Northern Lights E-Newsletter

Spring 2016

Welcome to the fully online 
Northern Lights e-newsletter.

The Newsletter  includes what's new, answers to your frequently asked questions, the latest updates on our website, congratulations to the latest certificate and credential holders and more.  

Want to get this newsletter sent to your unbox? Sign up any time by clicking on the RED MAIILBOX on   OUR WEBSITE

What's New?
On the Northern Lights website
  • NEW Program Director Credential  information HERE
    • Find the SUMMER 2016 list of colelge courses available around the state that meet the Credential requirements
    • Use the updated Program Director applications now on the website
  • UPDATED (again)  Career Ladder applications (I-V)   We updated the phone number (at the Child Development Division)  FILLABLE applications are still there ! Look HERE
  • UPDATED Medication Administration Modules include directions to help you successfully complete the on-line modules. Find them HERE
Who works in early care and education in VT? 
Over 1300 of you told us.

This past year the Child Development  Division with funding from the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant, implemented a survey of the early childhood workforce.  What did they find?  The early childhood and afterschool workforce reports high job satisfaction and plans to continue working in the field.  Low wages and few benefits are the top reasons why individuals might leave the field of early childhood and afterschool.  Learn more by reading the report on the CDD website HERE  and look under "Professional Development".

See important people - and talk to them!
Amelia Struthers, the new Northern Lights Coordinator is with two of her favorite legislators.  Do you know them? 
Vermont Early Childhood Legislative Day in Montpelier.  Pictured left to right: Rep. Bill Frank, Amelia Struthers, and Rep. Mike Mrowicki.

What you said...
Do you feel this way too?

"You can be really frustrated and you can either say: 'I'm not going to do it! I can't figure it out.... Who cares? Poor me. Other people are frustrated...'  Or you get over it and call someone.  That's what I did and I got some answers. Now I can do it."

-  Child care director talking about learning and becoming a professional

FREE training now available
M andated Reporter training now available online

Another approved online training is available to you!  Vermont Mandated Reporter training is 2.5 hours and is FREE of charge.  It includes everything you need to know to be a mandated reporter in Vermont  using conversations, pictures, and words. For this training only, the date of completion is the date we receive the certificate from you.  

Find all of the approved online trainings you can take anytime HERE

Remember that Northern Lights accepts training from the approved sponsors of online training. These workshops can help you meet the annual training requirement. Don't forget to send us the certificate you get when you complete the online course, with a completed cover sheet (found on the side bar of the online training page).  

Now in Effect
Afterschool Child Care Programs: Child Care Licensing Regulations

Find the new regulations on the CDD Laws & Regulations website page HERE.
Learn more about them on the Child Development Division blog HERE.

You asked... Here is the answer

Question: I have taken a few college courses related to early childhood but I think I need to take Fundamentals to keep my job, is that right?
Answers:  There are 3 answers to that question! 

1 - If you are asking about the early childhood program licensing regulations, we won't know what they will say until  they are approved as final.  Meanwhile look on the Child Development Division Website to learn about the program regulations HERE The updated Afterschool program licensing regulations are already in effect. Always check with your licensing specialist to get answers about licensing regulations.

2 - Fundamentals course is for those who are new to the field or may have experience but have
not yet taken any college courses, or earned a credential or degree related to working with young children. It is a great introduction to the field. Even for experienced professionals, the course deepens your knowledge of the requirements and skills needed to work with young children.

3 - If you have a current CDA, or have successfully completed a child development course, certificate or degree, then Fundamentals is NOT the course for you. That would be going down the ladder, not up. Please see the Northern Lights Early Childhood Career Ladder HERE to le
arn more.  Contact the Northern Lights staff to discuss your career ladder questions and options.

