The Prouty Voice: May 2023

Teacher Appreciation Week 2023: Advocate to Appreciate 

By Chloe Learey, Executive Director

Teacher Appreciation Week is an opportunity to show teachers and educators what their work means to the community they serve. Early childhood educators prepare children for success by instilling a love for learning at a young age. Working families depend on teachers every day to educate and care for the next generation. Even those who are not parents rely on caregivers– your nurse, barber, accountant, and mechanic, could not come to work without having child care. Our businesses and livelihood would suffer without the hard work of our teachers and educators.  Despite the paramount role they play, low wages and staffing shortages challenge those working in the field. The best way to appreciate teachers and educators is by staying informed on these issues and advocating for solutions. 

The primary issue facing teachers and educators is low wages. According to ZipRecruiter, Vermont providers make on average less than $23,500 per year. These low wages have deterred passionate, qualified people from entering the field, which has resulted in massive staffing shortages. Early childhood education programs across the state have closed because there are too few caregivers to staff classrooms. Those that have remained open have fewer slots available for children who need care.  

Low wages for early childhood educators are a complicated problem. Many providers are faced with a financial paradox; paying a competitive wage will attract more to the field, but program tuition would rise to cover these costs. Early childhood education is already expensive, with many families spending approximately 25% of their income on child care according to Vermont Business Magazine. If tuition increased, childcare would simply become unaffordable.  

To address this crisis, public investment in early childhood education must reflect the value of the educators’ services. State lawmakers are working to raise wages for early childhood teachers and subsidize the cost of care for families. These reforms would begin to make childcare a more sustainable system and alleviate some of the stress weighing on providers.  

Fair compensation for their essential work is the ultimate form of teacher appreciation. In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week this year, advocate for the teachers and educators in your life. Contact your legislators to express support for childcare reform today!  

Resources & Events for Families

New Beginnings Postpartum Wellness & Support Group begins in June

After a winter hiatus, we will be starting up New Beginnings again! New Beginnings provides a way for individuals who recently have given birth to connect with one another, share ideas and resources, and learn from visiting professionals. Starting June 1st- Thursday 9:00-10:30 in the white tent on the Winston Prouty Campus.

Dosa Food Truck serving lunch on campus!

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, bring your family to campus to enjoy some authentic South Indian street food! Dosa Kitchen’s food truck will be open from 11:30-3:30pm. You can also pick up some batter to make your own dosa at home from their factory store behind their food truck. Click here for their menu:

Par for the Cause

Winston Prouty’s annual fundraiser will be an event you don’t want to miss! Saturday, June 24th, 10:00-1:00. This fun event with include a family-friendly frisbee golf game – this year’s theme is COLORS – along with other activities designed for young children (0-5) including toddler bounce houses, storybook walk, fairy house and giant bubble making, obstacle course and sensory activities, live music and creative snacks. Mark your calendars now and come play in support of Winston Prouty!

Early Learning Center News

Farm to School

This years’ Prouty Plant Swap was a great success; they raised 500% more money than last year and had a better turn out at the Garden Clean Up day as well. Thank you for everyone who participated. Kudos to the Farm to School Team!

Professional Development in the ELC

As the weather gets warmer and we transition to being outside much of the time it seemed like a good opportunity for teachers to review our expectations, rules and safety practices while outside.  The teachers will have a chance to compare “risky play”, which is developmentally important for children, with “dangerous play”, which they need to intervene to stop when it is happening. 

Acorn Room

We have been using sign language with the children and encouraging them to use it as well.  We are really beginning to see them using it to communicate their wants and needs with us.   Here, Minerva is signing “more”.  We also started exploring different kinds of seeds.  Alana is looking at some very tiny chia seeds.  The kids tried scooping the seeds and found out that the seeds stuck to their hands.  With the warmer weather coming, the children have been helping us prepare the garden.  Declan is busy pulling the weeds.  The children like to hear The Wheels on the Bus.  They get very excited when someone starts singing it and are even doing some of the hand motions!  Our class has started another art masterpiece.  So far, we’ve used green paint mixed with corn meal and used our hands and paint brushes to apply the paint.  Next, we used sponges to apply different shades of pink paint.  Can’t wait to see what we’ll use next!  

Willow Room

The month of April has been a wonderful month for the Willow room! We have finally had consistent warm weather, which has meant we have been able to spend even more time outside. Recently Honor and Jack from the Elm room worked together to clear out leaves and make a path and open area in the woods spot that we often go to. This has made new areas of the woods more accessible to us and we discovered a great section of the stream to explore. This month we have also begun to explore the outdoor classroom on campus more and have been doing a lot of digging, sliding, trying out training bikes, and collecting things we find outside (rocks, sticks, leaves, etc.). All this time outside has also created more opportunities to spend time with our Acorn and Elm friends. These various experiences have been thoroughly enjoyed by both children and teachers, have helped us continue to grow, and we look forward to the adventures we will have in the coming months.

Elm Room

This month in the Elm room, we finally welcomed a sneak peak of warmer weather, while still enjoying the last bit of snow that left us in the very beginning of the month. We also celebrated Kylie’s 3rd birthday, along with all three teachers! We baked a cake for the occasion. This was bittersweet as this was also a time where we said goodbye to our lovely afternoon teacher, Ana, who will be greatly missed in our room. We ended the month with a “spring fever” that left Elm with no more than a few friends joining us before break. As a result, we took advantage of exploring new longer trails in the woods and spending a majority of our days in the outdoor classroom, cleaning and spicing it up for the summer. We even had friends help pump up the tires of our new bikes we added outside for those who are ready to take their training up a notch. For this month, a theme our friends have enjoyed sharing is their love of dinosaurs, cowboy hats, puzzles, and of course, snack. 

Oak & Birch Rooms

In April, the groups for Oak and Birch were: Nature Art with Nora, Volcanoes with Molly, and dramatic play with Vanessa. Nature art is displayed in the Birch room near the fish tank. In the Oak classroom, small groups were able to make and build ideas on a restaurant they created. The restaurant we came up with is called “Donut Secure”. We have been taking advantage of the nice weather and have explored different areas on campus. We visited the pond quite a bit and housed some salamanders to observe them. With all of the rain at the end of the month, we decided to take a trip to the Sun Bridge at the front of campus. There was a lot of water! We watched how things move and also measured with our bodies how much there was. We have discovered a new spot in the woods for outside time. It is next to the Yurt. In May, groups are gardening with Nora, Nature exploration and Identification with Molly, and talking about Graduation with Vanessa. We will hopefully spend a lot of time outside as long as the weather allows!


  • May 1- Kinslee is 2!
  • May 12 – Asher is 3!
  • May 15 – Silvan is 2!
  • May 16 – Ehsan is 4!
  • May 19 – Happy Birthday, Kelsey, Willow Room Teacher!
  • May 21 – Happy Birthday Maura, HCRS Clinician!
  • May 22 – Happy Birthday Kristen, Early Interventionist!
  • May 22 – Happy Birthday Autumn, CIS Nurse!
  • May 23 – Braelynn is 4!
  • May 31 – Nicholas is 2!

Dates to Remember

  • Friday, May 12 – Center closes at 12:00 for in-service
  • Friday, June 9 – Center closes at 12:00 for in-service
  • Monday, June 19 – Center closed for Juneteenth
  • Saturday, June 24 – Annual Par for the Cause fundraiser
  • Friday, June 30 – ELC closes at noon for PreK graduation