The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) awarded $160,000 in grant funding to 126 Vermont child care programs for 2012. Two categories of grants, Building Bright Futures Facilities (BBFF) grants and Vermont Birth to 3 (VB3) small grants are administered by VCLF. BBFF grants are funded by legislative appropriations, donations, and sales of special issue BBFF license plates. VB3 grants are funded, as a companion fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, by the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children, the Turrell Fund, the A.D. Henderson Foundation, Jane’s Trust, and the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation.
BBFF grants provide funding for child care program facility start-ups, relocation, purchase, construction, renovations and pre-development costs. Twelve child care facilities across Vermont were granted a total of almost $100,000 in BBFF funding this year.
BBFF priorities include full-day, full-year operations with 25% or more of total enrollment reserved for child care financial assistance eligible children. Grantees must be participants in the STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS), Vermont’s quality recognition system for child care, preschool, and after school programs.
Additionally, VCLF awarded over $60,000 in VB3 grants to 114 Vermont home-based child care programs serving infants and toddlers. Grants must be used for professional development or child care-related equipment. Grantees must be enrolled in the STARS program or working with a VB3 mentor.
“Quality child care is a vital service in any community,” said VCLF’s Executive Director Will Belongia. “The BBFF and VB3 grants programs are helping to make a lasting difference in increasing the availability of high quality child care in our state. We’re proud to support all of the grantees.”
VCLF’s Director of Child Care Programs, Hope Campbell agreed. “Studies show that the early childhood years are critical development years. At VCLF, one of our goals is to provide the highest quality child care for Vermont’s children, helping to ensure their best chance for success.”