The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : CHILD CARE SERVICES(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 3512)
§ 3512. Child Care Financial Assistance Program; eligibility
(a)(1) The Child Care Financial Assistance Program is established to subsidize, to the extent that funds permit, the costs of child care for families that need child care services in order to obtain employment, to retain employment, or to obtain training leading to employment. Families seeking employment shall be entitled to participate in the Program for up to three months and the Commissioner may further extend that period.
(2) The subsidy authorized by this subsection shall be established by the Commissioner, by rule, and shall bear a reasonable relationship to income and family size. Families shall be found eligible using an income eligibility scale based on the current federal poverty level and adjusted for the size of the family. Co-payments shall be assigned to the whole family and shall not increase if more than one eligible child is enrolled in child care. Families with an annual gross income of less than or equal to 150 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines shall not have a family co-payment. Families with an annual gross income up to and including 350 percent of current federal poverty guidelines, adjusted for family size, shall be eligible for a subsidy authorized by the subsection. The scale shall be structured so that it encourages employment. If the federal poverty guidelines decrease in a given year, the Division shall maintain the previous year's federal poverty guidelines for the purpose of determining eligibility and benefit amount under this subsection.
(3) Earnings deposited in a qualified child education savings account, such as the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan, established in 16 V.S.A. § 2877, or any similar plan qualified under 26 U.S.C. § 529, shall be disregarded in determining the amount of a family's income for the purpose of determining continuing eligibility.
(4) After September 30, 2021, a regulated center-based child care program or family child care home as defined by the Department in rule shall not receive funds pursuant to this subsection that are in excess of the usual and customary rate for services at the center-based child care program or family child care home.
(b)(1) An Enhanced Child Care Services Subsidy Program is established for families participating in the Reach Ahead program.
(2) The Enhanced Child Care Services Subsidy Program established by this subsection shall be administered by the Department's Child Development Division. The Commissioner shall adopt rules necessary for the administration of the Program pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.
(3) The subsidy authorized by this subsection shall be no greater than 100 percent of the subsidy provided in subsection (a) of this section.
(4) A participating family shall remain eligible for the Enhanced Child Care Services Subsidy Program between 12 and 24 months as long as one or more dependent children of a working parent or parents are receiving child care services. The Commissioner for Children and Families may extend the subsidy beyond 24 months if the Commissioners for Children and Families and of Finance and Management determine jointly that an extension can be accommodated within appropriated resources.
(5) The Enhanced Child Care Services Subsidy Program shall be funded through savings resulting from caseload reductions in the Reach Up program. If there are insufficient savings from caseload reductions to fund the Program, the Program shall be suspended or modified. (Added 1987, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; amended 2007, No. 30, § 23, eff. May 17, 2007; 2009, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § E.318.1; 2013, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. July 1, 2015; 2017, No. 29, § 3; 2019, No. 72, § E.318; 2021, No. 45, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2021.)