The Prouty Voice: November 2023

Will Vermont’s historic investment in childcare pay off?

Headlines across the country are raising the alarm about a looming childcare crisis as federal funding allocated to the sector during the pandemic dried up at the end of September. The truth is that the childcare crisis never ended.

There were not enough slots before the pandemic, and that continues to be true.

Being an early educator is still one of the lowest-paying jobs, even though wages increased during the pandemic. Tuition can cost families more than their rent or mortgage. In 2021, Janet Yellen spoke about child care as a “broken market” that is not working for anyone and identified that it is more of a public good similar to infrastructure like roads and power, given the contributions it makes to economic growth in the present and the future. Making it possible for parents to participate in the workforce today and growing the workforce of tomorrow by giving them access to high-quality early care and learning is a rational public investment. Continue reading

Resources & Events for families

Free Lockable Storage Bags Will Help Keep Children from Accessing Cannabis Products

BURLINGTON, VT – To help reduce the risk of children accessing cannabis products and other substances, the Vermont Department of Health and Cannabis Control Board have launched a pilot project to offer free, lockable storage bags at select cannabis stores in Vermont.

The Healthy at Home bags can be used by anyone to store cannabis products safely, but they are especially important for people with young children in the home to prevent them from accidentally eating edibles and other products. Learn more.

Family ECHO: Autism is a virtual learning program for families and caregivers raising children with autism.

From navigating a diagnosis to learning about new therapies, parents, and caregivers of children with autism need an immense amount of knowledge and support in order to provide the best care to their loved ones. These virtual sessions are designed to shift medical and behavioral information from the clinic into the hands of parents and caregivers so they can learn to better support and care for their autistic children. Session topics have been chosen based on input from participants. Learn more

Early Learning Center News

Class Photo Day: Wednesday, November 29

Say cheese! On 11/29 we will take class photos.

Acorn Room

October was the perfect time for the Acorn children to look at shadows and lights. We had lots of shiny items for the children to look at and explore. We looked at the shadows of different things like beechnut husks and leaves placed on the overhead projector as the shadows fell on the ceiling. The children followed the bright rainbows that were cast on the wall in the afternoon sunlight. The children began to discover the impact they have on their environment. Children found that some items make noise when they are shaken or hit on another object, some things move when you push them, your hands can be used to bring something closer or put a toy in a container. As the children are ready, we have begun eating solids together at the table. “Family style eating” is one of the ways we encourage community among us. Children learn so many things as we sit together and share a meal. We learn about healthy foods, using our hands and/or utensils, language, and so much more!

Willow Room

What a wonderful month it has been at the ELC. The Willow room took advantage of the beautiful weather we had in October by spending as much time as possible exploring the woods. This month we collected leaves outside and brought them into our classroom to explore through touching, crinkling, and sticking to contact paper. We put gourds in our sensory table to look at, touch, and compare them to each other as another natural fall exploration. Some were smooth, others bumpy, and the children pointed out how some were big while others were small. This month we also started practicing our hiking skills throughout the woods. On these hiking adventures we stop for water breaks, exploration times, cross paths with our friends from other classes, and even play music and sing songs. Lastly, at the end of the month we had our annual Halloween parade. It was such a fun way to end our month as a class and as a center.

Elm Room

This month in the Elm room, we optimized our time enjoying the cabins on our woods walks, running on ramps, and got a bit of practice in putting on our warmer gear for the upcoming cold and snowy weather. We dressed up for our Halloween parade, where we got snow for the first time the following day! Nora and Brenda spent time rearranging the room and recreated a neighborhood style feel, for a warm and welcoming experience for all of the kids to explore. They have been taking a liking to the new set up, and spending more time at the dollhouse, tent, and cozy area. Of course, our art wall continues to grow, and so does our curiosity for new things. We opened up a water table, where our friends get to wash babies and mix with bubbles. We have also decided to mix every Thursday on the playground with our cedar friends. We are excited to see what next month brings!

Cedar Room

This month in the Cedar Room we are adjusting to Jessica having left.  We have had several “guest” teachers, including Honor Woodrow (ELC Director and teacher of 15 years), and Jess Waldman (from the Community Based Services side of our organization, a former preschool teacher and mom of Sophia!).  We have been working on solidifying the classroom routine, and adding in more challenging opportunities for the children.  This has included adding a visual calendar to circle time, reviewing the expectations for raising hands, waiting turns and listening while others are talking, teaching games with rules including Uno, Zingo, and others.  We have also started small group activities which have included making bread, creating books using staples and hole punches, and fixing broken books. The introduction of the water table with color mixing has been a big hit, as has the new plexi-glass easel which is open during free choice in the morning.  We are looking forward to continuing to keep these choices available while rotating the materials in them so the children can go more in-depth over time.


  • November 2, Richie is 3!
  • November 6 – Vena is 4!
  • November 9 – Happy Birthday Kate, CIS Speech Language Pathologist
  • November 14 – Happy Birthday Cori, Family Supportive Housing Coordinator
  • November 17 – Happy Birthday Nancy, CIS Early Interventionist and Lisa A, Parents as Teachers Home Visitor
  • November 20 – Happy Birthday Don, Supervised Visitation Program Coordinator
  • November 22 – Happy Birthday Lydia, HCRS Clinician
  • November 25 – Happy Birthday Molly, Cedar Room Assistant Teacher & Jen, Acorn Room Teacher

Dates to Remember

  • November 22 – ELC Family Harvest Meal (lunchtime)
  • November 23-24 – Center closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
  • November 29 – ELC Class photo day
  • December 8 – Center closes at noon for in-services
  • December 22-January 1 – Center closed for winter break