Early Education


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


Publicly Funded Prekindergarten Education
Vermont school districts have the option of providing publicly funded prekindergarten (preK) education for three- to five-year-olds by establishing partnerships with qualified early care and education programs, by operating a preK program directly or by doing both.

  • Act 62 - An Act Relating to Prekindergarten Education
    Act 62 was signed into law in 2007. It reaffirms a long-standing practice of state and local support for publicly-funded prekindergarten education for 3-5 year old children by schools and private programs. While not a mandatory program for towns or children, it allows interested communities to provide limited early education services in quality settings. NOTE: This link also provides information about Act 132 of 2008 (An Act Related to Ensuring Quality in Prekindergarten Programs) that amended Act 62 in three major ways.

Early Education Initiative (EEI)
Established by the Legislature in 1987, 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 (EEI) 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 $30,000. Funding is contingent upon legislative approval.

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.

Even Start Family Literacy
The Even Start Family Literacy program is a federally funded program model that integrates adult, parenting and early childhood education into a comprehensive family literacy program to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and low literacy. Even Start programs offer educational services primarily children from birth through age 7 and their parents. Families are selected for services based on their level of economic and educational needs. Even Start builds on existing high-quality adult, early education and parenting services to provide family-centered programming of sufficient duration and intensity to support high educational achievements and economic self sufficiency.

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.

  Early Education Publications & Resources   
View publications and Web resources for parents and school staff.

Kindergarten Readiness
The statewide results of Vermont's Kindergarten Readiness Survey and individual SU/SD reports.

  2010-11 Vermont "Ready Kindergartners" Questionnaire
  Early Education Initiative (EEI) Grant Awards for 2010-11
This program funds quality early education opportunities for 3-5 year old children who are at risk. This competitive grant program has been in existence for over twenty years.
  Vermont Northern Lights Career Development Center  
Vermont Northern Lights is a statewide career development center for early childhood and afterschool professionals in Vermont. It partners with educators and providers working in schools, child care programs, home visiting programs and other community settings to guide and enhance staff professional development opportunities. Its purpose is to support and enhance a comprehensive, accessible and integrated system of quality professional development in the state.

Even Start Family Literacy Brochure
This brochure describes the Even Start Family Literacy program and identifies who is eligible to apply for funding and who is eligible to participate.

  Local Education Agency and Family Infant Toddler Host Agency Child Find Responsibilities: A Joint Memo from DOE and AHS Clarifying Child Find Requirements and Respective Obligations Under Part C of IDEA
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 requires states to demonstrate that a comprehensive statewide child find system exists for children with disabilities from birth through age 21. Vermont's comprehensive child find system includes policies and procedures which ensure that all infants and toddlers who may be eligible for services under Part C of IDEA are identified and evaluated. As co-lead agencies for Part C, the attached interagency memo was approved and signed by William Talbott, Acting DOE Commissioner, and Cynthia D. LaWare, Secretary of the Agency of Human Services, on September 11th, 2008. The memo clarifies school district Part C child find requirements; the tasks necessary to undertake activities to locate, identify and evaluate children birth to age 3 who may require early intervention services; and the allowable use of funds that school districts may use to fulfill Part C child find activities. Technical and on-going assistance will be available to school district and regional FITP host agencies by DOE and AHS staff to assist local efforts in the formulation and implementation of their Part C regional agreements.
  Supporting Children With Disabilities and Their Families: An Interagency Agreement Among Early Care, Health, and Education Programs and Agencies in Vermont
This agreement among the Agency of Education, Agency of Human Services, Head Start and others identifies roles and responsibilities for coordination and collaboration to ensure high-quality learning development and learning options for young children with disabilities.
  Vermont's 2009 Early Childhood Resource Directory
This document provides state and local contact information about early childhood resources in your area. Contact information is provided for local school district Essential Early Education (EEE) and Early Education Initiative (EEI) programs, Family Infant and Toddler Programs (FITP), Head Start, parent/child centers, family support services, medical and health services, community development services,and Even Start. NOTE: There is no plan at this time to do a bulk mailing of this document. E-mail personnel and/or contact information changes to shirley.rawson@state.vt.us. NOTE: This file is 5.63MB.


Kate Rogers at kate.rogers@state.vt.us or (802) 479-1454

Page Last Updated on April 18, 2014