Over 150 professionals earned Vermont Certificates and Credentials between 
January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016
Congratulations to you and your colleagues all over Vermont 

  • Find those who earned a Program Director Certificate or Credential   HERE
  • Find those who earned Afterschool Certificates and Credentials HERE
  • Find those who joined the Instructor Registry - or renewed  
  • Find those who earned early childhood Career Ladder Certificates  HERE

What's going on with MATCH?
Mentoring, Advising, Teaching, Coaching, Consulting, Helping

Keep an eye out this summer for news of several new developments:
  • The NEW MATCH Registry will be piloted this summer. It will be an online place to search and find experienced Vermont mentors, coaches, consultants who work with early childhood and afterschool programs and staff. It will also link to agencies that host mentors, coaches and consultants throughout Vermont. The MATCH Registry will be the place that brings information about MATCH professionals and the MATCH service system together. 
  • MATCH training will be coming to regions this summer or fall. Held once a month, these will be free training and sharing sessions for professionals who provide mentoring, coaching and consulting.  Participants will learn new information and share strategies and resources.
  • MATCH toolbox will be coming this summer or fall as well. This online resource will be on the Northern Lights website. It will be the place to find resources, research, and answers to your questions about being a mentor, coach or consultant. We will continue to collect resources and update the tool box.
LEARN about MATCH on the Northern Lights Website page HERE
Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Educator Pathway to Licensure Program

This program is open to licensed Vermont educators wishing to add either the Early Childhood (EC) or Early Childhood Special Educator (ECSE) endorsements to their teaching license. It is also open to qualified individuals seeking initial licensure in either EC or ECSE through peer review. The EC coursework (18 credits) and the ECSE coursework (21 credits) intentionally overlap in some course areas before separating for the specific endorsement sought. (Credits through Lyndon State College)
First course:  Advanced Child Development
Dates: June 18, July 16, & August 13 face to face, remainder on-line
Location: Central VT
Format: Face to face and on-line
Instructor:  Manuela Fonseca       
For more information, please contact:  Manuela Fonseca:
This course is part of the VT Higher Education Collaborative: learn more HERE

Did you know there are grants to pay for college courses?
Especially when you work in a regulated child care program.

Have you heard of the $1000 scholarships from the Child Development Division to pay for college  courses?  Have you heard of T.E.A.C.H.?  Do you know where to find low-cost (or free!) early childhood CCV courses that the VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council (VCCICC) supports?  Have you talked to the VT Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)?  Find links to these and other ways to pay for college courses - or get low cost college credit -  on the Northern Lights Website under Training and Coursework: Financial Assistance  HERE

D id you know the Early Childhood Core Knowledge and  Competencies are being revised?
Updated Core Knowledge and Competencies will be available by summer

Northern Lights is facilitating work with a group of stakeholders to update the 2008 VT Core Knowledge and Competencies. Why?  A lot has changed since 2008.  Our competencies need to include current research, best teaching, and align with the 2015 Agency of Education standards for early  childhood teachers.  

The Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies are used in all parts of the professional development system - for individual professional plans, reviewing related coursework, designing and planning training and much more.  So.... we know whatever changes are made will have a  BIG impact!  Here is an opportunity to better connect standards so we can share a common language.  Now we can create a clearer pathway for providers, teachers and those who design professional development. Look for news this summer - and check out the current Early Childhood Core Knowledge and C ompetencies HERE 

What are the candidates for governor saying about early childhood education?
Learn more so you can decide how to cast your vote

