Updates on Financial Supports for Child Care Programs

07 August 2020

COVID-19 Operational Relief Grants: For Child Care, Summer Day Camps, Afterschool Programs, Parent Child Centers & CIS Fiscal Agents

The Vermont legislature allocated $12 million from the federal CARES Act to help programs with expenses and/or losses related to COVID-19. Funds are being awarded through Operational Relief Grants administered by DCF. The grant is open for applications — from now until 11:59 PM on August 26, 2020.

Information is available at www.dcf.vermont.gov/covid19-relief-grants

May 17, 2020

Child/ Summer Care Restart Stipend

If your program will be providing care for Vermont children this summer, you may qualify for a stipend to help cover additional expenses directly associated with COVID-19. This might include:

  • Buying enough group items to eliminate sharing (i.e., making sure every child has their own markers & pens).
  • Buying cloth face masks and gloves for staff.
  • Purchasing cleaning products and disinfecting/sanitation services as outlined in health and safety guidance.
  • Making structural changes needed to accommodate safer group sizes.
  • Hiring additional staff needed because of smaller group sizes.

To qualify for one, you must:

  • Be open by July 6, 2020 for child or summer care 1.
  • Be located in Vermont and serving Vermont children.
  • Provide either half-day or full-day care.
  • Be an organized group such as a:
    • Regulated child care program/provider, or
    • A Day camp (e.g., sports camp, municipal recreation program). Overnight camps are not eligible.

Information is available at https://dcf.vermont.gov/restart-request

This is a program of the Department for Children and Families and questions should be directed to AHS.DCFChildcareRestartQuestions@vermont.gov or by calling (802) 241-0946.

Child Care Stabilization and Essential Persons Programs

The Child Development Division has been operating a child care stabilization and essential persons program that regulated child care programs are eligible to apply to receive funds.  These programs are for all families, regardless of income. The program started 3/16/2020 and ends on 5/30/2020. The deadline to submit invoices for the programs is June 7th at 11:59 PM.

Child Care Stabilization:
This program is intended to support child care programs financially when children cannot attend their programs due to the COVID closure. This pays up to 50% of tuition costs (or co-payment for Child Care Financial Assistance) for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It does not pay for school age children.

Essential Persons Incentives and Tuition Payments
This program is a program to help parents that are essential persons pay for child care during the crisis, and provide an incentive to the child care program to serve these children.

Incentives – child care programs will receive $125 per week per child that is an essential persons’ child. This amount is not for tuition and can be used by the program for other needs.

Infant, toddler, and preschool tuition payments for essential persons: If an essential person needed to use a new child care program due to their program closing, the state will pay 100% of the tuition up to $360 per week.

School age tuition payments for essential persons: This program pays for a school age child of an essential person. It pays up to $200 tuition per week for each school age child. The provider cannot charge the family any difference over the $200 per week while this program is in effect.

There is a frequently asked questions document on the stabilization and essential persons program is available here: https://dcf.vermont.gov/sites/dcf/files/CDD/Docs/COVID/Child-Care-Financial-Supports-FAQs.pdf