Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!
|Innovation Name||Innovation Type||Innovation Subtype||Features at a Glance||Strategy Summary|
|Early Learning Capacity Grants||Expansion||Physical Space and Facilities||
Since 2018, through the City of Burlington’s Early Learning Initiative (ELI) Capacity Grant Program, child care providers have been eligible for grant funding for construction and capital improvements to public or commercial buildings so that they can serve more infants and toddlers.
The ELI grants fund projects that increase the availability of high-quality infant and toddler child care slots for children from Burlington families of all income levels. From 2018 to 2022, the Capacity Grant program awarded $785,000 to help create three new child care centers, support construction and capital improvements, and stabilize 166 enrolled spots at high-quality child care centers.
The ELI has increased access to high-quality child care for low-income Burlington children by providing scholarships and creating additional spots in high-quality childcare programs in Burlington for children from birth to three years old. The Capacity Grants are a component of that effort, focused on increasing the number of infant and toddler child care slots available in the City of Burlington.
The ELI was founded in 2017 to help all Burlingtonians access high-quality, affordable child care, specifically for infants and toddlers. ELI achieves this by (1) giving direct financial support to families in need through the First Steps Scholarship, and (2) supporting childcare centers in individual and organizational learning.LEARN MORE: BURLINGTON EARLY LEARNING INITIATIVE
City of Burlington Early Learning Initiative. (n.d.). Programs for Child Care Providers.
City of Burlington Early Learning Initiative. (2021). Capacity Grant Application.
|First Steps Training Program||Workforce||Professional Learning||
Offers free training and online coursework to city residents, who receive a $1,000 bonus after completion of the program
The First Steps Training Program, offered since the fall of 2023 by the City of Burlington’s Business & Workforce Development Office and Let’s Grow Kids, provides free training to Burlington residents with a high school diploma or GED who are interested in a career caring for infants and toddlers. The program consists of a 45-hour training series designed to build foundational knowledge of child development and promote the teaching and caregiving skills needed to work with groups of children, including curriculum development for infant and toddler classrooms and emergency response training. Classes are sponsored by the Community College of Vermont and include Pediatric First Aid & CPR Training, résumé and application guidance, and courses that highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion in early childhood education.
The program is fully funded through the City of Burlington’s Early Learning Initiative (ELI), and is free to participants, who are eligible for a $1000 bonus awarded in full after completing the entire program. Prorated bonuses are offered for those who miss pieces of the training (e.g., DEI training). Employees of First Steps Scholarship partner programs may receive training without fully enrolling in the program.
The City of Burlington’s Early Learning Initiative was founded in 2017 to help all Burlingtonians access high-quality, affordable child care, specifically for infants and toddlers. ELI achieves this by (1) giving direct financial support to families in need through the First Steps Scholarship, and (2) supporting childcare centers in individual and organizational learning.LEARN MORE: burlington early learning initiative
City of Burlington Early Learning Initiative. (n.d.). Programs for Child Care Providers.
City of Burlington Early Learning Initiative. (2023). Annual Report.
|Payroll Tax to Fund Child Care||Dedicated Funding Streams||Payroll Tax||
0.44% payroll tax to fund child care investments
In 2023, the Vermont General Assembly passed House Bill 217, enacting a 0.44% payroll tax to fund new early childhood investments. In its first fiscal year, the bill is funded through a combination of one-time funds and an increase in the base appropriation to the child care subsidy program from the state’s general fund. In future years, the program will be funded by an increased base budget plus revenue from the new payroll tax that will be appropriated to a dedicated fund. The payroll tax will apply to employees and self-employed individuals. For employees, the tax will be 0.44% and will be split between employer and employee, with 0.33% paid by the employer and 0.11% paid by the employee. Self-employed individuals will pay only the employee share of 0.11%.Learn More: Inside the winning fight for affordable child care in Vermont
Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. (2023). Fiscal Note: H.217 (Act 76) – An act relating to child care, early education, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance.
|The Vermont Child Care Apprenticeship Program||Workforce||Apprenticeships||
The Vermont Child Care Apprenticeship Program enables participants to obtain a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential while completing six to seven college courses required for the registered apprenticeship. The VT Early Childhood Career Ladder includes a level dedicated to both the CDA and the registered apprenticeship. With the college courses, the program includes 27 hours of community-based training specifically designed for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). Employers select teachers who can potentially become apprentices, as well as qualified mentors within the same program. The apprenticeship focuses on developing competency through on-the-job learning and uses the Vermont Child Care Industry and Careers Council's Daily Activities Assessment Tool, which aligns with Vermont's Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies, Vermont Child Care Licensing Regulations, CDA Functional Areas, and NAEYC best practices to evaluate learning progress.
The VT Child Development Division provides funding for the Apprenticeship Program through funds allocated from the Child Care & Development Block Grant. Funding comes through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood VERMONT program, which pays for 100% of tuition and books, provides an access stipend each semester, provides a $400 contract completion bonus for apprentices, and provides counseling and administrative support for the program. Funding for T.E.A.C.H. Vermont comes from State of Vermont Child Development Division (funds from state and federal levels), the A.D. Henderson Foundation for startup funds, and ECE programs that co-sponsor a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipient.Learn More: Vermont ECE Apprenticeship Program.
Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). VT ECE Apprenticeship Program.
National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. (n.d.). Early Childhood Education Apprenticeships.
Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Apprenticeship Model.
Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Our Programs.
|Vermont Universal Prekindergarten||Expansion||Universal Pre-K Policy (3-Year-Olds) Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) More Than 60% of Children Served (4-Year-Olds)||
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled (as of 2022): 65%
Launched in 2016, Vermont’s Universal Prekindergartenprogram offers a minimum of 10 hours per week (35 weeks/year) of publicly funded prekindergarten for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds (if they are not yet eligible for kindergarten). In April 2023, the Vermont General Assembly passed Bill S.56, which spelled out a multipronged effort to expand prekindergarten across the state. This effort includes a study of prekindergarten education, expanding eligibility for the Child Care Financial Assistance Program, and increasing the rate the State pays ECE providers. As of 2022, Vermont's Universal Prekindergarten Program served 65% of 4-year-olds and 35% of 3-year-olds.Learn More: Vermont Universal Prekindergarten
Demographics Link copied!
647,064 Source U.S. Census, 2022
64.9% Source U.S. Census, 2020
35.1% Source U.S. Census, 2020
Number of children age 0-4
28,249 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty
30% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Median family income among households with children
$88,900.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
2.6% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022
Unemployment rate of parents
3% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force
N/A, for most states between 65%-75% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden
24% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Race and Ethnicity
- American Indian and Alaska Native (.5%)
- Asian (2%)
- Black or African American (2%)
- Hispanic or Latino (3%)
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (.5%)
- Two or More Races (4%)
- White, not Hispanic or Latino (89%)
Political Landscape Link copied!
Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!
Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023
- 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (35%)
- 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (8%)
- Other/none (57%)
Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023
- 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (65%)
- 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (7%)
- Other/none (28%)
Workforce Link copied!
2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020
- Child care workers
- Preschool teachers
- Preschool or child care center directors
Funding Sources Link copied!
Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022
- Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($25)
- CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($13.3)
- CCDBG State Match ($1.6)
- CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($64.3)
- State-Funded Pre-K ($52.3)
- MIECHV ($1.4)
- IDEA Part C ($3.6)
- IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($1.4)
- TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($33.4)
The COVID Funding Cliff
All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 11,000 children in Vermont.