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VTAEYC to Manage New System for Program Access to Resources for Quality Supports (SPARQS)

May 16, 2023

The Child Development Division (CDD) is pleased to announce that it’s new initiative to support Vermont’s early childhood education and afterschool programs will be facilitated by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) in partnership with Vermont Afterschool.  The System for Program Access to Resources for Quality Supports (SPARQS) will provide consultation, coaching, mentoring, technical assistance, and program quality assessment.  Access to these resources will begin rolling out as early as July. 

SPARQS will guide programs’ participation in the updated Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) with continued support as programs work to reach their quality goals. Changes to STARS, Vermont’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS), are expected to go into effect starting on July 1, 2023, with full implementation on July 1, 2024. In addition, SPARQS will also provide support and resources for the Vermont Early Childhood Networks.

SPARQS will be available to all regulated programs and is designed to be a flexible resource that can adjust to changing needs. Initially funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), SPARQS will be a long-term resource for Vermont programs.

The SPARQS model is still taking shape, and more information about its resources and timeline will be posted on the STARS Revision Project webpage.