The Vermont Legislature and Governor appropriated $2.5 million dollars in the 2018 State Fiscal Year Budget for child care.
- Approximately $233,000 was used to update the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CC FAP) income eligibility guidelines to align with the 2017 Federal Poverty Levels released in January 2017.
- The remaining $2.2 million will be used to fund Early Care and Development Program (ECDP) Grants. The Child Development Division (CDD) is responsible for administering these grants.
What is the purpose of the grants?
ECDP Grants are meant to:
- Support early care and development programs serving low income families and young children in Vermont, particularly those serving infants and toddlers.
- Reduce the burden of co-payments on families and providers participating in the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CC FAP)
- Help early care and development programs provide quality services that promote children’s development and well-being and strengthen families
Who can receive these grants?
Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs (Centers) and Family Child Care Homes (Homes) that participate in VT STARS (at any STAR level) and provide services to a high number of CC FAP eligible children, particularly CC FAP eligible infants and toddlers are eligible to receive funds. The number grants and how much programs get is limited by available funds and determined by applying the same formula to all qualifying programs every three months. Participation in other grant programs does not have any effect on eligibility for these grants.
How will I know if my program will receive grant funds?
Grant amounts will be determined every three months. If you are getting a grant, your program will receive a letter with the amount your program will receive for the next quarter. A list of programs receiving grants will also be maintained on the CDD website. The schedule for notifying programs and making payments is:
If I get a grant once will I get the same amount for every quarter?
No. Every three months grant awards and amounts are calculated based on attendance records for CC FAP eligible children at all qualifying programs. Programs must stay in substantial compliance with Vermont Child Care Regulations, continue to participate in VT STARS and maintain high enrollment of children receiving CC FAP to qualify.
Will I need to do anything to receive the grant if my program is on the list?
No. Grant payments will be processed through Bright Futures Information System (BFIS), and will be paid to you just like CC FAP payments are paid. If you have a business office or are part of a larger organization, you may want to let your business office know you are expecting to receive this payment in addition to the subsidies.
Will a report be required about how I spent the funds?
Yes. There are no specific requirements about how you spend the grant award but the legislature is interested in how the funds fulfill the purposes described above. Two times a year the Child Development Division will send you a brief on-line survey about how the funds helped your program. Programs must respond to the survey to continue to receive funding.
How are available funds distributed across qualifying programs?
CC FAP data indicates that 70% of children participating in CC FAP are enrolled in Centers and 30% are enrolled in Homes. Therefore 70% of available funds will be granted to Centers and 30% of available funds will be granted to Homes.
How are programs selected?
Using CC FAP billing data and licensed capacity, a formula is applied to all qualifying programs to create a score. This score is used to determine where on the list a program falls for receiving a grant. The highest score is the program who has priority to receive a grant, and so on. The grants are paid out to programs based on priority until the money allocated for the quarter is spent.
We apply the formula across all qualifying programs every three months that includes these weighted factors:
- Percent of CC FAP children attending to licensed capacity of the program (70%)
- Average number of CC FAP children attending (15%)
- Average number of infants and toddlers attending (15%)
- List of Family Child Care Home Programs receiving a grant
- List of Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs receiving a grant