Publicly Funded Prekindergarten Education Partnerships
In September of 2016, due to the passage of Act 166, all Vermont school districts are required to provide universal publicly funded prekindergarten education for a minimum of ten hours per week for 35 weeks annually for all 3, 4 and 5 year old children who are not enrolled in kindergarten.
For more information about Act 166, visit the Vermont Agency of Education
Vermont school districts may provide publicly funded prekindergarten education for three- to five-year-olds by establishing partnerships with qualified early care and education programs, by operating a prekindergarten program directly, or by doing both.
As of September 2015, to qualify for partnership, early care and education programs must have applied directly to the State of Vermont and been approved for qualification. To qualify, they must:
- Employ or contract with a State of Vermont licensed teacher who holds an endorsement in early childhood education or early childhood special education.
- Attain a high level of quality recognition (4 or 5 STARS) through Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition Program (STARS).
- Offer curriculum consistent with the Vermont Early Learning Standards
- Assess children’s developmental progress using Teaching Strategies Gold.
- Offer to share information about children’s development with parents through conferences twice per year.
- Apply public education funding toward the cost of providing 10 hours per week of qualified prekindergarten education in lieu of parent paid tuition.
If you are a parent and your child is enrolled in a program that does not currently have a partnership agreement with any school district, ask your program if they plan to apply for qualification for the 2017-2018 school year. Parents can visit the Bright Futures Information System website if they are looking for PreK programs in their towns.
Chittenden County: Publicly Funded Prekindergarten Education
In Chittenden County, under Act 166, most school districts currently have partnership agreements with at least some qualified private early care and education programs to provide pre-kindergarten education in accordance with the requirements of Act 166. For the 2017-2018 school year, school districts and supervisory unions who partnered with community programs included:
- Burlington School District:
- Champlain Valley School District including Hinesburg, Williston, Shelburne, Charlotte, and St. George
- Essex Westford School District including Essex Junction and Westford
- Colchester School District – http://www.csdvt.org/district/registration/prek-act166.php
- Milton School District
- Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District – including Richmond Underhill, Jericho, Bolton, Huntington http://www.mmuusd.org/our-schools/pre-kindergartenschool
- South Burlington School District –https://www.sbschools.net/Page/652
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- Winooski School District