In March at Early Childhood Day at the legislature, they had a lot to say!   Read the full story by Peter Hershfeld on the VPR webpage HERE
Fo rm er state transportation secretary Sue Minter said parents' inability to access  affordable childcare is stalling workforce development. As governor, she said she'll work to create childcare centers at or near community  colleges to eliminate at least one barrier to higher education for parents. "One initiative I'm going to take on is making sure that student s at Vermont community colleges have childcare." Minter said. "We're going to bring the two points together: get child care they need and education that their parents need."
Former Windsor County senator Matt Dunne called for reforms in childcare subsidy programs in state government. Dunne said the existing income eligibility thresholds act as a disincentive for professional advancement, since small wage increases can result in massive reductions in childcare subsidies. "And too many Vermont families, too many single parents, are literally making the choice to not pursue their career because they will end up net behind if they're doing right by their children," Dunne said.
Former Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman said he isn't ready to promise funding for specific programs. But Lisman said his administration would bring a collaborative spirit that would lead to improvements in the way government approaches those issues. "What we need more than anything is an administration sensitive to your needs, not a promise," Lisman said. "A sensitivity to your needs, and to the cause of making certain that children when they are born have an equal opportunity."
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott said the state needs to improve access to childcare, and improve education quality. But he said the state can't begin to tackle those problems until it "makes Vermont affordable again." Delivering that affordability, according to Scott, requires revenue and regulatory reforms he says would make the state more hospitable to the private sector.   "We need to look at targeted investments like tax incentives and policies that give Vermont a competitive edge in recruiting young talent, and we need to streamline the process for building housing that is truly affordable" Scott said.

Now find even MORE information about the Child   Development Division (CDD) 
CDD has updated its website 

See the updated website for the Child Development Division (CDD) at the Department for Children and Families. HERE    Find RESOURCES for child care providers, HELP using BFIS, CONTACTS for all of the CDD staff and much more.

You had a question.  Here is the answer!

Question:   I see in the 2016 Afterschool program regulations that staff of my afterschool program now have to get certificates and credentials, or have degrees. How are we supposed to do that?

Answer:  First read the current regulations carefully so you understand the staff requirements. Also check with your licensing specialist.  Most afterschool staff will be able to earn the Afterschool Foundations Certificate, which requires  a current Individual Professional Development Plan and  documentation of 16 hours of training across the five Afterschool Core Knowledge Areas.  Even staff who have worked in afterschool settings for a long time, can earn this certificate and meet a requirement for program staff. Learn about all of the options for afterschool certificates and credentials on the Northern Lights website page: Afterschool  Pathways HERE .  

Also connect to Vermont Afterschool, Inc. for the latest information, opportunities and activities for afterschool programs in Vermont HERE

Find your "stuff" in your BFIS credential account
An email tells me when something is entered into BFIS  - but where is it in my account?

Northern Lights gets thousands of pieces of information from individuals and from sponsors of professional development every week.  We verify and enter them into individual professional development (Credential) accounts in BFIS (Bright Futures Information System).  Then the  BFIS system sends an automatic email to the account holder indicating that something has been entered in their account. If Northern Lights cannot verify what you send, we email you and tell you why we cannot verify  and enter  it.
When professional development documents are in your account, your director, STARS, Northern Lights and CDD administrators and licensing specialists can find them - and you don't have to send them again!     

What does Northern Lights need to see to verify and enter your documents? Where does it go in your BFIS Credential account? The answers are in the chart below.

This information is on the Cover Sheet,   HERE  and on the CDD Website. Complete and  submit the Cover sheet with the professional documents you send to Northern Lights 

NOTE: What NOT to send  to Northern Lights to enter into your BFIS credential account
  • Certificates that have the Northern Lights logo. Either we already have the information or the BFIS Sponsor will send your attendance for that training directly to us
  • Your IPDP.  Only you can type that into your BFIS Credential account 
Do you know these Vermonters?
These 25 professionals completed the Early Childhood Leadership Institute in 2015, and are now using their skills across Vermont. 

The Snelling Center, with support from the Early Learning Challenge Grant offers the Early Childhood Leadership Institute (ECLI).  ECLI is a unique leadership institute. Its goal is to stimulate enthusiasm and to support effective participation in activities, which improve early childhood work in Vermont. In  12 days over six months the group addresses topics including knowing oneself as leaders, diversity, inclusion and cultural competence, connecting human centered systems, shaping early learning policy and advocacy, and meaningful data and decision making.  

Below is the first class to graduate from this new program!  Find them in your community - they are leaders. The Center is currently running its second ECLI session. 

