The Prouty Voice: June 2021

Supply and demand in child care – a failed market

By Chloe Learey, Executive Director

As we emerge from the pandemic, an important wakeup call is being sounded … there is a massive child care worker shortage.

We have known about the workforce challenges in child care for years – low wages are a deterrent for people entering the field and lead to high turnover – and COVID-19 has brought these challenges to a crisis point. There are classrooms in our community right now that cannot open because we cannot find teachers to fill positions. This is particularly problematic at a time when employers in many essential sectors are having difficulty hiring since child care is a critical part of the infrastructure that makes it possible for people to go to work.

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Par for the Cause June 26 & June 27

At our main fundraiser of the year, we invite families to come play mini-disc-golf through our forest and fields. Tee-times are between 10-6 on Saturday and 10-2 on Sunday. The tickets are $20 per group of 4. Also, please join us on Saturday evening for a picnic dinner music, lawn games, gelato, beer/wine and food from A Bite to Eat available for purchase.

Here’s a sneak peak at one of the holes being decorated as Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown:

Early Learning Center News

Willow Room

In the month of May, the Willow class spent a lot of time outside. We loved trying on different sunglasses and going on walks in the woods. Many friends loved to participate in growing and watering our garden as well!

Elm Room

The month of may FLEW by in the elm room! We enjoyed much time outdoors with the beautiful weather and especially going on long woods walks either going up to the pond, walking by the pond, and exploring the whole forest full of cool nature things. We found a huge tree that has fallen with big roots and we call it the “dinosaur tree” We also were in our walk and noticed a owl in the distance, but flew away so not many children got to see it officially! We saw many birds and their nests with babies in them or even eggs, some empty some not. We also seemed to find much muck and mud and chipmunks too! It was a fun month of outdoors time! We also took some days to go down to the playground where the children enjoyed the swings and learning how to pump with their legs back and forth and even asking a friend to help push them as well!

Spruce Room

Stay tuned for our first Prouty Voice submission next month!

Birch Room

The month of May continued to be both busy and exciting in the Birch Room! The theme of the month was Community Helpers! Throughout the month we talked about what a Community Helper is, what types of job these people may do for a living, as well as some different Community Helper movement activities during out morning circle times. Alfred also led a week of curriculum that we tied Farmers into where he talked about seeds and what is needed for these seeds to grow as well as where our food comes from! We continued to enjoy our Farmer’s Market dramatic play area, our “build-a-flower-pot” sensory table, and numerous letters and number’s activities as well as a glittery flower project during the month. Also, with the weather getting continually warmer, we continued to explore many places in the woods! Our weekly pond trips have been filled with “fishing” with sticks and finding frogs hiding in the nooks and crannies of the pond shore! We also continued to visit Mrs. Cranberry’s Fort where we had visits from Sueno and the Bookmobile, weekly playground trips where we combined with our Oak Room friends and explored the Salute to The Sun Bridge where the small river near it has been flowing well for a few weeks now.

With just one month left before the Summer program starts, our last theme of the school year we will be talking about All Things Summer such as ice cream, camping, and the ocean! We look forward to rounding out the school year with some exciting activities! We will be re-vamping the sensory table with play sand, shovels, buckets, and other beach themed items and we will also turn the dramatic play area into a campground or ice cream shop!

Oak Room

The Oak Room has spent lots of time outside during the month of May. As the weather continues to get warmer, we are spending time all around campus. Some of the favorite activities include playing with balls, bubbles, jump ropes, and frisbees. As well as playing baseball. Some of our students play T-Ball and that is always a topic of conversation during our day. We have also spent time at the pond, looking for frogs and using sticks to fish and play in the mud. At the beginning of the month, we watched caterpillars grow and then transform into a chrysalis. After a couple of weeks, we came to school to find 5 butterflies, which we let go that morning. At circle we have been discussing gardens, vegetables, fruits and flowers. We spent time in the garden and have talked about what we would like to grow for vegetables in our garden.  We also made two garden inspired snacks, ants on a log and dirt cups with worms (gummy). We will begin June discussing mystical creatures, a topic everyone has been interested in lately.


  • June 3 – Lincoln is 1!
  • June 6 – Charlotte F is 5!
  • June 16 – Happy Birthday Margaret Atkinson, Director of Development
  • June 16 – Happy Birthday Alison, CIS Coordinator
  • June 18 – Dell is 3!
  • June 22 – Happy Birthday, Kathy Wright ELC Program support
  • June 25 – Rocko is 2!

Dates to Remember

  • June 26 & 27 – Par for the Cause fundraiser
  • July 1 & 2 – ELC Closed for professional development and preparation
  • July 5 – Center closed for 4th of July Holiday
  • July 6 – First day of summer program

Resources & Events for families

Parents + Tot’s Art Through the Senses at River Gallery School

Come and join us to explore the roots of creativity and make art through nature!

July 20 – Aug 12, 2021, Tuesdays and Thursdays , 10:00 – 11:00am   at The Farmer’s Market space in West Brattleboro, Route 9. Drop-in rate: $20 per family and or pay in full for the whole program: $160 (8 classes) . Scholarship available.  Drop-ins are welcome, but we encourage you to join us for the full session so you don’t miss out on any of the fun activities!

We will explore where humans discovered their artistic voice in nature, and get our hands dirty doing the same! We will use all of our senses to create and construct while enjoying all that nature has to offer. Our goal is to expose young artists to as many avenues of creating as possible to encourage a lifelong relationship with their artistic selves. We will be offering many variations of these activities with the hope that you and your littles will leave feeling confident that you can create art together anywhere and at any time.

Please be prepared to get messy and fully emerge yourself and your little ones in the process of exploring many different types of mediums. This group will explore the artistic process through natural materials alongside their modern counterpart to help the class experience the pleasures of making! Click HERE to register.

Know a child who could use a one-time, small gift? Alice’s Kids charity expands to Vermont

Alice’s Kids is a national children’s charity serving 44 states and is expanding to help young Vermonters living in low-income households with anonymous financial assistance. Typically a teacher, coach or social worker nominates a kid who has a specific need and the money is sent to the nominating person via electronic gift card or check. That person or the child’s caregiver or parent can take care of the need for the child. The average gift size is $125 and in most cases is granted within 24 hours. Learn more about how to request a donation