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Child Development Division (CDD)

CDD's goal is to increase access to high-quality, sustainable services that are developmentally beneficial for children, strengthen families, and meet their needs. We do this in partnership with families, communities, schools, providers and state and federal agencies.

Welcoming new leaders into the Child Development Division

The Child Development Division (CDD) in the Department for Children and Families (DCF) is pleased to announce the following people have started in leadership roles at the division:

Jennifer Benedict joined our Division as Director of Child Care Licensing and Financial Assistance at the end of October. Jennifer comes to the CDD from the Residential Licensing and Special Investigations Unit (RLSI) in the Family Services Division in DCF where she is a Social Services Supervisor.  In that capacity she has worked with a number of CDD child care staff who have universally endorsed her as an excellent choice.

Jennifer has over eight years of experience working for DCF to improve the lives and outcomes of children with high needs and their families. She brings a solid foundation in policy and regulatory implementation, cross-sector systems collaboration and direct service in the field. She is passionate about ensuring the well-being of children and families in Vermont and brings professional proficiency, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to our CDD work in child care. As the working mother of two young children, Jennifer understands first-hand the importance of great relationships and experiences for children and parents in early care and learning programs.


Timothy (Tim) Cutler has accepted the position of Director of Operations for the division. Tim joined CDD as the Grants and Contracts Administrator for Vermont’s Early Learning Challenge Grant projects in May, 2014 and has proved himself a capable and talented team player. Tim has expertise in managing people, resources and organizational effectiveness that we believe will be a great asset for CDD.

Tim has a BS in Finance, Marketing and Management from the University of Vermont and an MSA in Organizational Behavior from St. Michael’s College in Colchester. He holds a certification in Non Profit Development/Grant writing and is a Microsoft Certified Professional with experience in information systems management. In his tenure with CDD, Tim has participated in supervisory training and training in Results Based Accountability (RBA).

Changes to Federal Law

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 was passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Obama in November 2014. This act is also referred to as the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). This is the federal funding source and guidance for the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) and all related child care quality and professional development initiatives administered by the Vermont Department for Children and Families, Child Development Division (CDD). This is a reauthorization of the federal law, and increases the federal expectations on states.

Click here to see an overview of what this law means for Vermont.

Act 166

Act 166, passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2014, provides for publicly funded prekindergarten education for a minimum of ten hours per week for 35 weeks annually for all 3, 4 and 5 year-old children not enrolled in kindergarten. The Act has an implementation date of July 1, 2015. The application for prequalificaton, frequently asked questions, and other information is available on the Vermont Agency of Education website.