The Vermont Community Loan Fund is now accepting applications for Building Bright Spaces for Bright Futures (BBSBF) 2017 grants. BBSFBF grants can be used for assistance in starting, relocating, expanding, or improving a Vermont child care program’s physical facility and/or accessibility.The application deadline is March 13, 2017, no later than 3pm. For more information about the grants and how to apply, read on.
BBSFBF grants also may be used for real estate purchase, facility construction and renovation, as well as pre-development costs, interest rate subsidies and costs in meeting child care licensing facility requirements. Grant requests cannot exceed $15,000 or total more than 25% of the full project cost. The application process for these funds is very competitive, and funds are limited. Applications must be received by VCLF no later than 3:00 pm on March 13, 2017 to be considered.
- For-profit or private non-profit operations (family or center), licensed, registered or in the process of becoming so, located in Vermont.
- Projects that serve or plan to serve children from families receiving support through the State Child Care Financial Assistance Program.
- Projects in compliance, or in process of complying, with all applicable local, state, and federal zoning, accessibility, environmental, and other laws and regulations.
- Youth programs that reach out to all children with positive youth development opportunities.
- Programs that participate, or intend to participate, with Early Childhood Councils or Community Child Care Support Agencies (Resource & Referral) and who are members of a local child care provider network.
Funding priorities for this year’s grants:
- Programs that operate on a full day/full year schedule;
- Programs targeting funds to improve their ability to serve infants and toddlers or children receiving Specialized Child Care supports;
- Programs that plan to use the funds to meet child care licensing or STARS requirements;
- Programs providing care during non-traditional hours (evenings and/or weekends);
- Programs seeking to expand the number of child care slots available.
The Building Bright Spaces for Bright Futures grants have not funded fencing in the past due to the limited funds available and the grant committees need to prioritize projects. In many cases, fences are not required by regulation, although providers have interpreted the regulations in this way.
Due to an increased need, this year, the review committee will consider requests for fences ONLY in situations where a provider has been specifically told by a licenser that one is required. A letter, email, or site visit report where this is specified would be required with submission of the grant application.
While all qualifying programs are welcome to apply, these factors are used to help determine priorities for grant funding. All applications will be reviewed for quality of care and regulatory compliance. Applicants must be active participants in the STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS). Special consideration will be given to start-up programs.
Administered by the Vermont Community Loan Fund, the BBSBF program is funded with revenue generated from the sale of specialty child care license plates, contributions from the general public and monies provided by the State of Vermont Child Development Division. The fund was created in 2002 by the Vermont legislature to increase the quantity and quality of child care and early education programs in Vermont. Since 2006, the fund has awarded over $1.2 million in grants to 110 Vermont child care programs, benefiting almost 2,800 Vermont children and their families.