PreK Announcements

2016-17 DIAL Screening Dates

posted Jul 14, 2016, 12:15 PM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Jul 14, 2016, 12:31 PM ]

The DIAL-4 (Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning) is a standardized instrument that is used to screen large groups of children quickly and efficiently. Data from the DIAL-4 are used to describe the strengths and needs of young children in five areas of development: motor, concepts, language, self-help, and social-emotional.

The DIAL screening looks at five areas:
  1. Motor
  2. Concepts
  3. Language
  4. Self-Help
  5. Social-Emotional

Listed below are the DIAL Screening dates for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • September 23
  • October 28
  • December 2
  • January 27
  • March 24
  • April 28
  • May 26

Please call (802) 447-8419 for an appointment.

Enroll Now for Preschool

posted Feb 19, 2016, 9:52 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Aug 26, 2016, 10:17 AM ]

  Do you have a child turning 3 or 4 on or before August 31, 2016?  
  Are you looking to enroll your child in Public Pre-K?  

Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union School District contracts with highly qualified community Early Care and Education Programs to provide publicly funded Pre-Kindergarten for children living in Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury and Woodford.

For more information, to set up a developmental screening, to request a Public Pre-K brochure, or for a list of Community Partners contact:

SVSU Early Education Program
181 Orchard Rd
Bennington, VT 05201
Phone: 802-447-8419
Fax: 802-442-1736
Attn: Early Education Programs


Subject: Public Pre-K

Children living in the North Bennington District turning 3 or 4 on or before January 1, 2017 are eligible for enrollment.

Developmental Screenings

posted Feb 19, 2016, 8:53 AM by Elaine Hulett


Developmental screenings are short tests to tell if a child is learning basic skills when he or she should. Free developmental screenings are available for children ages two and a half to five years old.

Upcoming screening dates:
  • March 4, 2016

Please call (802) 447-8419 to make an appointment.

STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS)

posted Feb 19, 2016, 8:50 AM by Elaine Hulett

STARS is Vermont’s quality recognition system for child care, preschool, and afterschool programs. Programs that participate in STARS are stepping ahead — going above and beyond state regulations to provide professional services that meet the needs of children and families.

We are pleased to announce that on November 15, 2015 the SVSU Early Education Program earned a 5 STARS rating when we received a Certificate of Achievement for "demonstrated accomplishments in providing quality child care above and beyond compliance with the State of Vermont's basic regulatory standards for licensed programs".

What the STARS Mean
The more stars a program has, the more it is involved in a wide range of practices that support children, families, and professionals.
  • One-star programs are examining their practices to enhance the services they provide. They may be fairly new, just starting on a path of improvement and growth, or be stronger in one area.
  • Two-star programs are making a commitment to strengthen their practices. They may have made some progress in many areas or more progress in one or two areas.
  • Three-star programs have made improvements and are working to reach specific goals. They have either made substantial progress in two or three areas or have made some improvements across all five areas.
  • Four-star programs are established programs that have met several standards of quality in all five areas. Many four-star programs are also nationally accredited.
  • Five-star programs are outstanding in all five areas. Many five-star programs are also nationally accredited.

Pre K Math Night

posted Feb 19, 2016, 8:47 AM by Elaine Hulett

Many thanks to Chris Poggi and Linda Donigan from the Bennington Free Library Children's  Department for their work with preK parents on October 15th, 2015. Families learned about math books and activities to help their children develop a strong foundation in mathematical reasoning.

Act 166 Presentation

posted Feb 19, 2016, 8:19 AM by Elaine Hulett

The SVSU Early Education Program partners with highly qualified community early care and education partners to offer publicly funded prekindergarten for children living in Bennington, North Bennington, Shaftsbury, Pownal, and Woodford. Our Community Partners engage in ongoing professional development, such as this presentation on October 21st by Hope Campbell and Vermont Birth-5 Consultant Sherry Carlson. This event was sponsored by BCCA, the SVSU, and the Southshire Starting Points Network. Please contact the early education program office to learn about Pre K partner programs in our region, and for referrals to our partner programs at 447-8419.

