The Prouty Voice: August 2023

Welcoming Changes to the Child Care System

The historic 2023 Child Care Bill passed the state legislature last month, and this means major changes are on the way for Vermont families and childcare providers. Funding rolling out over the next fourteen months will increase access to high-quality child care, raise wages for caregivers, and make over 7,000 more families eligible for child care financial assistance.

The legislation’s first step in transforming Vermont child care is strengthening the system’s infrastructure. Increasing wages for childcare workers and equipping providers with funds to improve and expand programs are essential for the sustainability of the system. Organizations that administer the Child Care Financial Assistance Program will also receive funding to expand their teams of eligibility specialists responsible for processing CCFAP applications and cases. This includes the Winston Prouty Center! Click here for more information if you or someone you know may be interested in applying at WPC.

One of the law’s most significant elements is expanding the program’s income eligibility guidelines. Beginning next summer, families earning up to 575% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for financial assistance (a significant increase to the current figure of 350%). In actual numbers, this means a family of two earning $113,390, three earning $142,945, or four earning $172,500 will be eligible for financial assistance.

Families across the state will benefit from this monumental legislation, and Winston Prouty is here to answer your questions about these changes and the application process. For those who are currently eligible – apply today! And for all others, we look forward to working with you soon!

Wish List

We are seeking donations of the following items to support the families we work with. Please stop by the front desk if you can help out!

  • Smaller backpacks (for pre-K age children)
  • Standard size backpacks (for elementary age children)
  • Insulated lunch boxes
  • Ice packs for lunch boxes
  • Insulated water bottles
  • Small mesh bag (for soiled clothing)
  • Double-stroller

Go thrifting to support the Bookmobile!

Thrifting New England, a consignment store in West Brattleboro, will be holding a fundraiser for the bookmobile on Saturday, August 26th. They will donate 50% of sales that day, so mark the date on your calendars!

Early Learning Center News

Pickles for sale!

Prouty pickling day was a big success this year. Thank you to the families who donated ingredients. Pickles are now on sale! They are $6.00 per jar and proceeds support Prouty’s Farm to School activities.

Acorn Room

July was a month of growth and change in the Acorn Room. First, we were happy to welcome Taylor back at the end of July! We were also excited to welcome Harrison and his family to the Acorn Room. The children continue to impress us with the new things they are doing every day. The children are often seen and heard using sign language and verbal language to communicate their wants and needs. A few of the most commonly used words/signs are: more please, water, and all done. “My turn” and “I’m waiting” are two up and coming signs that are getting a lot of practice. It fills our hearts to see the love and compassion the children show to one another. Whether it be saying, “Hi!” to the person who enters our classroom or giving a helping hand to someone who has fallen, the children are very caring. We’ve spent a lot of time outside and had some combination groups with our Willow friends. This has been a great opportunity for the children to spend time with others they may not usually spend as much time with. As you can see from the pictures, we had a lot of wet, messy fun!!  

Willow Room

The Willow room has had a month full of outdoor fun! We have been spending a lot of our time outside keeping cool with water play, practicing our bubble blowing, and participating in various art/sensory experiences. The children from the Acorn and Willow rooms have tested out oobleck (corn starch and water), painted all kinds of surfaces, and even tried out dying fabric with berries together. The Willow room toddlers are growing so fast and have a lot to say these days as they are constantly developing more and more language. Being a part of their growth and development this past year has been wonderful. August will be our last month together before the new school year begins and the children move up to the next classroom. August will be another month of fun, exploration, and memory making while cherishing our time together as a class.

Elm Room

July in the Elm room, we were finally introduced to summer. For a couple of weeks, our friends got the chance to mix and explore with different groups of children from Willow, and Cedar. During that time, the weather has given us two types of days: incredibly hot ones, and incredibly rainy ones. We spent a lot of our sunny days in the water, whether it was the slip n’ slide, sprinklers, or the stream from the sun bridge. Many continue to enjoy the veggies growing in the garden. We spent our rainy days playing in different classrooms, the big room, and as always: making new play dough, and creating more art for our wall and families. Hopefully, August will bring us more of the sun where we can whip out more creative outside activities together! 

Cedar Room

Although July was hot and humid, the preschool children have been busy exploring how fruits and veggies are grown. The children were really engaged in preparing and processing the cucumbers for our annual Prouty Pickling Day and have been working all summer in the garden. Not only do they benefit from learning about farm to table eating, but they enjoy cooling off in the garden sprinkler. We have been practicing taking turns by going down one at a time on the slip n slide, riding tricycles with helmets and waiting for a turn to ride bikes.  One of the concrete ways we are supporting the children in developing patience, and incorporating literacy, is through the use of a waiting list, where the children can write and read each other’s names. Even in our rain suits, we have been exploring field games, and had a blast rolling down the wet big hill out front.   


  • Aug 7 – Happy Birthday Jess, Early Intervention Assistant!
  • Aug 8 – Happy Birthday Jessica, Cedar Room Teacher!
  • Aug 15 – Happy Birthday Les, Facilities Coordinator!
  • Aug 17 – Happy Birthday Lucy, Cedar Room Teacher!
  • Aug 18 – Happy Birthday Emma, CIS Nurse!
  • Aug 26 – Amani is 4!

Dates to Remember

  • August 22 – Summer program ends/Garden Tea Party
  • August 23-25 – ELC Closed for in-service and prep
  • August 28 – 2023-2024 Program Year begins