Welcome to the Early Education Program!
Children and families are the heart of our mission. Center and community based services are provided through direct services, consultation, and collaboration. We create and promote nurturing, inclusive, and developmentally appropriate learning experiences for young children.
Pre Kindergarten in the SVSU
Act 166 in Vermont provides publicly supported Pre K programming for children ages 3-5 in a variety of early learning environments. In the SVSU, children who turn 3 by August 31 of this year, and who are not yet enrolled in kindergarten, can contact the Early Education office to learn about publicly funded Pre K opportunities at 802.447-8419. The SVSU Early Education Program provides Pre Kindergarten programming to over 350 learners each year in a variety of Pre Kindergarten environments. The SVSU operates five public Pre Kindergarten classrooms at two public Pre K sites; three classrooms operate at 233 Division Street and two classes operate at Molly Stark School in the Family Center. In addition to the five public Pre K classrooms, there are a number of Pre qualified Pre K sites in the SVSU that enrolled Pre K students have the opportunity to attend for ten hours of publicly supported Pre K each week for the duration of the thirty five week Pre K calendar. Pre K enrollment is available on a first come, first served basis, with opportunities for program choice as seats allow. Our PreK partner sites include Bennington Early Childhood Center, Forever Friends, Growing up Right, Happy Days Playschool, Head Start, The Learning Tree, Lil Peeps, Lori’s Daycare, Myers-Prouty Monument Campus, Oak Hill Children’s Center, Myers Prouty Shaftsbury Campus, and the Village School of North Bennington.
Pre Kindergarten programs in Bennington provide learning environments and instruction built upon the Vermont Early Learning Standards, or the VELS. The VELS outline developmentally appropriate standards for each age range in the domains of social emotional development, language development, health and physical development, approaches to learning, and development in the domains of literacy and math. Pre Kindergarten learners are assessed at least twice a year to measure progress and growth using the Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment. Teachers and parents set goals for Pre K learners growth and development at fall parent conferences, and measure student progress through observation and TS Gold assessment reports.
Early Childhood Intervention and Special Education Services
The SVSU Early Education Program provides a developmental screening for each learner enrolled in Pre K to assess children’s achievement of developmental milestones, and identify any needs for an evaluation to determine if a child may have a disability. The Early Education Program also provides Early Childhood Special Education services to learners with identified disabilities in a variety of settings; in Pre K environments, daycares, and homes. By intervening early, we can achieve the greatest amount of growth with young children to assist them in achieving each child’s potential.