Supporting a culture of quality
SPARQS stands for System for Program Access to Resources for Quality Supports. The purpose of SPARQS is to support a culture of quality throughout Vermont’s early childhood education programs.
SPARQS is funded by Vermont’s Child Development Division (CDD) and administered by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC). SPARQS has three main components: quality coaching and support services, program assessments for Vermont’s revised STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS), and administration and support for Vermont’s Early Childhood Networks (VECNs).
These components will phase in over time. They are designed to support continuous program quality improvement, offering evidence-based, flexible, equitable resources to each program in Vermont’s mixed-delivery early childhood education system.
The Components Of SPARQS
Quality Coaching and Support Services
A team of quality support specialists provides comprehensive support through:
Program Assessments for STARS
A team of trained, certified program assessors provides:
All registered early childhood education programs and afterschool programs can schedule a STARS program assessments by clicking the button below.
Vermont Early Childhood Networks
A dedicated Resource and Networks Manager provides:
Why Do We Need SPARQS?
Historically, Vermont early childhood education programs and early childhood educators have not been guaranteed equitable access to resources. SPARQS is woven into Vermont’s early childhood education system to support equity and quality for all programs licensed and/or registered with the State.
Historic system design reinforced an access gap between different types of programs, different regions, and different populations. SPARQS is designed for transparency, intentionally prioritizing programs with the greatest needs, and personalizing regional outreach with a team of Quality Support Specialists and Program Assessment Specialists who are themselves experienced early childhood educators. VECNs, restructured to have a central fiscal and administrative hub in SPARQS, experience reliable access to communication, technical, and supportive resources and open channels for member input.
When Can My Program or Network Access SPARQS Resources?
Over the past month, VTAEYC has been hiring and training a team of highly skilled Quality Support Specialists and Program Assessment Specialists to support continuous quality improvement for early childhood education programs in all regions of the state. You can get to know them by viewing the Quality Support Specialists’ Greetings.
You can also start increasing your knowledge about the CLASS tools by watching these introductory videos.
System support for VECNs is taking shape, informed by a statewide peer support survey from September 2023. To find network supports in your region, contact ECE Resource and Networks Manager Meg Atwood.
When our team is fully trained and our intake process is developed, we will begin to offer quality supports and program assessments. The intake process will be led by ECE Intake Manager Emily Hough.