In 2023, Vermonters worked together with lawmakers to pass Act 76! This new law makes Vermont a national leader in child care. The law’s historic investments will stabilize our child care sector; provide access to affordable, quality child care for thousands of Vermont kids and their families who need it; and overall help make Vermont a more affordable place to live. Act 76 proves that solving our state’s child care crisis is within our reach.
In 2024, the Vermont Legislature must deliver on the promise of Act 76, which will invest an additional $125 million a year into Vermont’s child care system. This year, the Child Care Campaign’s primary policy goal is to make sure Act 76 is fully funded and properly implemented. We owe it to Vermonters to get this right. This year, we'll work with policymakers to continue improving our child care system, including allocating funding for Act 76 and ongoing child care supports in the State Fiscal Year 2025 Budget.
Successfully Meet Act 76 Implementation Milestones
- January 1: Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) reimbursement rate increase of 35% for all child care programs;
- April 1: CCFAP income eligibility expansion to families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level;
- July 1: Child Care Contribution takes effect (new child care investments from this bill will be partly funded through a new 0.44% payroll tax); an additional rate increase for family child care homes; and a new eligibility category is created for children from families that would otherwise qualify except for their citizenship status; and
- October 1: CCFAP income eligibility expansion for families earning up to 575% of the federal poverty level. Once expanded, CCFAP will help 7,000 additional Vermont families afford child care!
Improve Family Affordability
- Ensure families and child care programs are able to access the significant additional investment in Vermont’s CCFAP.
Support Early Childhood Educator Recruitment and Retention
- Continue funding Vermont’s Early Childhood Educator Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program;
- Continue funding scholarship and pre-apprenticeship programs to recruit and retain early childhood educators;
- Remove the income requirements for early childhood educators applying for CCFAP for their own children; and
- Support child care programs and their staff to navigate and access health insurance and other benefits.
Increase Child Care Program Quality and Capacity
- Fully fund the Quality and Capacity Incentive Program, a $10 million program established in Act 76 to increase the quality and capacity of Vermont’s child care system;
- Ensure continuation of the Quality Supports Program (SPARQS) to support child care quality through coaching and assessment for Vermont’s early childhood education programs;
- Ensure continuation of the Business and Technical Assistance Program and Infant and Toddler Capacity Building Grant programs so that there is an adequate and sustainable supply of child care.
With implementation already underway, we must ensure new funding from Act 76 is getting into the hands of those who need it most – our child care programs, our early childhood educators, our families, and our kids. This year, help us keep the momentum going to fully solve our state’s child care crisis. Join Vermont’s Child Care Campaign here.