Early Education

The Agency of Education, individually and in collaboration with a number of other organizations, supports early education initiatives in many ways.

Publicly Funded Prekindergarten Education

Vermont school districts provide publicly funded prekindergarten (preK) education for three, four, and five year old children not attending kindergarten by establishing partnerships with prequalified early care and education programs, by operating a prequalified preK program, or by doing both.

Preschool Development Expansion Grants

Vermont is now accepting year two applications for Preschool Development Expansion Grants (PDEG) sub-grants. All interested programs are expected to apply annually for the duration of the grant. For existing PDEG sub-grantees, this is an opportunity to request additional funding to enroll higher numbers of new children and improve preschool programs.

Deadline Extended: The Year 2 PDEG sub-grantee application deadline has been extended from June 15, 2016 to June 23, 2016. Please note, Year 1 PDEG awardees are expected to apply for Year 2 funds.

Additional Resources

Framework for Vermont’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System

The Vermont Agency of Education requests input on the Framework for Vermont’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System. The purpose of this document is to provide a framework of currently utilized early childhood assessments and current initiatives that support child assessment and screening, as well as an initial plan for implementation of a statewide comprehensive assessment system for Vermont. Vermont’s Framework is intended to be referenced and used over an extended period of time for reflection, self-evaluation, and improvement in Early Childhood (birth - 3rd grade) efforts. This framework helps to address key questions facing those who are developing birth - 3rd grade assessment approaches in their schools, districts, and communities. Submit your feedback online. 
Direct any questions to Katie McCarthy, PreK Inclusion Coordinator, at katie.mccarthy@vermont.gov.

Early Education Initiative

Established by the Legislature in 1987, the Early Education Initiative (EEI) prepares at-risk preschool children for success in kindergarten and beyond. EEI serves children who are ineligible or inadequately served by existing early childhood education programs. Coordinated with community programs to avoid duplication and to make the best possible use of resources, EEI services also fill gaps created by restrictive requirements or insufficient resources.

Grant Proposal Application Process for 2014-2015

Applications for the Early Education Initiative grant program are now available. EEI was established by the Vermont Legislature in 1987 to provide early education opportunities for three- and four-year-olds who are at-risk. The EEI grant is a one-year grant awarded through a competitive process; the range for EEI grants is $10,000 to $20,000.

Essential Early Education (EEE)

This statewide program coordinates early childhood special education services for children ages three through five. Services are administered by local school districts in conjunction with local early childhood service providers to ensure inclusive educational environments.

CIS/Early Intervention

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - Part C provides for early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Implementation of these services in Vermont is through a family-centered coordinated system called CIS/Early Intervention. The Agency of Human Services and the Vermont Agency of Education share responsibility for implementation as co-lead agencies. The Vermont Department of Health, as project partner, provides administrative support.

Title I Preschool/Migrant Preschool Services

Many Vermont school districts receive federal Title I funds to provide compensatory education services to children considered at-risk or disadvantaged. Title I funds may be used to support a school's preschool program for these children. In addition, three- and four-year old children who qualify for migrant status are eligible to receive early education services supported by federal funds.


Kate Rogers at kate.rogers@vermont.gov or (802) 479-1454

Page Last Updated on June 13, 2016