Castleton University has received a $100,000 grant from the Bowse Health Trust to support the Early Childhood and Special Education Initiative.
The initiative pairs Castleton’s new Bachelor of Arts and dual major in Early Childhood Education and Special Education with a public childcare center and learning lab, which will launch in July 2020.
The Castleton University Early Childhood Lab will be located on the main University campus in the home previously occupied by the president. The University anticipates the center gaining STARS accreditation.
It will also collaborate with the existing master’s degree program in School Psychology and current undergraduate licensure, certificate, and degree programs in Education, Special Education, School Health, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, Physical Education, Music, and Art.
“We are grateful for the support of the Bowse Health Trust. This initiative helps to meet several significant needs in the region,” said Castleton University President Dr. Karen M. Scolforo. “It will help with the difficulties families face in trying to find quality child care, provide our future early childhood educators with practical experience, and support workforce development efforts to attract families to our region.”
This initiative will create sustained positive impacts on local childcare and early childhood education. The academic program hopes to produce an estimated 20 early childhood educators each year and provide professional development opportunities to address statewide shortages.
The Bowse Health Trust grant will assist the University in meeting early staffing costs and allow the center to achieve its full capacity more quickly after its opening. At capacity, the center will provide approximately 49 new, high-quality childcare slots to the Rutland area. A majority of these slots will be reserved for low-to-moderate income families from Rutland County.
About the Bowse Health Trust
The Bowse Health Trust was established in 1996 in memory of the late Rutland Regional Medical Center President/CEO James T. Bowse. The trust works to help create a healthier community through funding collaborative, community-based health programs.