Update: Vermont’s Early Childhood Professional Development System

23 December 2016


To:                 Child Care and Early Learning Providers          

From:           Reeva Murphy, DCF Deputy Commissioner for Child Development       

Subject:       Update: Vermont’s Early Childhood Professional Development System

Date:             December 23, 2016

Cc:                  Melissa Riegel-Garrett, Ken Schatz, Hal Cohen, Community Child Care Support Agencies, Community College of VT, Permanent Fund

Dear Child Care Providers:

I hope this holiday season brings you and your families much merriment and joy.

When I wrote to you about transformation of Vermont’s professional development system at Thanksgiving I promised to continue to provide you with accurate and up to date information about the transformation process, transition and on-going opportunities for professional development. Here’s the next chapter.

We are pleased to confirm that the Child Development Division (CDD) has signed an agreement with Community College of Vermont (CCV) to administer the Vermont Early Childhood Professional Development System (VT ECPDS) as part of the transformation process begun over a year ago in collaboration with many stakeholders. We believe that linking professional development for the field of early care and learning with a higher education institution will enhance respect for the profession and provide a strong foundation for career advancement.  With CCV as a partner, CDD remains committed to supporting a full array of diverse and engaging professional development opportunities that meet your needs. The training and support that you value will continue to be available on a local level. The transformed system will:  continue to deliver local training, have local people to offer support, and will do this in a more coordinated, consistent, and accessible way across the state. 

2017 will be a transition year in transforming the VT ECPDS. In 2017, CCV will continue to operate and enhance the Northern Lights Career Development Center, develop internal capacity to coordinate and integrate the broader system, and prepare to take on full responsibility for regional professional development support and training in 2018. 

We are equally pleased to have signed an agreement with the Permanent Fund that has agreed to coordinate and carry on regional professional development opportunities in 2017 through its Vermont Birth to Five project working closely with regional community partners. Vermont Birth to Five and its partners will ensure that locally delivered trainings and relationships with professionals who lend support to providers continues during 2017. While the details are being finalized, they will prioritize clear communication with providers, equitable access to high-quality support and training, and a smooth transition to CCV in 2018. Trainings required to meet licensing requirements and qualifications as well as training supported by the Early Learning Challenge Grant will definitely be available in this transition year. Non-mandatory trainings may be scaled back somewhat.

Vermont Birth to Five, CCV and CDD are committed to work together to ensure continuity in professional development opportunities during this transition period.

We appreciate the feedback from the field as information has rolled out. We understand that sometimes it feels like too much is changing at one time and you have concerns. Sometimes we feel like that too. Part of our shared responsibility to young children and their families in Vermont is to be the best we can be to help families face the challenges of raising their children in modern times. That’s true for CDD and for each of you. You are a precious resource for children and families. Our job is to use the resources we manage to support each and all of you. Our goals are the same, our perspectives sometimes differ and we accomplish more working together than any of us can without connection. We are working with many partners, open ears and an evolving plan toward a professional development system that reaches every part of our state and meets your needs, not only in complying with regulations, but in being the best you can be as professionals. Change isn’t easy but it can bring good things.

In CDD we agree and appreciate that Resource Development Specialists have done great work supporting local providers in regions over past years. We know this type of support needs to continue. During this transitional period, how local support continues depends on the decisions of local agencies partnering with the Permanent Fund. We expect to describe details for each region in January.

In the meantime, there are multiple training and professional development opportunities scheduled and available to you in 2017.  See below for “ways to stay up-to-date on training opportunities.”

Thanks for listening. CDD will continue to provide you with accurate and up to date information about the transformation process, transition and on-going opportunities for professional development. You can follow our updates on the CDD Blog at http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd-blog .

Thanks for your strong and enduring commitment to your work with Vermont children and families.

Ways to stay Up-to-Date on Training Opportunities

There will be on-going opportunities available for professional development throughout the transition period. Here’s how to find them:

You can receive CDD updates by email at: http://vermont.us5.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=9a6aebfc0a6fe752e7e9ec925&id=69d30bf5e4

You can also contact CDD staff with questions at http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/contact-cdd

  1. Search the Bright Futures Information System Course Calendar to find professional development opportunities scheduled around the state.  Click here to find the Course Calendar.  Vermont Afterschool has trainings listed as statewide, and many Starting Points groups post their trainings in the Course Calendar. If you’ve never used the statewide calendar before, you can find a guide for using the system here:  Course Calendar Tutorial.
  2. The CDD licensing unit has designed and piloted an Introduction to the New Regulations training and this will be offered on-line and in regional trainings beginning in January 2017. An orientation package that meets the new orientation requirement of the regulations is also being designed and will be offered in the early winter of 2017. Check on the CDD website for information about the new regulations and trainings at: http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/laws-regs
  3. Trainings are often available through approved Northern Lights sponsors and other state agencies such as the Vermont Department of Health. To ensure that any training you participate in meets the definition of professional development in the regulations (rule 2.2.36), please be sure that when you sign up, the sponsor provides you with verification of your attendance that meets the Northern Lights requirements (see the Certificates of Attendance list on the Northern Lights Cover Page at: NL Cover Sheet )
  4. A variety of low-cost options for on-line training is listed on the Northern Lights website at NL Approved Online Sponsors