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VTAEYC News: Youth Apprentices shine

By Sharron Harrington

Dear colleagues,

This week, May 5-11, marks the first ever National Youth Apprenticeship Week!


Paula Nadeau on our Career Advancement team recently shared the successes of a young person graduating from our Youth Apprenticeship program. This capable young woman is on track to receive a Childcare Certificate from the Community College of Vermont, and plans to continue her education toward an associate degree. Meanwhile, she’s working with the state to open a registered home-based program in her community.


As she pursues her goals, VTAEYC programs will support her. Her regional Vermont Early Childhood Network (VECN) can offer peer mentoring and supports, and the SPARQS Quality Support Specialist serving her community is ready with coaching and quality supports. As a graduating Youth Apprentice, she already knows our Career Advancement team can help her navigate scholarships, grants, and bonuses.


This is just one great story. Since we launched Youth Apprenticeship in 2020, 57 young people completed the program with qualifications to work in early childhood education. 19 are currently enrolled. Youth Apprenticeship has become an essential pathway for building Vermont’s early childhood education workforce.


Paula said, “We have had so much success this year with Youth Apprenticeship!” I know how excited she is, because Paula was an Apprentice herself. Paula and Brenda Schramm were named Apprenticeship Action Research Fellows by Bank Street in its inaugural 2023-24 cohort.


It’s thrilling for Paula because she knows Youth Apprenticeship is a vital option for young people dreaming of an early childhood education career – and for ensuring Vermont has the well-prepared early childhood education workforce it needs.


Spring 2024 graduates, apply now for student loan repayment assistance! Keep reading for more opportunities with May due dates.


Finally: this Friday is Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day! I hope you feel VTAEYC’s appreciation and support now and year-round.

Graduating? Apply by May 15
for Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Spring 2024 grads: Apply now, before you graduate, for Student Loan Repayment Assistance!

The program is continuing, but there are advantages to getting in the system before the state’s 2024 funding cycle closes on May 15. Apply now to be eligible for the maximum amount of funding.

Already graduated? Apply now! The Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program offers up to $4,000 in education debt relief per year for eligible Vermont early childhood educators.

“The Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program has been truly life-changing for me! I no longer worry about how I’ll stretch my budget to ensure my loans are paid each month.”
– Vermont Early Childhood Educator

Learn more about the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Early Childhood Educators and apply!

Early Childhood Educators Institute
Registration Open, No Cost in 2024

July 30, August 1, August 6, August 8
9:00 am – 3:00 pm each day | Virtual

Registration is open for the 2024 Early Childhood Educators Institute, held virtually and hosted by Vermont State University at Castleton.

The Institute is for anyone providing support, services, and education in the Vermont early childhood field. Thanks to sponsorship from the CDD,  the fee is waived in 2024!

Register for the Early Childhood Educators’ Institute


Apply for a S. Whitney Landon Award
from the Turrell Fund

Applications due by June 4

From the Turrell Fund: The Turrell Fund’s annual S. Whitney Landon Awards recognize and applaud early childhood programs in Vermont that employ exemplary practices, and that include innovative approaches for promoting child and family well‐being that can be replicated to broaden impact.

As in past years, this year’s total grant pool is $30,000. Applicants may request up to $5,000. The online application process will be managed by the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation. The application is open until June 4.

Learn More and Apply through Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation Site

New T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® Vermont
Scholarship Application Portal

Continue your education with the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® scholarship program. Fall semester applications are due July 15. Applying is a cinch via our new application portal at!

Direct Link to the T.E.A.C.H. Application Portal

VTAEYC Is Hiring!

Newly added! The SPARQS team at VTAEYC is expanding and hiring for two positions to support early childhood education quality:

Early Childhood Education Program Quality Support Specialist
Early Childhood Education Program Assessment Specialist

See All VTAEYC Job Postings


Advancing as an Early Childhood Education Profession Roundtable Updates Begin May 14

The Advancing as a Profession initiative is launching a NEW monthly leadership roundtable update call for Vermont early childhood educators and stakeholders who are engaged – or want to be – in the work to advance early childhood education as a profession!

In our first session on May 14,  we’ll discuss work on the bridge to the new profession for the current workforce: proposed options through CCV for establishing equivalence for ECE II, and what we learned from our focus groups of early childhood educators likely to need or use bridge supports.

Learn More and Register for the Roundtable Update
Learn More About Advancing ECE As A Profession

Wellness Institute for Family Child Care Homes

Saturday, June 22
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Capitol Plaza, Montpelier

You asked, we listened! VTAEYC is excited to offer the 2024 Wellness Institute for Family Child Care Home owners and their staff. Please join us for an exciting day full of professional development, self-care giveaways, and connection and rejuvenation with your peers.

Register For The Wellness Institute

Read ECE Leader Jen Olson’s
“Giving Voice to our Educator Identity”

“Every day we partner with children and families. Today is no different. We’re asking you to join us, to call us by our professional name, early childhood educators, and help us elevate our work and our audacious vision.”

Last month, Advancing as a Profession Task Force member Jen Olson, an early childhood educator at Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool in Bristol, published this must-read piece in the Addison County Independent.

Read Jen Olson’s Op-Ed

Upcoming Dates from VTAEYC and Partners

Visit our Events Calendar

Registration open: NAEYC Professional Learning Institute, New Orleans, June 2-5

Registration open: Wellness Institute for Family Child Care Homes, Montpelier, June 22

Registration open: Early Childhood Educators Institute, virtual, July 30 + August 1, 6,  8

Save the Date: Vermont Child Care Providers Association Annual Conference, September 21

Save the Date: Vermont Afterschool Annual Conference, October 24+25

Save the Date: VTAEYC Annual Conference, October 28+29