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The Vermont Community Loan Fund is located in the heart of historic downtown Montpelier. For more information on our loan programs, or to learn how you can make an investment, please contact us.


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I was in a 10x14 room that I had totally outgrown. I had a pasteurizer that could handle 10 gallons a day and I was using 25 gallons a day, and it was insane. Just insane! VCLF saved my life. Nobody was going to lend me money.

Laini Fondiller
Lazy Lady Farm

Committed to Caremudcitykids.jpg - 434.73 kb


“Providing quality care for Vermont’s kids is among the most important work to be done in our state. Thanks to the Loan Fund, I’m able to do just that.”



Tracy Patnoe knows about the need for quality childcare. “There are children on the waiting list that haven’t even been born yet! Almost every day I get calls from parents.”

“After my second child, I visited daycares, but I couldn’t find any I really liked.” So Tracy started Mud City Kids Child Care in 1999. The plan was to run the child care program out of her family home until her own child was ready for school. “But by then, I had taken a lot of classes, and had a bunch of credits towards a degree. And I liked it!”

After a couple years, recognizing the need in the community, Tracy and her husband Ernie decided to move the program into a larger space. The challenge was financing the expansion. “Our bank was hesitant. Early care and education is not a big moneymaker. We looked around, but I don’t think I would have found a bank to make the loan.”

The Patnoes received a loan from VCLF for the purchase and renovation of a single-family home…and what a renovation it was! “It was affordable because we did nearly all the work ourselves,” says Tracy. “I bet I’ve spent at least 600 hours on this place.” laughs Ernie. “We were here Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve that year too!”

Their commitment shows. Today, Mud City Kids Child Care Center provides high-quality early care and education to 60 children from infants to age 6. The expansion also created 16 full-time jobs. “The kids really benefit from the bigger space.” says Tracy. “The (age) groups have their own separate spaces. The parents have been very happy.”

“With financing from VCLF, I’ve been able to expand my program, increase the number of kids and families I serve. I’ve been able to make quality improvements, increase my STARS rating and pay a higher wage. They’ve helped me to run a business that is sustainable.”

“I believe that providing quality care for Vermont’s kids is among the most important work to be done in our state. Thanks to the Loan Fund, I’m able to do just that.”