The Vermont Community Loan Fund is excited to announce a new opportunity for private investors to dedicate their VCLF investment toward quality early education and care.
The Next Generation Fund is expanding the capital and technical assistance resources that VCLF makes available to support quality child care programs throughout Vermont. It’s an opportunity for philanthropists (and every VCLF investor is a philanthropist!) foundations and other institutions to dedicate their VCLF investment and giving directly to creating positive impacts that benefit this critical industry.
Early Care & Education: Our Children, Our Families, Our Future
When our children receive quality early care, they reach school age better prepared to learn by any number of standards: social and emotional development, communications, cognitive development and general knowledge, physical health and well-being – all of these measures improve significantly with quality early care. When our children benefit from early care and education, their future is brightest: they’re more likely to complete their formal education and join a productive workforce. They’re less likely to engage in violence or crime. VCLF believes that quality early care is essential to the well-being of the next generation of Vermont’s students, workers and citizens.
Of course, children aren’t the only beneficiaries of quality early care. When a family has access to quality child care, parents can go to work knowing their children are safe and learning. A thriving, engaged workforce drives a strong and growing economy, fostering health, financial stability and well-being for families and communities here in Vermont, and beyond. Our state’s economy is further supported by a thriving child care industry that provides both quality care and quality jobs.
VCLF Is Making A Difference
In the fall of 2012, VCLF contracted for an outside assessment of our Child Care Loan Program to measure the impact of more than a decade of work. The resulting Child Care Lending Program Assessment report demonstrates that the Program has created significant benefits for the providers, children and families we’ve served:
- VCLF creates greater access to quality early care
85.6% of infants/toddlers in VCLF borrowers’ care are in high-quality programs, compared to 39% statewide average.
- VCLF serves more low-income families
44.8% of children enrolled in VCLF borrower programs are low-income, compared to 30% statewide average.
- VCLF creates higher wages
Average hourly wages at VCLF borrower programs were $12.28, compared to $10.63 statewide.
- VCLF increases the quality of early care
66% of home-based programs and 70% of centers served by VCLF are enrolled in the state’s STARS quality assessment program, compared to 9% and 54%, respectively, statewide.
- VCLF increases food program participation
55% of home-based programs and 63% of centers served by VCLF are enrolled in the USDA food program, compared to 54% and 23%, respectively, statewide.
The findings speak for themselves: VCLF’s innovative approach to financing and supporting Vermont’s child care industry WORKS. It works for providers and programs of all shapes, sizes and stages of growth, and it works for the children and families receiving quality care.
How Can I Help?
There are a number of ways for you to support the Next Generation Fund's work. These are the pieces essential to the whole:
- Your Lower-cost Investment
VCLF’s lending for child care is most successful when our interest rates are as low as possible. Child care businesses operate on the tightest of margins, and every bit of profit we can inject into a child care business can have enormous impacts upon both business health and the quality of care. Those who invest at VCLF’s published rates will be able to direct their capital to the Next Generation Fund, but new investments into the Next Generation Fund at a lower rate, between 0 – 1%, will maximize impact, allowing us to buy down borrowers’ rates by up to two points, from 7% (currently) to 5%.
- Your Gift of Permanent Loan Capital
Equity is the foundation of any loan fund. This permanent base is the reserve that protects the loans we make and the investments that make them possible. We’ve seeded the Next Generation Fund with $250,000 of our own equity, but to keep the fund’s growth sustainable, we plan on securing permanent capital grants equal to 25% of the dollars invested in the Next Generation Fund.
- Your Charitable Gift
The supporting technical assistance provided by our Child Care Loan Program and Project SUCCESS is essential to the success of the child care programs we serve. Your charitable gift ensures that we'll be able to continue providing this invaluable business development consulting and support.