Demand for Vermont child care grants exceeds available funds

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:05 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont needs more child care spots for kids from birth to 3 years old, and an organization giving grants to do just that says it can’t keep up with the demand.

Let’s Grow Kids is awarding thousands of dollars to home and center-based programs serving infants and toddlers. The criteria-- it must be a startup or an existing program looking to expand. Expansions could look like hiring more employees or operating during nontraditional hours, like the weekend.

Let’s Grow Kids says it has received 32 applications, including $1.3 million in requests. But the group only has about $700,000 on hand, meaning it can probably only accommodate 15-20 of the proposals.

“We have a lot of really exciting proposals. We have a high need in Vermont, so knowing that we have less funds to allocate than have been requested is an opportunity for us to try to find additional funds to support these proposals,” said Sherry Carlson, the chief programs officer of Let’s Grow Kids.

Carlson says the money could come from philanthropic contributors or even COVID recovery funds.

She notes while the child care crisis in Vermont continues, our state is in a relatively better position than many others.

Let’s Grow Kids will review the proposals starting July 22.

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