Newsletter May 31, 2023: Expanded Student Loan Repayment, SPARQS

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear colleagues,

Much like summer flowers, great things are popping up all over:

1. Vermont passed a strong and comprehensive bill to transform early childhood education! There’s a lot in the bill, so scroll down for key points, the link to the recent briefing for early childhood educators, and how it sets the foundation for advancing ECE as a profession.

2. VTAEYC and the CDD just announced we are administering the new System for Program Access to Resources for Quality Supports, or SPARQS. This is a long-term, responsive, wraparound system of resources to support high quality for all regulated programs in Vermont. SPARQS will provide consultation, coaching, mentoring, technical assistance support, and program quality assessments. For Vermont Early Childhood Networks, SPARQS will provide support and resources at the network level as well as for individual programs. We’re ramping up for a summer launch – and soon, we’ll start hiring! Follow us on social media and check for updates (and if you’re reading this you probably already subscribe to our updates – but if not, subscribe here!)

3. The Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (SLRAP) for early childhood educators relaunches June 1 with expanded eligibility rules and funding. If you are a working early childhood educator with student loan debt, check your eligibility. If you’re newly eligible under the expanded criteria, you could receive one retroactive payment.

4. We are now accepting nominations for our prestigious annual awards: Children’s Champion, Distinguished Service, Outstanding Member, ECE Student of the Year, and Early Childhood Educator of the Year! Think about the stars in your ECE galaxy, and nominate them.

We’ve needed relief for so long, and it feels wonderful to share so many opportunities for support and recognition with you.

When you think about what you need, dream big. Don’t hold back. SPARQS, SLRAP, and the funding in the bill now on the Governor’s desk are all designed to be responsive to your needs, and here for the long term.

My best,

Sharron Harrington

Executive Director

Other Topics Included in this E-News

  • New, expanded eligibility for Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program for ECEs
  • Announcing SPARQS: System for Program Access to Resources for Quality Supports
  •  Nominations open for VTAEYC awards!
  • What’s in the “Child Care Bill” passed by the legislature? How does it connect to the future ECE profession?
  • Self-nominate for the Advancing as a Profession Task Force!
  • Exchange Fellow Naomi Alfini featured in KidsVT
  • VTAEYC Board Member Stephanie Muñoz Wells honored as Emerging Leader
  •  Submit Annual Conference workshop proposals by June 9

View the Full E-News


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