Scholarship responds to critical shortage of child care workers


(left to right) Martin Cohn, President, Gateway Foundation; Emma Rose Sprenger; Lennon; Brattleboro Rotary Club President Phil George and Leigh Marthe, CCV Student Council Coordinator. Credit: Mélanie Crosby.

Vermont Business Magazine An annual Brattleboro Rotary Club Gateway Foundation scholarship awarded to a Community College of Vermont (CCV) student aims to address the shortage of child care workers in Windham County. Emma Rose Sprenger, CCV-Brattleboro student, this year received the Jesse M. Corum, IV scholarship of $ 2,500.

The scholarship initially supported students pursuing medical assistance, but since last year it has been awarded to students in the early childhood education program of CCV. Foundation President Martin Cohn says this shift in focus is a response to an increasingly urgent need for qualified childcare professionals. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how essential our child care staff is, and students like Emma Rose will help Windham County and Vermont build a more resilient child care system,” Cohn said.

CCV provides the educational foundation for students pursuing careers in child care through its Child Care Certificate and Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. And this year, thanks to a generous allocation by the State of Vermont of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, the CCV is offering free tuition for these and other programs in critical professions such as computer science. and health care.

Leigh Marthe, Student Council Coordinator at CCV-Brattleboro, recognized the importance of scholarships and other financial incentives, and noted that these tools are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to addressing the shortage. childcare services. “If we hope to build the fabric of our Vermont culture, our businesses and economy, our community-driven infrastructure, and our future citizens and workforce, our government officials and business leaders must invest. in real solutions to create decent wages and remuneration for professionals. to do sacred work with children and their families. ”

At Winston Prouty Center in Brattleboro, Executive Director Chloe Learey says the staff shortage is acute. “Only four of our six classrooms are open because we cannot find staff, and we still have to hire two more teachers if we are to keep these rooms open,” she said. “The waiting list is growing and numbering about 70 families, 80% of which need infant and toddler care. Our regional economic engine will stop if this essential piece of infrastructure, the daycare , is not available. And if we cannot attract people to the field with competitive wages and benefits, the problem continues to get worse. Currently, the only way to increase wages is to increase school fees, which families are already struggling to pay. Public investment is needed if we are to make progress on this issue. ”

Sprenger will use his scholarship to continue working towards an associate’s degree in early childhood education. “I feel incredibly honored to have received this Jesse Corum scholarship,” she said. “My goal is to teach art in a daycare with children aged 2 to 6 years old. My dream has always been centered on art and creativity. The past few years have been full of inspiration and growth for me. This scholarship will help me to continue my educational journey so that I can achieve a degree and certification which will qualify me to work in an inspiring environment with children.

The Brattleboro Rotary Club Gateway Foundation established the scholarship in September 2014 to honor the late Brattleboro Rotarian Jesse Corum, IV, who has been active in the Rotary Club for 27 years.

CCV is Vermont’s second largest college, serving over 10,000 students each year. With 12 locations and plenty of e-learning options, our students don’t have to travel far from their communities to access our degree and certificate programs, our workforce, our education opportunities. secondary and continuing education and our academic and veteran support services.

The Brattleboro Rotary Club is an active community service club of approximately 70 members. Its members engage in community and human service projects at the local and international level. Since 1985, the Gateway Foundation has awarded nearly $ 500,000 in scholarships.

Source: MONTPELIER, Vermont – CCV 8.23.2021

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