Middlebury, VT—The Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children announced a commitment to provide $450,000 in funding for Vermont Birth to Three in 2013. Vermont Birth to Three, the newest of three child-focused initiatives established by The Permanent Fund, is working to improve the quality and availability of child care for infants and toddlers in Vermont..  It supports home-based childcare providers through training, professional development and peer-to-peer relationships. With the addition of this $450,000 of funding for 2013, The Permanent Fund has provided a total of $875,000 in funding to the Vermont Birth to Three Initiative since 2011.

“In a rural state like ours, home-based childcare providers, who serve a large number of our infants and toddlers, can be isolated and often have little support.  This funding provides opportunities for them to advance their professional skills and connect with their peers. We’re already seeing great results,” said Barbara Postman, director of the Vermont Birth to Three Initiative.

The Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) is an integral part of Vermont Birth to Three’s efforts. STARS is Vermont’s system for rating child care quality. Since the start of  Vermont Birth to Three, enrollment of childcare providers in the STARS program has grown rapidly and the number of 5-star providers (the highest quality rating) has increased 43% in the state.

The Permanent Fund, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, collaborates with several other committed philanthropic entities that offer continuing support for the Birth to Three Initiative.

“Brain science has shown that 90% of the core brain development occurs before a child reaches the age of three and that high quality care is essential to healthy development. Our goal in supporting the Birth to Three Initiative is to improve the quality of Vermont’s childcare programs during the early growing years to ultimately lead to better outcomes over the long-term,” said Rick Davis, president and co-founder of The Permanent Fund. More than 70% of Vermont’s children spend some portion of their day in childcare.

The Permanent Fund made its funding announcement for the Vermont Birth to Three Initiative at its October 5 board meeting held in Middlebury.

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For more information, contact: Sally Kieny, 802/864-6710


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