The Prouty Voice: June 2023

What can we do to boost childcare capacity now?

By Chloe Learey, Executive Director

With the recent passage of the childcare bill by the Legislature, the promise of a significant investment in childcare is on the horizon in Vermont, and many of us in the field are hopeful. Of course, details need to be worked out before the potential positive impact can come to fruition. If we want to take full advantage of this investment, we need to keep figuring out what to do in the meantime to continue building the childcare capacity – a sector of critical importance to our economic health.

The Child Care Counts Coalition in Windham County has been focused on maintaining and building capacity in the region for over five years. The most recent initiative includes a video series to share resources with people who might be interested in starting a home-based childcare business. The time and cost of setting up a registered home program is less than opening a center and is a promising vehicle for adding childcare slots relatively quickly.

Ironically several years ago, we lost one of the state resources that significantly helped home-based programs get started and stay open. Windham Child Care Association had a grant which helped fund a Resource Development Specialist. This person was available to help early educators, including those who ran registered home-based childcare, with many different aspects of being in the field, from professional development to licensing requirements. The loss of this grant was significant and ultimately led to the merger between the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development and Windham Child Care. This is a case where the loss is much greater than the organization and the money. This has become more apparent as we witness the evolving crisis in childcare. Continue reading:

Par for the Cause – this Saturday!

We hope you can join us this Saturday at our biggest event of the year. Our teachers and staff are hard at work creating a field of fun for young children and their families. There will be toddler bounce houses, a storybook walk, fairy house building, water play, a music wall , obstacle course, sensory activities, and music/puppet performances. The FREE outdoor event is from 10:00-1:00.

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Resources & Events for Families

Live Naturally Nutrition Presents: Kids in the Kitchen Virtual Series!

Are you… seeking ways to inspire your kids to be excited about cooking and eating fruits and vegetables, struggling to find time to prepare healthy, or dealing with picky eaters who refuse to eat the foods you work so hard to make? Join Live Naturally Nutrition for Kids in the Kitchen Virtual Series. This program runs June 27th-August 1st. What you’ll get: Simple, nutritious, kid-friendly recipes for the whole family, free Super Smoothe E-book, Facebook group for access to group recipe. Click here to register! Or email

Cantamos ~ Music Class for Tots in Putney, VT

Join us Monday mornings from 10-11am for music, stories, games, and movement in English & Spanish. No prior Spanish-speaking experience required. Kiddos ages 0-5 years, with their caregivers, older siblings welcome! $45/ family for a 3 week mini-session or or $18 for a single class. July 10, 17, 24. Class will be held at the Putney Friends Meeting House at 17 Bellows Falls Road Register here: Email any questions to Jessica at or call 802.258.8723

Windham Philharmonic 4th of July concert

The Windham Philharmonic will be giving their annual July 4th Celebration concert, hosted by the Winston Prouty Center at 2:30pm. Repertoire will feature Berlioz’ Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale as well as some more traditional marches. This will be an outdoor performance, so please bring blankets and chairs. Food will be available for sale. Event is by donation.

Early Learning Center News

Acorn Room

In May, the Acorn and Willow classes finished their “Masterpiece”.  The details of our project are documented on the board outside the Acorn classroom and the actual artwork is hanging in the Acorn room.  Please come in to see the beautiful outcome!  The Acorn children are really becoming story tellers!  There is so much babbling and talking happening, it brings smiles to the teachers’ faces.  We continue to model and use our sign language and verbal language to get our needs and wants met.  Some of the words we commonly use include:  all done, more please, I’m waiting, and time to change your diaper.  Some children are beginning the transition to naptime on a mat-another sign they are transitioning to toddlerhood.  The song, The Wheels on the Bus continues to be a classroom favorite. Families are invited to join us at All School Sing and we will be sure to sing this song!  It happens every Wednesday at 9:45.  Please let us know if you can join us!  The children are moving around and exploring the playground more.  We have musical instruments on the playground to accompany our fabulous voices and dancing.  The children are using the sandbox, climbers, grassy area and garden.  It’s always fun to take in a good book. A couple of the books we’ve read this month are:  This Little Seed by Heather Hammonds, Moo Moo, Brown Cow by Jakki Wood, and Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler.  Whether you are labeling the pictures, reading the words, or making up your own story, spending time with a child and a book creates a space of love, safety and learning.  Enjoy! 

Willow Room

Another month has quickly passed by here at the ELC! The children and teachers of the Willow Room have been enjoying all the beautiful weather, we have continued to explore new areas on campus, and we have been intentionally enjoying each other’s company as the end of the program year creeps up on us. During our time outdoors in the month of May the children have been enjoying bubbles, waterplay, gardening, and the addition of fresh sand into our sandbox. The children have continued to amaze us with their strength and stamina on our hikes. In the last couple of weeks, we have made it all the way up the large grassy hills up to the pond on campus, and we have also made it deeper into the woods than ever before. As the program year is coming to its end, the Willow Room teachers have been taking in all the moments and making great memories with our special group of toddlers. Our last month with our full cohort will be packed with fun, creativity, love, and adventures that we look forward to sharing with you at the end of June.  

Elm Room

This month in the Elm room has been a month of being outside! The weather has finally allowed us to start our mornings outside in our outdoor classroom, which has undergone renovations for the warmer weather. We have been practicing our planting skills, as well as our climbing skills on the newly added tire tower built by Jack. We have also begun to clear a new outdoor space in the woods, which we hope will be used by all students in the future as an additional outdoor classroom with paths to other outdoor spaces. We tried paper Mache, with a homemade paste, painted our own flower pots, and remade our monthly play dough. (Yellow and pink!) The elm room has enjoyed being outside for most of the day, and many of our friends have been regularly using the outdoor bathroom. To kick off the month of May, we also celebrated Asher’s 3rd birthday!

Oak & Birch Rooms

In May, the Oak and Birch started the discussion for our Graduation Celebration. We talked about what we would like to do to remember our time together and what decorations we would like to have. We have been working on growing fruits and vegetables in the garden, paper mache, and decorations for our graduation. We have been outside for most of the day unless rainy. We have explored the pond and caught some frogs, bugs, snails, and played in the water a bit. We have been working hard at problem solving when two friends want a turn at the same time. We have talked about solutions and invited others into the conversation to help. In June, we have a Graduation celebration for those moving on to a new school. It will be on June 30th. We will start with a picnic lunch and then move into the celebration. We are excited to show all they have accomplished!


  • June 2 – Lincoln is 3!
  • June 7 – Reighlynn is 1!
  • June 10 – Declan is 1!
  • June 13 – Miles is 2!
  • June 18 – Dell is 5!
  • June 21 – Chloe is 5!
  • June 22 – Happy Birthday, Kathy Wright, ELC Program Support
  • June 25 – Rocko is 4!
  • June 27 – Happy Birthday, Caitlin Pelletier, Child and Adult Care Food Program Specialist

Dates to Remember

  • Monday, June 19 – Center closed for Juneteenth
  • Saturday, June 24 – Par for the Cause
  • Friday, June 30 – ELC closes at noon for PreK graduation
  • Monday, July 3rd & 4th – Center closed