by Brenda Metzler, VTAEYC Board
I have some exciting news to share with you! But first, the backstory.
When the VTAEYC Board of Directors set out to develop a new strategic plan a few years back, we realized it was time to revisit our mission, vision, and values statements. These statements are more than words – they serve as daily touchstones giving us direction and focus for our work, and they no longer aligned with the direction in which we were going.
- VTAEYC was emerging as a leader – leading the statewide conversations for Advancing Early Childhood Education as a Profession and participating in conversations about equity and excellence.
- VTAEYC was emerging as an advocate – advocating for transformative policies committed to long-term investments to ensure sustainable high-quality early childhood education accessible to all and advocating for investments in the workforce through programs like T.E.A.C.H. and apprenticeship.
- We were recognizing and celebrating outstanding early childhood educators and collaborating to bring important voices to the annual Early Childhood Education Conference. We aspired to be a strong partner and a meaningful resource for early childhood educators in Vermont.
And so we began a multi-year process of reflecting on why we exist, whom we serve, and discerning how to best honor those commitments.
In addition to rich board discussion through multiple formats, we engaged with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, checked in with early childhood partners and programs in Vermont, consulted with AEYC organizations from other states, and invited all staff to be active participants in the conversation.
The governance committee deliberated over everyone’s responses and presented draft statements for board and staff consideration. As 2021 drew to a close, the VTAEYC Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt new Vision, Mission, and Values statements.
Our new VISION announces what we aspire to accomplish. VTAEYC’s statement reflects the shared vision of our partners in early childhood education here in Vermont and recognizes that everyone has a role to play for this to be successful:
Vermont’s children thrive and realize their true promise in supportive communities.
Our MISSION declares why we exist and for whom. We are here for you.
VTAEYC advances equity and excellence in early childhood education with early childhood educators as our foundation. As a membership organization, we provide resources and advocate for policies that move early childhood education forward now and for the future.
Our VALUES are filled with action words. This is how we fulfill our mission to engage with you and serve you.
VTAEYC affirms the core values and beliefs of NAEYC. We also:
- Believe that a diverse, dynamic, and well-prepared early childhood education workforce is essential.
- Elevate the voices of early childhood educators – “nothing about us without us.”
- Insist on compensation commensurate with qualifications, skills, and responsibilities of early childhood educators across all settings.
- Model and cultivate leadership as an integral factor of excellence and equity.
- Collaborate to foster a healthy early childhood ecosystem.
- Honor partnerships between families and early childhood educators.
- Embrace joy, curiosity, and creative solutions.
Our work is aligned with and guided by:
- NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct
- NAEYC Position Statement on Equity
- Vermont Guiding Principles for Full and Equitable Participation of Each and Every Child
- Vermont Early Childhood Action Plan
Taking the time to reflect and answer these questions of why, for whom, and how is transformative for VTAEYC. Our answers reflect this moment in time, but they also point the way to a healthy future for early childhood in Vermont.
Photo: VTAEYC board members and staff participate in a retreat to develop VTAEYC’s vision, mission, and values on October 1, 2021. Pictured, L-R: Natanya Vanderlaan, Lucia Campriello, Reeva Murphy, Ann Moore, Sharron Harrington, Shelley Henson.