Q&A on Universal Pre-Kindergarten in 2016: Implementing Act 166

posted Feb 19, 2016, 8:08 AM by Elaine Hulett   [ updated Aug 26, 2016, 10:18 AM ]

What is Act 166 and how will it impact me?
Act 166, signed into law in 2014, provides for universal access to publicly funded prekindergarten education. This law will go into full effect in September of 2016. Act 166 provides 10 hours of publicly funded prekindergarten to three and four year old children beginning in the fall of 2016. Act 166 provides young children in Vermont with opportunities to reach their full growth and developmental potential through voluntary universal access to high quality prekindergarten education.

Is my child eligible for 10 hours of publicly funded PreK in the fall of 2016?
In the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, children must be at least three years old on or before August 31st of 2016 to enroll in Prekindergarten for the 2016-17 school year. Children, who are 3, 4, or 5 years old by August 31st, and not enrolled in Kindergarten, are eligible for publicly funded pre K.

When should I enroll my child in prekindergarten to begin in the fall of 2016?
Enrollment occurs on a rolling basis, so please begin the enrollment process now to ensure the greatest opportunity for your child. Students are enrolled on a first come, first served basis once a completed enrollment packet is received.

How can I enroll my child in Pre K?
Please call the early education program office at (802)447-8419 to receive an enrollment packet. Or, you may find the SVSU Early Education enrollment documents online.

Once the early education program has received a complete packet, your child will be enrolled in the school district, and parents can select the program that best suits their child’s needs. Parents who select prequalified programs outside of the school will have to enroll both with the program/provider and with the SVSU.

Is my child guaranteed a placement in prekindergarten in 2016 as long as he/she is 3 years old by August 31st?
No. If the interest in prekindergarten programs exceeds the capacity of providers to serve eligible children, children will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Parents are advised to complete an SVSU enrollment packet and identify the prekindergarten program that they would like to attend in the spring of 2016 to ensure access to prekindergarten, and to allow the greatest amount of choice in prekindergarten programs. If the demand for Pre K exceeds the region’s capacity to serve, the Supervisory Union will work with the regional Building Bright Futures to expand the region’s capacity to serve children in high quality early education environments.

How can attending Pre K benefit my child?
“Pre K offers opportunity for all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, to start school armed with the skills necessary for future success.” (Pew Research Center.) Research has demonstrated lasting positive effects in children attending Pre K, and children who attend high quality Pre K programs learn skills that help them achieve success throughout their school careers. Children who attended Pre K program were even found to be more likely to attend college compared to peers who did not attend Pre K, with 35% attending, compared to 14% of those who did not attend Pre K. (Ramey & Campbell, 1991, Campbell et al, 2012))

Are all regional early childhood centers approved to provide publicly funded Pre K in the SVSU District?
No, not all early childhood centers are approved to provide publicly funded Pre K. The Agency of Education requires that in order to provide publicly funded prekindergarten, providers must either meet prequalification guidelines, or they may partner with the Supervisory Union in order to meet the prequalification requirements. In order to achieve prequalified status, centers need to have achieved four STARS in the STep Ahead Recognition System, or three stars with an approved two year plan to achieve four stars. Also, the center must employ or contract a licensed education (early childhood or early childhood special education) teacher to provide or mentor the instruction during the hours of the prekindergarten program. You may learn more about the prequalification process by visiting this link:

Pre K partners currently approved to provide universal prekindergarten in the SVSU region are found on our website at or in our SVSU early education program brochure.

Do parents have a choice regarding what program is best for their child to attend Pre K?
Yes. Please open this document to see the approved Pre-kindergarten providers to view all of the SVSU approved Pre-kindergarten programs in our region.

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