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As we move into the holiday weekend, we wanted to share a few important updates with you and wish you a fun, safe, and Happy 4th of July!
- Changes to Vermont’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program
- Launch of the Child Development Division Information System
- STARS Administration
Starting July 3rd, families who did not previously qualify for child care financial assistance may now be eligible (see income guidelines chart below). A Vermont family of three making over $75,000 a year qualifies for child care financial assistance.
Please encourage families to visit our benefits page on or after July 3rd to see if they qualify.
Current Recipients of Child Care Financial Assistance
Starting July 3rd, families receiving CCFAP no longer have to worry about their children’s different payments and benefit amounts. Instead, families will be assigned a single “family share” amount. Families pay this amount directly to their child care provider(s). After they pay their weekly family share, any balance owed is paid by the State directly to the provider(s) up to a capped rate. Some providers charge above the State’s capped rate and will need to speak with the family directly about any additional payment due to them.
Please view Vermont’s New CCFAP Rate Structure Presentation for more information about the change.
Families and child care programs can contact the Eligibility Specialist within their local community agency with questions about CCFAP.
To accommodate the change to CCFAP, we will be launching our new Child Development Division Information System (CDDIS) on July 3rd.
CDDIS will allow families to:
- View CCFAP Statements of Eligibility
- Submit changes in employment, child care provider, etc.
- Receive and view notifications from their Eligibility Specialists
CDDIS will allow child care programs to:
- Submit their Provider Rate Agreements
- View CCFAP certificates for children attending their program
- Submit and adjust their child care attendance
- View child care attendance invoices
Trainings for child care programs can be found on our website.
*Additional functionality and features will be added to CDDIS over time.
How To Access CDDIS
Families and child care providers were notified of this change by email or mail (if an email was not on file) on June 30th and were provided instructions on accessing their CDDIS account.
If you are an active recipient of child care financial assistance or a child care provider and did not receive the notification, please visit our CDDIS Support page for information on how to access your account.
Important! Information received by CCFAP Eligibility Specialists, and the State of Vermont CCFAP Unit between May 26th and July 3rd will not immediately be viewable in CDDIS. Staff will begin entering the information received during this period starting July 5th, so please allow some time for this information to reflect in your account.
Bright Futures Information System
The Bright Futures Information System (BFIS) is not going anywhere quite yet. BFIS will continue to hold information related to child care referrals, child care licensing, and professional development information for early childhood and afterschool professionals.
Important! BFIS will continue to allow child care programs to submit and adjust their child care attendance for service periods prior to July 3rd, however, programs must submit attendance within 60 days from the current service period. Child care attendance for service periods after July 3rd will be submitted and stored within CDDIS.
As you may know, the administration of Vermont’s Quality Ratings and Improvement System (QRIS), known as the STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS), has transitioned to the Child Development Division (CDD) as of today, July 1st. This transition is part of the STARS revision work that is founded on state, community, and industry-wide efforts to support and improve Vermont’s QRIS. This revision is creating better access to supports, resources, and guidelines for your program to best meet the needs of Vermont’s children and families.
STARS revision goals also include changes that avoid redundancy with licensing regulations, reduce the administrative burden for providers, streamline the documentation process, and shift focus from a point-based system to a continuous quality improvement model with coaching. The criteria for meeting STARS level benchmarks are being revised to meet these goals through methods based on current research, informed by evidence, and using quality-driven promising practices.
One of the many benefits of the STARS revision is the concentration and consolidation of resources needed to administer the program. The CDD has a dedicated team ready to aid the transition and manage STARS going forward. Starting today, if you have STARS-related questions, please contact our team at STARS@vermont.gov or 1-800-649-2642, option 8.
As a reminder, the STARS revision period will run from July 1st, 2022, through June 30th, 2023. During that period, CDD will continue to work with all child care program types who wish to increase their STARS level. Programs that intend to maintain their current STARS level must maintain their current standards but will not be required to submit an application or be assessed during the revision period. Please check the STARS Revision webpage for ongoing updates, including changes to the application and assessment processes.
The CDD STARS revision and administrative team look forward to working with you to develop and maintain the best continuous quality improvement plan to augment your program’s important work.