Preschool Development Grant

Vermont is committed to supporting children’s earliest experiences as they transition from home to childcare, preschool and into kindergarten. At the end of 2018, Vermont’s Child Development Division of the Department for Children and Families applied for and was awarded a federal grant known as the Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (PDG B-5). The grant funds DCF and several partners (including BBF) in achieving four key goals:

  • A needs assessment and strategic planning for Vermont’s early childhood system. Read the Final report or watch the Needs Assessment and Strategic Vision webinar here.
  • Enhanced collaboration and coordination among early care and education providers in a mixed-delivery system
  • More parent choice and knowledge about the early care and education programs
  • Sharing best practices and incremental improvements to the early care and education system

The Child Development Division and its key early childhood partners including BBF, the Maternal-Child Health Division of the Department of Health, and the Agency of Education proposed to utilize this grant to deliver on five key activities designed to meet the stated goals.


Activity 1 is a Needs Assessment around the child care system, led by BBF.  The partners will evaluate the amount of children that require care and the need for subsidies of that care, as well calculating the amount of money spent on the birth to five system in Vermont.  An evaluation of the early childhood professional development system will analyze gaps in existing data needed to track the outcomes described in the state’s Early Childhood Action Plan.  The results of this work will be outlined in a final report, that will illuminate key future priorities for the early childhood system.

Activity 2 is an update of Vermont’s Early Childhood Framework and Action Plan that includes a results-based accountability framework.

Activity 3 is focused around maximizing parent knowledge and choice, and will focus on the continued development of the Help Me Grow system in Vermont as a resource for parents. BBF Regional Coordinators will work to recruit parent leaders in their communities, who will in turn work to connect with other parents to assess their knowledge of and interaction with the early childhood system.  Simultaneously we’ll also engage in the robust development of BBF’s Parent and Communities Committee to strengthen parent voice and engagement in the early childhood system.

Activity 4 will take a whole system approach to practice improvement. The team will engage early childhood professionals, higher education institutions, and communities to share early care and education best practices for children up to age 5.

Activity 5 will use the data and strategies presented by Activities 1 and 2 to improve overall quality of Vermont’s early childhood system. This work will include assessing data gaps, expanding access to data, and expanding professional development opportunities for early childhood practitioners.

Learn More Needs Assessment Report Needs Assessment Webinar

Early Childhood & Family Mental Health Task Force Report

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2019 How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families?

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