The Curtis Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation Expands The Curtis Fund Commitment: A Comprehensive Scholarship for Early Childhood Educators

The Curtis Fund, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, in partnership with the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC), is pleased to announce an expansion of its scholarship program for Vermonters seeking to become early childhood educators. The Curtis Fund Commitment: A Comprehensive Scholarship for Early Childhood Educators is a pilot program that provides scholarships for the full cost of attendance (tuition, fees, and a stipend of up to $12,000 that can be used for housing, food, and transportation) to students who wish to earn a childcare certificate at the Community College of Vermont (CCV).

“We are excited to extend eligibility for this program to adults who already are working in childcare and wish to earn a certificate,” said Shana Trombley, executive director of The Curtis Fund. “It is our hope that by covering the full cost of attendance we can help more early childhood educators earn their certificate, efficiently and debt-free.” Scholarships also are available to adults interested in making a career transition into early childhood education.

“The high cost of educating early childhood educators and the low wages they earn upon graduation causes significant problems for Vermont families and employers alike,” said Amy Mellencamp, president of The Curtis Fund’s Board of Directors. “Yet our society and economy are dependent upon the availability of child care workers.”

Childcare certificate graduates must complete a 24-hour credit program and obtain one year of classroom experience to qualify as a teacher associate. According to Let’s Grow Kids, another supporting organization of the Community Foundation, teacher associates could fill an estimated 1,600 of the 2,090 openings for early childhood educators in Vermont.

“We know it’s going to take all of us working together to solve the child care challenge,” said CCV President Joyce Judy. “We are pleased to partner with The Curtis Fund and VTAEYC to expand access to this program and continue our efforts to strengthen the child care workforce and support working families.”

For more information about The Curtis Fund Commitment: A Comprehensive Scholarship for Early Childhood Educators and to learn how to apply, please contact: [email protected] or call 802-234-1090 ext. 1.

The Curtis Fund and VTAEYC will host two virtual information sessions: August 15, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. and August 16, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. To sign up please visit

Applications are due by August 20, 2023.

The Curtis Fund joined the Vermont Community Foundation family in 2018, after existing for more than 108 years as a private foundation. The Curtis Fund grants scholarships to students from every county in Vermont and to date has helped more than 11,600 students. Each year, The Curtis Fund provides scholarships for low-income students and/or students who will be first in their family to pursue a post-high school degree or certificate. The scholarships are for the duration of the student’s postsecondary education.

Emma Eliza Curtis believed that education could change the course of a person’s life. When she died in Burlington in 1910, she left $120,000 in trust to provide financial assistance to young Vermont men and women to pursue a postsecondary education. Since then, The Curtis Fund has grown that bequest to more than $35 million, with annual grants of approximately $1.5 million. Visit for more information.

The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love.

The heart of the Community Foundation’s work is closing the opportunity gap—the divide that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work. We are aligning our time, energy, and discretionary resources on efforts that provide access to early care and learning, pathways to college and career training, support for youth and families, and community and economic vitality. We envision Vermont at its best—where everyone has the opportunity to build a bright, secure future. Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.

The Community College of Vermont (CCV) is Vermont’s second-largest college, serving more than 10,000 students each year. With 12 locations and extensive online learning options, our students don’t have to travel far from their communities to access our degree and certificate programs, workforce, secondary, and continuing education opportunities, and academic and veterans support services. Learn more at

Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) advances excellence and equity in early childhood education as the state’s largest membership organization for early childhood educators and is the state affiliate of NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children. As a nonprofit organization formed by a grassroots effort 50 years ago and now with 500+ members, VTAEYC offers advocacy, workforce development, professional development, and other resources to its membership and others in the early childhood education field. With a small staff, a dedicated board, and a collaborative approach, VTAEYC aims to meet the needs of today’s early childhood education workforce and create a stronger, more equitable early childhood education system for the future. Learn more at