The need for child care is a reality for the majority of families with young children in Vermont. But for most families, child care is too expensive. In fact, middle-income Vermont families are spending up to nearly 40% of their income on child care.
The affordability challenge forces parents to make tough choices, pitting their natural desire to provide their children the best start in life against so many other needs—including their ability to keep a good job.
The Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) helps Vermont families afford child care. For most families, eligibility for assistance is determined by household income. The less a family earns, the more assistance they are eligible to receive. Families earning 300% of the Federal Poverty Level ($72,900 for a family of 4) or less are eligible.
- Not enough families are eligible to receive assistance.
- It doesn’t provide enough assistance to eligible families who are still paying up to ~40% of their income on child care.
- The rates it pays to child care providers on behalf of eligible families are based on what providers were charging in 2008 and 2009—not their current costs.
- Align tuition assistance rates paid to providers with rates charged by providers in 2015 (the most current rate information for providers from across the state at this time).
- Increase eligibility for CCFAP from 300% of FPL to 350% of FPL to increase access to assistance.
- Extend 100% tuition assistance to all eligible families at or below 200% of the FPL and then develop a new tuition assistance sliding scale that removes significant cliffs in the scale.
Vermonters Speak to this Issue
Vermont parents who are affected by the high costs of quality child care and the chronic underfunding of CCFAP spoke to us via Small Talk.
Marianna, a parent from Marshfield, talks about her family's struggles to make ends meet.
Selver, a parent from Shelburne, discusses the difficulties of being a single parent of two kids in child care.
Carly, Family Support at a Family Center from Wilder, talks about the struggles of families in poverty.
Anne, a parent from Wolcott, talks about the child care financial dilemma that faces many families and providers in Vermont.
Megan, a parent from East Thetford, describes how lucky her family is to get help paying for child care.
Katie, a parent from Orleans, talks about the financial struggles of child care and other bills.