2012 Spring Speaker
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

VAEYC, in collaboration with Champlain College's Master's in Early Childhood Education, is very pleased to announce our 2012 Spring Speaker. On Wednesday, May 16th Joan Almon, Director of the Alliance for Childhood, will present on The Crisis in Early Education in the afternoon and The Crisis in the Kindergarten in the evening of the same day. You can learn more about Joan's important work on the Alliance for Childhood website.

Click below to read Joan's latest research report (PDF document):
Crisis in Early Education: A Research Based Case for More Play and Less Pressure

Event Details for Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2:00 - 5:00 PM: Afternoon session for Early Childhood Educators | Registration $35.00
Presentation: Crisis in Early Education

6:00 - 8:00 PM: Evening session for Parents of Young Children, Early Childhood
Educators, Administrators, Students, and Community Members | Registration $25.00
Presentation: Crisis in the Kindergarten

Educators attending both the afternoon and evening presentations can register at the reduced rate of $50.

>> Click here for more information or to register now <<


Accreditation Updates
Sonja Raymond
Vermont Accreditation Project Liaison and VAEYC Board Member

Congratulations to the following centers on their recent accreditation or re-accreditation: Heartworks in Shelburne and Kinderstart Preschool in Williston.

Are you a 3, 4 or 5 star program? If so, you are in the perfect position to pursue NAEYC Accreditation! The STARS quality rating system is designed to help programs improve their quality and also prepares them for NAEYC or NAFCC accreditation.

If your program is a 3 or 4 star program, you are well on your way to being set up in all the right areas for accreditation. While you work your way up the STARS ladder, consider using NAEYC materials as tools to help you get there. NAEYC has five pieces of evidence that are required: a staff survey, a parent survey, an observation tool, a program portfolio and classroom portfolios. STARS also requires surveys, and an observation/assessment on the program environment, and the gathering of evidence into a “portfolio” on staff training and qualifications, policies/procedures, management practices, etc. Using the NAEYC tools will help focus your program in the right direction in every arena.

If you are a 5-star program, you are ready to become accredited and should be able to complete the process within a shorter timeframe. It is still necessary to gather evidence in the form of surveys, observations, and portfolios.

NAEYC materials and tools are free and easy to access. Additionally, the Vermont Accreditation Project offers free mentoring to any program considering accreditation or seeking advice using the tools. Please contact Sonja Raymond at 802-578-0735 or with and questions or assistance accessing the NAEYC free tools.

Child Care Licensing Regulations Review

The Vermont Child Development Division will soon begin the process of reviewing and updating all five of its licensing regulations. There will be several opportunities to be engaged and inform this work over the upcoming year including: participating in regional dialogues with Reeva Murphy, Deputy Commissioner of CDD and Sheila Duranleau, Director of Child Care Licensing & Financial Assistance; serving on a dedicated workgroup to advise the writers of the new regulations, providing feedback via the dedicated webpage for this process, and participation in the feedback process as the regulations are written. The details of these opportunites have not been released as of yet, please look for information from CDD on this important endevour. Current regulations can be viewed by clicking here.

More information here

Environmental Rating Scale Training

The Step Ahead Recognition System announces an April 16-18 training for early care and education professionals who are interested in becoming independent assessors trained in the Environment Rating Scale. The training, provided by the author of ERS, Thelma Harmes and her team, will be held in South Burlington at the Holiday Inn. The training is sponsored by STARS at Mary Johnson Children’s Center and funded through the Child Development Division. A limited number of spaces are available for people who are interested in participating in one full day of ERS training followed by two full days of reliability training using the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale. People who participate in the training will have committed to attending the entire three days, and providing a certain number of assessments for STARS. STARS assessors receive a stipend for each assessment completed. Special overnight rates are available at the Holiday Inn for the duration of the training. To apply please fill out the application form and return it to the STARS office at 81 Water Street, Middlebury 05753. For additional information email or call 398-2037.

Child Care & Military Families Learning Network
Kathy Reschke, Social Media Manager, Child Care Military Families Learning Network

Are You an Early Care & Education Professional Serving Active Duty, Guard or Reserve Military Families? We’re Here for You!

Information, resources and support for child care programs serving military families are available. But knowing where to look and having the time to search are daunting obstacles. That’s why I’m so excited to let you know about Child Care & Military Families Learning Network, a project whose goal is to make it easy to find:

  • Information about the impact of military life on young children and families
  • Strategies for supporting children and parents
  • Resources to support your work with military families, and
  • Conversations with other professionals who understand the rewards and challenges of caring for children from military families.

Click here for more information

Online Training Survey
Nancy Sugarman, Director, Northern Lights Career Development Center

Northern Lights has been asked by the Child Development Division to define how online training will be approved and verified in our early childhood and afterschool professional development system. We have been talking to professionals in Vermont and nationally and have created an approval process and draft criteria for approval of organizations that offer online training (not for college credit).

We really want to know: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Please click here to visit the Northern Lights website for more information and then click on "take this short survey."

Rusty Keeler Books

VAEYC is pleased to have seven copies of Natural Playscapes by Rusty Keeler available for sale. The $50 price includes shipping and handling. Rusty delivered a terrific Thursday morning keynote presentation at our 2011 fall conference.

This book is about a new movement in children's outdoor play areas: natural playscapes - where the entire space and is filled with art, hills, pathways, trees, herbs, open areas, sand, water, music, and more... where children find places to run, climb, dig, pretend, and hide, with opportunities to bellow or be silent.

Click here for more information about Rusty's book.

If you're interested in purchasing a copy of Natural Playscapes, please contact Jim Woodard, Conference Coordinator.