Early Childhood Educator of the Year

In the last year, Vermont’s dedicated and skilled early childhood educators rose to the challenge during COVID-19 and applied their training and expertise to play an essential role in the lives of Vermont’s children, families, and communities. To celebrate their work, the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) and Let’s Grow Kids (LGK) are seeking nominations for Vermont’s 2021 Early Childhood Educator of the Year. We’re looking for early childhood educators who demonstrate excellence in their field, create inclusive learning communities, have a commitment to professional standards and growth, and serve as a resource for the families they serve.

Nominations are closed for the 2021 Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award. The award will be announced at the VTAEYC conference on October 20, 2021. The winner will receive a cash prize of $2500, plus expenses paid to attend one National Association for the Education of Young Children conference and the VTAEYC annual conference.

For more information about this year's award, please visit VTAEYC's website.

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Established in 2015, the annual Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award recognizes excellence in teaching of Vermont’s young children and emphasizes the importance of high-quality early childhood education. Each year, the award is given to a Vermont early childhood educator who demonstrates exceptional skill and dedication that positively impacts the lives of children, families, and the community. Here are some winners from previous years.

2020 Early EducatorS of the Year:

We recognize that, in 2020, there were countless Early Educators of the Year in Vermont, with each playing many incredibly important roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. To show our appreciation for their passion and steadfast commitment to our state's youngest children during this historic time, we made the following video and commissioned an accompanying piece of artwork (below) by local artist Mark Gonyea, which we mailed to every child care program in Vermont. We will be forever grateful for all that you did and continue to do to serve Vermont’s children and families. Thank you!


Past Honorees Include:

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