Vermont Afterschool, along with key partners at the Vermont Department for Children and Families and Let’s Grow Kids, recently coordinated Governor Phil Scott’s Fall 2020 directive to increase school-age child care for K-6 youth on remote learning days.
In addition to identifying regional “hubs” of out-of-school time and licensed afterschool programs that could provide full-day care for school-age youth on remote learning days, Vermont Afterschool also identified new locations, rec programs, child care centers, and partners to accommodate the increased need for school-age care.
The state directed $12 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to increase the capacity of the school-age child care system in Vermont. This expansion supported 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 was used to create regional child care 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 covered start-up and expansion costs but not tuition for children. All programs adhered to COVID health and safety guidance issued by the Vermont Department of Health. The governor’s order also lifted restrictions on home-based care providers, allowing them to be reimbursed for more than four hours of childcare.
The Hubs program closes out at the end of December 2020 (when federal coronavirus relief funds conclude) and no new applications for sites are being accepted.
Are you looking for care?
Families can access child care through the state-wide child care referral network. Child Care Referral Specialists at statewide Community Child Care Support Agencies can match families with available child care options, including for school-aged children and youth. There is no charge for this service, and it is available to all Vermonters. For more information: https://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/cccsa
Families can receive financial support for child care by talking with an eligibility specialist. The Child Care Financial Assistance Program helps families pay for child care. Families with a household of four people can make up to $77,256 per year and qualify for help. Eligibility specialists maintain an ongoing connection with families who receive this benefit and help them as their needs change. For more information: https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/ccfap
Where are the hubs?
The most current map of locations across Vermont can be viewed here.