This Issue Update newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Alliance's 2020 Legislative Agenda. The Legislative Agenda is crafted annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing legislative policy solutions related to health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education. The 12 priority issues were selected by the Alliance's 21 member Steering Committee.
Child Care Financial Assistance Program
Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) is a critical resource that helps Vermont families afford child care. However, the level of financial assistance offered by the program does not reflect the current cost of child care in Vermont, meaning that eligible families and child care providers still struggle. The Building Vermont’s Future from the Child Up Think Tank recommends that CCFAP provide the full cost of child care tuition for all families earning less than Vermont’s livable wage. The Alliance supports its members’ advocacy to make immediate continued progress toward this goal by allocating additional funds to support necessary IT upgrades and to continue to make progress to increase the rates paid by the program to reflect the most current data on the cost of child care.
Continue reading for more information on this priority issue, including a legislative update, data and talking points, connections to the lead organizations and other partners, and advocacy tools.
Data and Talking Points
Access to high-quality, affordable child care leads to life-long positive outcomes for children, yet 3 out of 5 of Vermont’s youngest children who are likely to need child care don’t have access to the care they need.
Vermont’s CCFAP is an important resource that helps lower- and middle-income families access and afford quality early care and education programs. However, it reimburses families at levels that are lower than the rates currently charged by early care and education programs. Vermont families eligible for the program are still spending nearly 30% of their income on child care, even with financial assistance.
In 2019, the Child Development Division proposed, and the Legislature endorsed, a five-year redesign plan for CCFAP that will expand eligibility and raise reimbursement rates. That’s why we’re asking the Legislature to:
Align reimbursement rates with how much early care and education programs are currently charging; and
Allocate $4.5 million in one-time funding to allow CDD to purchase a new IT system to administer Vermont’s early care and education system.
Making Child Care More Affordable for Families
Vermont has worked hard over the past several years to develop a road map for how we, as a state, want to make high-quality, affordable child care a reality for Vermont children and families. In 2020, we must continue to strengthen the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) and the capacity of Vermont’s early care and education system by continuing to increase reimbursement rates for families and securing a new IT system in order to continue implementing the 5-Year CCFAP Redesign Plan.
Schedule an Alliance training for a group of early childhood professionals, providers, parents, or employers interested in strengthening their advocacy skills or learning more about the issues on the Alliance’s Legislative Agenda. Be informed and ensure your voice is heard on issues impacting Vermont's young children and families.
The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals, parents, organizations, businesses, and strategic partners committed to improving public policies that impact young children between birth and age eight in the areas of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.
The Alliance crafts an annual Legislative Agenda in partnership with early childhood organizations, provides year-round advocacy support, and facilitates meaningful interactions with policymakers at key times during the decision making process.