Leaders who attended the first session were Brenda Schramm,  Tierney O ' Meara,  Ingrid Reade,  Charles Winkleman,  Diana Langston,  Elizabeth, Casey,  Molly Loomis,  Rachel Boyers,  Shelly Henson,  Claudia Woodward,  Mary Lynn Riggs,  Emily Marshia,  Marla Ianello,  Nancy Call McGill,  Becky Raymond,  Danielle Lindley,  Deborah Sanguinette,  Kathy Hentcy,  Kristen Martin, S hane Oakes,  Shannon Hottinger,  Rebecca Proulx,  Chloe Learey,  Meghan Meszkat,  Rick Dustin Eichler.

Where is my money?               
The  Child Development Division uses clear criteria to decide if they will issue a recognition bonus when you earn a Career Ladder Certificate

The criteria the Child Development Division (CDD) uses are:
  • You have worked in a Vermont regulated child care program for the past six mont hs;
  • You are a Vermont resident or the children you serve live in Vermont;
  • The  education requirement in your Career Ladder application has been completed in the last two years;
  • You are not a public school employee paid on the teacher salary schedule;
  • You plan to stay working in regulated child care for at least one year from the date of your application;
  • The program where you work meets regulatory requirements.
ALSO Recognition Bonuses are only available for the highest level for which you are qualified. If you receive two Level Certificates that qualify for a Recognition Bonus within 6 months, a Recognition Bonus for the total of the highest Level will be issued.

Find this information on the last page of the Career Ladder Application. Remember, the Child Development Division issues the Career ladder Recognition Bonus, so they are the place to go if you have questions about the Recognition Bonus they issue. Connect to the Child Development Division HERE
PS: If you also submit a  completed W-9 form with your Career Ladder Application, Northern Lights will send it to CDD for you, and your Recognition Bonus can be processed more quickly. A blank W-9 form is on the CDD webpage and the Northern Lights Career Ladder webpage HERE.

Congratulations to Brenda Kingsbury and Toni Racine
They earned the Early Childhood Family Mental Health (ECFMH) Credential

This Credential is based on the Early Childhood Family Mental Health Knowle dge and Competencies. It is earned by working professionals who meet regularly with a reflective practice consultant, and a group of other professionals. Together and individually they each use a process of self- assessmen t, goal setting, training, reading, writing, reflection and practice to develop the competencies. A final portfolio is submitted for review and approval by a professional committee. This is a  rigorous  process that takes 18-24 months to complete. Brenda and Toni were part of the Rutland cohort. Thanks also to Lauren Norford, their reflective practice consultant at Rutland Mental Health. 
Learn more about the ECFMH Credential  HERE

 Rutland Cohort: Toni Racine, Valerie Judge and Brenda Kingsbury have each earned their Early Childhood Family Mental Health Credential.  Congratulations!

The newest 
BFIS (Bright Futures Information System)  Sponsors
They joined over 130 other organizations and programs

Organizations that regularly offer professional development, may decide to streamline the documentation process for participants.  These organizations work with Northern Lights staff to ensure their trainings can quickly be verified and entered into individuals' BFIS Quality and Credential accounts.  The following organizations became "BFIS Sponsors" between January 1st and March 31st, 2016.
The Afterschool Collaborative Jericho
Meeting Waters YMCA Bellows Falls
St. Johnsbury School District St. Johnsbury
Vermont Division of Early Childhood Williston
ElevelsThese professionals earned their early childhood Career Ladder Certificates
Between January 1st and March 31st 2016

Learn more about early childhood Career Level Certificates HERE
Level I

Donna Baker - Newport
Amy Bishop - North Bennington
Morgan Brown - East Middlebury
Holley Cadieux - St. Albans
Karl Chapman - Hinesdale, NH
Morgan Como - Barton
Lisa Duncan - Newport
Jennifer Hallmartel - Fairlee
Martina Kerkering - Burlington
Rebecca Kerr - Shoreham
Kimberly Leonard - St. Albans
Swarna Manthena - White River Junction
Meg Marshall - East Fairfield
Michelle Mayhew - Hyde Park
John Medley - North Troy
Janice O'Donald - Richmond
Jamie Pierson - East Corinth
Shelly Riendeau - Orleans
Jesse Senecal - Whitingham
Ashley Verge - Springfield

