With the goal of sharing resources and saving money, a group of local child care providers meet to share curriculum topics materials and resources. Some topics include: music and movement, healthy foods, seasonal curriculum, improving nutrition and physical activity environments.
In addition to this effort, Vermont Birth to Five (VB5), has launched a statewide shared services pilot program and early childhood resource website, www.SharedServicesVT.org. Windham County was chosen as one of four pilot regions which to date has over 300 early care and education providers from around Vermont signed on to access resources and discounts for their programs and staff members. At this stage of the program , all early care and education businesses who have STARS are able to access the shared services website.
Aside from the potential that programs have for saving money and therefore becoming more sustainable, one of the most exciting outcomes is that child care providers have independently shaped their work together to meet their specific needs. An often overlooked benefit of projects like this is its contribution to community building and leadership development. The local Shared Services pilot group is now coordinated by a team of two providers, one who works in a early learning center and one home-based. We anticipate that each group will over time become even more self sustaining while continuing to call on the expertise of Windham Child Care Association and VB5 as needed.