May 27, 2021

Let’s Grow Kids is Accepting Applications for Funding to Increase Infant and Toddler Child Care Capacity in Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2021

Media Contact: Nicole Haley, 802-391-0545, nicole@letsgrowkids.org 

Burlington, VT – Funding is available to help child care providers start or grow the number of slots available for infants and toddlers. As part of its mission to ensure affordable access to child care for all Vermont families, Let’s Grow Kids (LGK) is working in collaboration with the Vermont Child Development Division (CDD) to increase the number of infant and toddler child care spaces in the state and is currently accepting applications for Expanding Infant and Toddler Child Care Capacity Grants.

Approximately $800,000 is available for the start-up of new child care programs, the expansion of existing programs that results in additional infant and toddler child care spaces, or an expansion that includes non-standard hour care (evenings/weekends) for infants and toddlers.
Those interested in applying are asked to attend an informational Zoom call on June 10. Final applications are due on July 9. For more information, visit: letsgrowkids.org/grants.

Grant funding will be paired with technical assistance provided by LGK early childhood experts with decades of experience supporting early childhood education programs in Vermont.

“Investing in and working alongside local communities to increase the capacity and quality of child care programs in Vermont is such a crucial part of our work at Let’s Grow Kids. The pandemic exacerbated the child care crisis families and early childhood educators have been dealing with for decades. Even before COVID-19, three out of five of Vermont’s youngest children didn’t have access to the child care they needed,” said LGK CEO Aly Richards.

This latest round of grants builds on an already successful partnership between LGK and CDD. Over the course of 2020, $2.3M was awarded to help create 1,155 new child care spaces in Vermont.

The current round of Expanding Infant and Toddler Child Care Capacity Grants marks the first time funding has been available specifically for programs to extend their hours of operation in order to better serve families who work non-traditional hours. Caregivers who work second or third shift jobs face additional obstacles accessing child care because most programs operate during traditional work hours.

Ali Koonz, a single parent, couldn’t access enough child care during the pandemic to cover her long shifts in the ER. “I changed jobs, reduced my hours, and took a pay cut to be there for my kids. I love the work that I do now but the job change has been a financial sacrifice for my family,” Koonz said.

The Expanding Infant and Toddler Child Care Capacity Grant program is one of several initiatives facilitated by LGK in partnership with state agencies and other organizations to increase the long-term capacity, quality, and affordability of Vermont’s child care system. Equitable access to high-quality child care is a crucial component of our state’s infrastructure, and essential to the recovery and long-term well-being of Vermont’s children, families, businesses, and economy.

About Let’s Grow Kids
Let’s Grow Kids is a nonprofit organization on a mission: ensuring affordable access to high-quality child care for all Vermont families by 2025. With over 30,000 supporters from all walks of life, Let’s Grow Kids is facilitating the movement to strengthen the early childhood education system today and calling for lasting investments in child care. Together, we can give children a strong start and build a better Vermont for generations to come.

 

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