include VB5’s sister organization, Let’s Grow Kids–a statewide campaign raising awareness of the importance of the first five years.
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