Level II

Shaina Benjamin - Chazy, NY
Jennifer Bliss - Barre
Alyssa Callan - Essex Junction
Carrie Clow - Jeffersonville
Katie Crandall - East Ryegate
Monica Duhamel - Alburgh
Donna Esposito - Middlebury
Donna Esposito - Middlebury
Kathleen Fecteau - Derby Line
Leanne Friedman - Winooski
Barbie Howland - Rutland
Jessica May - Lunenburg
Lisa Moore - Pawlet
Brittany Osborne - Williston
Brittany Osborne - Williston
Ashley Parah - Fairfax
Jesse Senecal - Whitingham
Catherine Siciliano - Windsor
Jennifer Stiles - Fair Haven
Melissa Wheelock - St. Johnsbury

Level IIIA

Lynn Macie - Lunenburg
Samantha Masterson - Lincoln
Angie Maxham - Barre
Lindsey Smith - Charlotte
Level IIIA - Apprenticeship

Abigail Gendreau - Vergennes
Katie McGee - Essex Junction

Level IIIB

Heather Bathalon - Bomoseen
Tina Bills - Brookline
Lisa Brace - Ferrisburgh
Holly Jean Cole - Springfield
Elizabeth Lirakis - Chester
Melissa Mitchell - Lincoln
Vicki Ryea - East Fairfield

Level IVA and IVB

Megan Amell - East Calais
Rebecca Birkheimer - South Hero
Kathleen Hart - Essex Junction
Erica Houle - South Burlington
Kristle Humiston - Brandon
Nicole LaBelle - Colchester
Kristen Martin - Barre
Savannah Ovitt - Stowe
Shannon Simard - Charlotte
Kari Trudo - Essex Junction
Mallory Twitchell - South Burlington
Lisa Wheeler - Wilmington
Nacelle Winrich - Townshend

Level VA and VB

Matthew Taranto - Milton
Annabelle Knight - Stowe
Karen Gray - Essex
PdirectorThese professionals earned their Program Director       Certificate or Credential  
for early childhood and afterschool professionals
(Between January 1st and March 31st, 2016)
Step 1
Felicia Knapp - Wallingford
Step 3
Rhoda Barnett - Greensboro Bend

Learn more about the Program Director Credential  HERE

These professionals earned their Afterschool   Certificate
 (between January 1st and March 31st, 2016)

Afterschool Foundation Certificate

Ryan Brown - Burlington
Lisa Cotrupi - Wallingford
Susie Gray - Waitsfield
Rochelle McGurn - Burlington
Owen McLaughlin - Burlington
Mary Lou Monell - Burlington
Christopher Morel - Burlington
Julie Riddle - Jericho
Harrison Senesac - Ferrisburgh
Claudia Tellez - Waterbury
Patricia Trapeni - Rutland
Lois Vitagliano - Fair Haven
Kathy White - Milton
Dew Wilde - Williston

Learn more about the Afterschool Certificates and Credentials   HERE

InstructorsThese professionals earned or renewed their Instructor Registry Certificates 
(between January 1st and March 31st, 2016)
Learn more about the Instructor Registry   HERE

Affiliate I Alyssa Callan - Essex Junction
Kelly Lacreta Gadouas - Cavendish
SueƱo LeBlond - Keene, NH
Sara Lovell Allbee - Westminister
Staci Otis - Springfield
Crystal Wilkins - Lyndon Center
Certified Dacia Ostlund - Shelburne
Theresa Keppel - Chester
Sharron Harrington - Arlington
Brenda Buzzell - South Barre
Cathy Siggins - Brattleboro
Andrea Sambrook - Dorset
Specialist II Ann Shangraw - Williamstown Rebecca Roy - Montpelier
Vicki Rich - Hyde Park