Following on the heels of the federal Promise Neighborhood program, Vermont will be launching its own initiative to help communities support citizens from birth onward.
Announced Tuesday by the governor’s office, the plan calls for communities around the state to start applying to participate immediately. Winners will develop an action plan with a “Promise Community coach” in the first year of the program and be eligible for $200,000 grants meant to allow them to put their plans into action in the second year.
Like Promise Neighborhoods, Promise Communities is modeled on the Harlem Children’s Zone which began interventions with pregnant women from one neighborhood in New York City who chose to particpate. The program provided intensive supports for new parents, early-childhood education and health care programs. The guiding principal of such efforts is that children and families must be supported on all fronts at once and that government can do a better job coordinating its various services and providing them in one place.
Funding for the Vermont initiative comes from the state’s Early Learning Challenge - Race to the Top federal grant.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.