Nominations are now being accepted

photo: award ceremonyTo recognize excellence in the teaching of Vermont’s young children, the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children announced the third annual Early Educator of the Year Award. In the third year of this award, the Permanent Fund will be accepting nominations for an outstanding home-based child care professional who has demonstrated a commitment to quality early childhood education.

“We want to recognize the unsung heroes that work so hard for Vermont’s children,” said Rick Davis, president and co-founder of the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children. “Besides parents, these individuals are a child’s first teacher. This award will honor an individual who has truly gone above and beyond to positively impact the lives of children, and has been a valuable resource for families.”

Through this award, the Permanent Fund wants to bring attention to the important work of early educators and emphasize the importance of high-quality care and early learning. The award alternates between honoring home-based and center-based programs each year.

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.

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 may self-nominate or can be nominated by others. The nomination period is now open but will close on May 1, 2017. Nominees will be notified of their nomination and must complete and submit an application to the Permanent Fund by May 31, 2017 to be considered for the award.

Nominate an Early Educator of the year



An award selection committee comprised of leaders in early education and child development will review award applications and choose the 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).

About the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children

Founded in 2000 by philanthropists Rick Davis and Carl Ferenbach, the Permanent Fund works to improve the quality of Vermont’s early care and education system primarily through the support of two statewide initiatives: Let’s Grow Kids and Vermont Birth to Five. Using a collaborative philanthropic approach, the Permanent Fund works with other funders, non-profits, community leaders and policymakers to improve educational outcomes, build stronger communities and make a lasting difference in the lives of Vermont’s children. The Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children is a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation. For more information,


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