& SERVICES: EARLY EDUCATION:
PUBLIC PRESCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS:
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 three- to five-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. View currently available documents and resources.
The Act places new requirements on participating programs for quality, funding, and accountability. Rules developed jointly by the Agency of Education and Department for Children and Families assure greater coordination and collaboration across state agencies insofar as prekindergarten education is concerned. The State Board of Education will adopt rules concerning the administration of prekindergarten education services and a report on its efficacy will be submitted to the Vermont Legislature in 2010 with additional information and recommendations.
LINKS TO CURRENTLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION
Calculating Actual Costs of Providing Prekindergarten
The Template for Calculating Actual Costs of Providing Prekindergarten is for private child care and preschool providers to calculate their real costs for providing part-time publicly funded prekindergarten education (pre-K). The “per child cost” that is calculated serves as the basis for the providers’ contract negotiations with the school district, and is then used to determine the amount providers are allowed to charge parents for the prekindergarten program (i.e., providers may only charge parents the difference between their actual costs and what the districts pays for the pre-K portion of the child’s program). This updated spreadsheet and instructions are designed to make using the template much easier.
Public Input: Ways to Simplify Act 62
Act 58 tasked the commissioners of the Agency of Education and the Department for Children and Families to collect input from the public on ways to simplify Act 62. The following documents provide summaries from the public meeting held on October 7th and the several written comments received before and after that public meeting:
Guide for Implementing Prekindergarten Education in Accordance with Vermont's Act 62 (February 2009)
This guide was developed to provide clarity and guidance to school districts and community early care and education providers as they work to meet the early education needs of young children and their families. This guide discusses key components and implications of Act 62, the prekindergarten education rules, and Act 132. It answers commonly asked questions, provides recommendations for complying with the rules, and includes an appendix with various forms and sample documents.
Act 132: An Act Relating to Prekindergarten Education
View the law as approved by the Vermont Legislature in 2008. It amended Act 62 in three major ways: (1) it gave prekindergarten programs operated by or through school districts a “presumptive three STARS” for a year, (2) it postponed the required child progress assessments and certain financial provisions of Act 62 until July 1, 2009, and (3) it required the Department for Children and Families and the Agency of Education to jointly develop rules for Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS).
Act 62 Required Prekindergarten Assessments Act 62 requires publicly funded prekindergarten programs to report child progress data on an annual basis. All children who are included in a district’s school census as "PreK," or who are on an IEP and receive four or more hours of early childhood special education services per week must be assessed using either the Work Sampling System (WSS) or Teaching Strategies GOLD (TS GOLD).
There exist two versions of WSS and TS GOLD: a printed an online version. As a result of Vermont's agreements with the publishers of these assessment tools, reduced rates for the online versions of TS GOLd and WSS are available. Use the link above to view information on using and ordering these tools, as well as the schedule for professional development opportunities.
Plan for Increasing Program Quality to 4 STARS (Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System) Instructions & FormWORD
Act 62 requires that early childhood programs seeking to offer publicly funded prekindergarten must meet specific quality standards. Programs must either be NAEYC accredited or hold 4 STARS with two points in each arena. Programs that do not meet these standards but have at least 3 STARS may provide prekindergarten education IF they have an approved 3-year plan to meet the required program quality standards. To submit a plan, use the link below to download the form and instructions.
Prekindergarten Education Checklist
This checklist is to be used by school districts and their partners to verify that they are operating in compliance with the specifics of Act 62 and the prekindergarten education (pre-K) rules.