Vermont Afterschool, along with key partners at the Vermont Department for Children and Families and Let’s Grow Kids, will coordinate Governor Phil Scott’s recent directive to increase school-age child care this fall.

The state will direct $12 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to increase the capacity of the school-age child care system in Vermont (which includes afterschool and out-of-school time programs). This expansion will support thousands of children and youth in grades K-6 who need a safe place to be during remote school learning days, not to mention peace of mind for working families who need the care.

Approximately $6.9 million of the funding will be used to create regional childcare hubs for remote learning days and almost $5 million is for expanding the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP). The money set aside for the school-age programs would cover start-up and expansion costs but not tuition for children. All programs must adhere to COVID health and safety guidance issued by the Vermont Department of Health.

In addition to identifying regional “hubs” of out-of-school time programs, Vermont Afterschool and Let’s Grow Kids will also be identifying new locations to accommodate increased need for school-age care. The governor’s order also lifts restrictions on home-based care providers, allowing them to be reimbursed for more than four hours of childcare. 

What happens next?

Our goals are to work with existing programs to expand their number served and/or hours, as well working with partners to help launch new child care hubs for school-age youth. It’s an exciting time and we are moving full steam ahead!

To learn more, take a look at a recent informational webinars we hosted with the Department of Children and Families. Any questions can be directed to info@nullvermontafterschool.org or 802-448-3464.

Basic eligibility & funding

  1. Providing full-day care for youth in grades K-6.
  2. Serving students on remote learning days, when school is not in session for the day. 
  3. Program does not need to be licensed.
  4. Provides funding for the operating expenses for the first month only.
  5. Startup costs to include the following: equipment, furniture, technology for youth to use, cleaning supplies, PPE, staffing, rent, insurance, wifi, etc.
  6. In-home child care providers are not eligible but can direct questions to licensing as to how they can now serve school-age youth for the full day.

Want to get involved?

  • Are you an EXISTING afterschool, out-of-school time, or youth-serving program who can scale up capacity to serve kids on remote learning days? If yes, please fill out this survey.
  • Are you interested in starting a NEW school-age child care program this fall to serve K-6 youth on remote learning days? If yes, please fill out this survey.
  • Are you a business, municipality, rec center, or other organization with SPACE to host a hub or school-age child care program on your site? If yes, please fill out this survey.
  • Are you a small enrichment afterschool or out-of-school time program (i.e. arts or mountain biking) wanting to PARTNER with a hub? If yes, please email us here: info@nullvermontafterschool.org
  • Are you a parent or caregiver seeking a safe, engaging, and supportive place for your kid(s) to be on remote learning days? Check back soon to see an updated map of hubs and programs in your region. You can also call your local child care referral specialist. Trained referral specialists will help families explore the school-age child care options in their community.