The Let’s Grow Kids 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. In 2019, Let’s Grow Kids is accepting nominations for an outstanding home-, center- or school-based child care professional who has demonstrated a commitment to quality early childhood education.

To be eligible for this year’s 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 Let's Grow Kids as well as previous winners are ineligible for the award.

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

The nomination period will remain open from April 1, 2019 through May 1, 2019. Nominees will be notified of their nomination and must complete and submit an application to Let’s Grow Kids by May 31, 2019 to be considered for the award.

Click here to nominate someone for the Early Educator of the Year award.


2018 WINNER: 

Melanie Zinn
Horizon Early Learning Program



2017 WINNER:

Cheryl “Cookie” Danyow
Mountain Road Preschool


Ellen Kraft
Honeycomb Kids

2016 WINNER:

Jackie Reno
Janet S. Munt Family Room


Kathi Apgar
Y Early Childhood Program for UVM Medical Center

2015 WINNER:

Geralyn Barrows
Discovery Hill Family Child Care & Preschool


Elsa Bosma
Puddle Jumpers