This post was contributed by Su White, director of Quarry Hill School in Middlebury.
When the leaders of the Addison County Early Childhood Networks realized that the annual Provider Appreciation event would be cancelled, they sprang to action. How to recognize and thank the hundreds of early childhood teachers and providers in our region who deliver love, care and high-quality education to our youngest community members?
Ashley Wolff, local artist and children’s book author generously agreed to adapt her VTStrong artwork so a perfect thank you card could be created (that’s it up there!).
Nearly 250 cards were sent across Addison County this week, thanking and recognizing our early childhood professionals for their on-going love and hard work — particularly now, during this crazy time. These open-hearted and strong individuals are the heart of our preschools, childcare centers, and family home provider settings — places where young children grow, thrive, and create little communities of their own.
The card also included the following letter from Johanna Vaczy, president of the VT Association For The Education of Young Children:
Dear Vermont Early Educators:
You are seen. You are heard. In a very short time you were challenged with unprecedented circumstances and had to make hard decisions with little information.
Whether you are still providing services or not providing services, you made the best decision in a time of crisis where there was little guidance. There is no wrong decision because all these decisions come with risk and others in mind.
As early childhood educators we have always known that early childhood programs are an essential support not just to our children and families but to the economy as a whole. Now that many of us have had to close our doors, everyone knows this.
We will do our best to advocate with policy makers for continued support for our programs that is long term, comprehensive, and meaningful; so that when this crisis is over it will not be back to business as usual, but instead our programs and workforce will not only survive but will thrive.
We at VTAEYC want to express our gratitude for all that you do for our children, families. We know that it is a lifelong commitment and the contribution is immeasurable.
President- VTAEYC Board of Directors