Early Educator of the Year

The Let’s Grow Kids (LGK) annual Early Educator of the Year award seeks to recognize excellence in the teaching of Vermont’s young children and emphasize the importance of high-quality early care and learning. 

To be eligible for the award, a nominee must be a center-, home- or school-based child care professional who has been an early childhood educator for 3 or more years and whose place of employment has at least 4 stars in Vermont's STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS) or is NAEYC or NAFCC accredited. Employees of LGK as well as previous winners are ineligible for the award.

An award selection committee comprised of leaders in early education and child development review award applications and choose the award winner. The winner will receive a $5,000 award and all expenses paid to attend the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) conference as well as one national conference. The winner's program will also receive $500.

The nomination period for the 2019 award is now closed. 

The award winner will be announced on Friday, October 25 at the 47th Annual Early Childhood Conference hosted by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children, the Vermont Head Start Association, the Bennington County Child Care Association and the Windham Early Childhood Educators Co-Op.

Past Honorees Include:

2019 WINNER
Meri Carpenter-Saladino
My Second Home
2018 WINNER
Melanie Zinn
Horizon Early Learning Program
2017 WINNER
Cheryl “Cookie” Danyow
Mountain Road Preschool
2017 FINALIST
Ellen Kraft
Honeycomb Kids
2016 WINNER
Jackie Reno
Janet S. Munt Family Room
2016 FINALIST
Kathi Apgar
The Y Early Childhood Program for UVM Medical Center
2015 WINNER
Geralyn “Gerri” Barrows
Discovery Hill Family Child Care and Preschool
2015 FINALIST
Elsa Bosma
Puddle Jumpers