readingThe Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children’s Early Educator of the Year Award recognizes excellence in the teaching of Vermont’s young children (birth to age five). We are seeking nominations for the “unsung heroes”—those early educators who go above and beyond for Vermont’s children and strive to provide outstanding quality in early care and education through their work.

This year, the top two finalists will be honored at the October 2017 VAEYC Conference, where one will be announced as the Early Educator of the Year and will receive $5,000 and all expenses paid to attend the VAEYC conference as well as one national conference. The runner-up will receive a $1,000 award, and all expenses paid to attend the VAEYC conference.

For the 2017 award, will be accepting nominations for an outstanding home-based child care professional who has demonstrated a commitment to quality early childhood education.  The award alternates between honoring home-based and center-based programs each year. Please complete and submit the nomination form so we can send an award application to the individual being nominated.  Nominations must be received by midnight on May 1, 2017.

Nominate an Early Educator of the year

Selection Committee

An award selection committee comprised of leaders in early education and child development will review all award applications and choose two finalists. Committee members include:

  • Geralyn Barrows (2015 Early Educator of the Year);
  • Laurel Bongiorno (Champlain College);
  • Kim Buxton (VAEYC);
  • Mitch Golub (Vermont Achievement Center);
  • Chloe Learey (Winston Prouty Center);
  • Reeva Murphy (Child Development Division);
  • Sheila Queenneville (Vermont Child Care Providers Association);
  • Betsy Rathbun-Gunn (Building Bright Futures); and
  • Stacy Weinberger (Board of Education).


To be eligible for this year’s award, a home-based child care professional must have at least four stars in the Vermont STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS). Nominees must also have been providing care for at least three years, and must currently have infants and toddlers enrolled in their program.

Individuals can nominate up to 2 people (self-nominations are accepted). Nominations of family members will not be accepted. In addition, any person employed by the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children and its affiliates as well as previous winners are ineligible for the award.