Impact: Making a Difference for All of Vermont’s Children

Just like most for-profit companies, the Permanent Fund board goes through an annual budgeting process. We revisit our mission and strategies, we discuss and set goals (both short-term and long-term) and we look at the financial resources it will take to accomplish these goals. But the money piece is only part of the process.

We also look closely at impact. We must constantly work to ensure that our investments are having the desired impact and that others understand the importance of this work. After all, without the data that tells us how effective our investments have been, why would anyone join our effort and invest with the Permanent Fund?

So with this in mind, I wanted to share some of the data that shows the impact the Permanent Fund and its funding partners have had over the years. The data comes from a document we’ve developed called, Permanent Fund Trends. If you’d like a copy, please let me know.

Vermont Birth to Three: Building a Quality Network of Home-based Childcare

Vermont Birth to Three (VB3) works to strengthen the quality of Vermont’s home-based childcare network through training, professional development and peer-to-peer relationships for childcare professionals. VB3 has nearly 20 dedicated mentors that provide guidance and support to more than 300 home-based providers throughout Vermont. This year our board committed $400,000 to support VB3’s work.

Vermont Birth to Three was launched in 2011 and you can see the impact that we’ve made in just two years–participation among home-based providers in STARS (STep Ahead Recognition System), Vermont’s quality rating system, is growing.

Home-Based-Providers-01

Vermont Community Preschool Collaborative: Ensuring Universal Access to Quality Pre-K

In 2014, the Vermont Community Preschool Collaborative (VCPC) will receive $150,000 in funding from the Permanent Fund. VCPC, launched in 2005, provides up to two years of start-up funding and technical assistance to help school districts partner with childcare professionals and establish high quality pre-K programs in their communities.  Our goal is to see high quality pre-K programs in every Vermont community so every child has access. While we’ve made much progress, there’s still much work ahead of us.

Growth-Communities-PreK-01

Mentoring: The Importance of Healthy Caring Relationships

Over the years, the Permanent Fund has invested in mentoring through our initiative called the Vermont Mentoring Funders Collaborative (VMFC). We are big believers that all children can benefit by having a positive (non-parent) adult role model in their life. Vermont has many wonderful mentoring programs both in the schools and outside of schools. Our long-term goal was to help establish an umbrella organization to serve as a resource for all Vermont mentoring organizations. In 2013, we saw this goal become a reality with Mobius assuming this statewide role. Mobius will receive $50,000 in funding from the Permanent Fund this year. The graph below shows the number of mentoring partnerships that VMFC funding helped create over the years.

mentoring matches

Reflections on Impact

The Permanent Fund has come a long way since our inception. Our commitment to providing the opportunity for every Vermont child to succeed in life has remained steadfast and continues to drive everything we do.

2013 was a good year—we were successful in accomplishing our objectives. The year ahead looks even more ambitious (but more on that in my next blog post).