Child Development Division 2020 Budget Updates

20 June 2019

Dear CDD Partners and Friends

2019 was a good year for Vermont children and families.

The Governor’s proposal to increase investment in the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) and advance recruitment and retention of a well-qualified workforce in early care and learning programs was echoed and amplified in the legislature.

A CDD proposal for a long-term plan to redesign CCFAP to reduce unaffordable co-payments for families and support high quality early care and learning was supported by the Administration and warmly received by advocates and legislators. A down-payment toward that plan was made in an allocation of funding to initiate changes in the child care information system known as the Bright Futures Information System (BFIS) that are needed to advance the long-term plan.

New investments to maintain and expand child care capacity, especially for infants and toddlers in areas of the state where the need is greatest, were identified.

Parent Child Centers were recognized for their important work with children and families in Vermont communities and will receive the first major increase in base funding for core services in over a decade. They will also receive some much-needed support to maintain and improve the welcoming environments they create to house those services.

I count myself fortunate to have spent time in the State House during this legislative session observing the strong presence and powerful testimony of Vermont parents, providers and early childhood advocates sharing data and evidence of the value of investing in early childhood services and supports. The personal stories shared reveal the human face of why it matters that we commit to realizing the promise of each and every Vermont child and why we honor families as children’s first and most important teachers. I feel grateful to live in a state where so many care so deeply about the well-being of young children and where supporting family values means appreciating the value of families as the foundation of a thriving civil society and a good life.

In CDD we are bustling to implement these new investments, support the robust array of child development and family support programs and services we administer, and continue to promote and advance systemic change to improve the lives of children and families in Vermont. We appreciate the many community partners who actually do the work that we support. Your energy and skill, your input and feedback, your collaborative spirit and commitment is what fuels the evolving system of high-quality services for Vermont’s young children and families that we collectively aspire to.

We understand the pressures on the field. The work is not easy and the needs of children and families are great. Understanding that nurturing relationships are the foundation for healthy brain development in children and social connectedness for families, we hope that the investments in CCFAP to increase affordability for families translates into increased wages and benefits for staff in early care and learning programs.

Here you will find a fact sheet about the CCD Budget for state fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020) and additional details about the changes in CCFAP being implemented in July. Stay tuned for more details as grant opportunities and other updates are posted.

Thanks for all you do to make Vermont a great place to be a child and raise a family.

Sincerely,

Reeva Sullivan Murphy