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Building Bright Futures to host tours of county’s early learning programs

ADDISON COUNTY — As a means of exploring early learning options in the county, Addison County Building Bright Futures has set up a series of visits to early care and learning programs throughout the region. The tours will take place Oct. 2-5. Each visit will include a 20-minute tour, and conversation with staff. A post-visit panel discussion and luncheon on Oct. 5 will provide participants the opportunity to discuss what they saw and to generate ideas for the continuing improvement of early learning in Addison County.
Many regional community partners agree that investing in the first years of life are crucial, and that high quality childcare is a priority for supporting families. Programs in the region, however, struggle with finding a viable solution.
Addison BBF has created the Addison Early Care and Learning Showcase Tours school so that community partners, business, employers, school administrators and decision-makers can join the and see for themselves what high quality early education actually looks like.
The culminating luncheon event will be held at Middlebury College’s Kirk Alumni Center. It will focus on the capacity crisis in Addison County, and why it matters to our schools, businesses, and community. Panelists include; Dave Donahue, Middlebury College; Peter Burrows, ACSD; and Donna Bailey, Addison County Parent Child Center. Cheryl Mitchell will moderate.
Regional data and stories will guide an interactive panel discussion, and participants will be charged with building a community movement to discover how we might work together to meet the increasing need for high quality programming.
Addison BBF is also working closely with the Addison County Director’s Network, to better understand what programs need in order to best provide service for families. Retaining highly qualified staff is the biggest challenge for programs to maintain quality. Addison BBF is exploring opportunities to increase staff retention through a shared services model, and to empower staff through opportunities for growth.
Those interested in the tour or subsequent luncheon and panel can sign up by calling 802-349-1518 or go to https://tinyurl.com/y8lworcj. For the best experience, aim to visit two to three home- and center-based programs. 

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