BBF is excited to introduce two new team members: Jenn Schollmeyer and Kitty Foster.
These new hires come as we ramp up our activities under “Vermont Integration Project: Building Integration in Vermont’s B-5 Early Childhood Systems (VIP B-5),” the three-year, $23 million federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG) awarded to Vermont at the start of this year. The VIP B-5 will strengthen the state’s early childhood system, support the early childhood workforce, and improve the quality and availability of services for children from birth to age 8.
Jenn Schollmeyer’s background is in human services and education and she is excited to be joining the BBF team as the Data Manager. Jenn believes that the data and individual stories of those served by programs and organizations have an incredible ability to inform, build understanding, and build community connections to support people. In 2014, Jenn earned her M.Ed. from Saint Michael’s College with a focus in Special Education. She brings her background in education and personal values around engaging, lifting, and amplifying the voices of vulnerable people and populations to her role at BBF.
She was previously working to inform and advance the work of supporting older adults to age in place in Vermont as the Data Manager for the statewide program Support and Services at Home for the last seven years.
Jenn lives in Winooski with her husband and daughter, along with their dog and some backyard chickens. Outside of work, you can find her gardening, caregiving for an older family member, cooking, and reading with her daughter.
Kitty Foster joins us as the Data Coordinator for BBF. She will support the work of the Data and Policy team to make data-informed decisions about Vermont’s Early Childhood System. She first became involved with community engagement and nonprofit work as a project lead for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. Following this role, she worked as a research assistant for The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study, which supported data collection for a nationwide data set on brain development and child health. In her role as a research assistant, she was able to coordinate with a nationwide consortium that included a Center for Data Analysis and Informatics and Resource Center.
She enjoys understanding the many moving parts that can help children and families thrive and access the resources they need. In her free time, Kitty loves being on the water swimming or sailing, learning new visual arts mediums, and making good food with friends and family.
Please join us in welcoming Jenn (email@example.com) and Kitty (firstname.lastname@example.org). Among other projects, these new staff members will contribute their expertise to BBF’s yearly State of Vermont’s Children Report. One of the highlights we shared in this year’s report was the issue of high vacancies and turnover for professionals working in child care, mental health, and Head Start programs. For example:
- Vermont’s child care workforce decreased by 16% from 2018 to 2021
- In designated mental health agencies and specialized service agencies, there was an 18% vacancy rate as of October 2022 (almost twice what it was in 2020)
- Head Start and Early Head Start programs had 17% of their staff leave during the last program year