Jan 31, 2023

Senator Leahy prioritizes Vermont’s child care infrastructure with $10 million in congressionally directed spending

Children craft at One Community Center in Colchester

This past December Let’s Grow Kids CEO Aly Richards received a call from Senator Patrick Leahy’s office with news that the Senator was directing $10 million dollars to Let’s Grow Kids to regrant to community-based projects and early childhood educators with a desire to increase child care capacity.

Says Richards, “This infusion of congressionally directed spending reflects the Senator’s understanding of just how critically essential child care is to Vermonters and to our state’s economy. This funding will augment Let’s Grow Kids’ child care capacity building program, first launched in 2018 in partnership with private philanthropists and more recently funded annually with a grant from the State of Vermont.”

This investment follows $750,000 in May, 2022 from Senator Leahy to help build a child care center at the former Southern Vermont College campus and double the capacity of its existing program, Learning Tree Child Care.

“It is with deep appreciation and gratitude that we accept these funds as an endorsement of Let’s Grow Kids’ efforts over the past five years. In this time, in partnership with early childhood educators and community leaders, we’ve added 4,667 quality child care spaces to Vermont’s child care supply, an especially meaningful volume during an incredibly tumultuous time for the industry. This work alongside our campaign to end the child care crisis once and for all through policy change and public investment is what it will take to ensure that every child who needs it regardless of zip code, ability, racial or ethnic background, health needs, or family composition has access to quality child care; families spend no more than 10% of household income on child care; and early childhood educators are fairly compensated,” adds Richards.

Let’s Grow Kids anticipates submitting later this winter a formal grant application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the administering agency, and hopes to begin regranting funds to projects that will increase capacity and access to child care by the end of 2023.

This infrastructure funding is separate from the generous philanthropy that fuels Let’s Grow Kids campaign.

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