Family Support and Childcare
Got kids? Read on. If you juggle multiple priorities such as work, school, and children, you know how difficult it is to strike the family-work-school-life balance. Childcare is expensive for hardworking Vermonters and there is a program to try to help income eligible households with a subsidy towards the cost of childcare payments. There are resources that can help you locate services and providers to meet your children’s individual needs as well as your budgeting and scheduling situation. Meet with your Working Bridge’s Resource Coordinator to see how some of these programs may help.
Looking for licensed child care providers?
Your resource coordinator can help you search for providers in your area. If you live in Chittenden County, Child Care Resource is the local child care referral and subsidy agency available by calling 1-800-339-3367 or online at www.childcareresource.org.
Need help paying for childcare?
The Child Care Subsidy program may be able to help with child care costs. See your Resource Coordinator to learn about the income guidelines and application process. Remember, as another financial strategy at tax time; be sure to explore any federal and state child tax credits (and the Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC) that can reduce the amount of taxes you owe.
Find child care providers that meet the diversity of childrens’ needs. Vermont Family Network (VFN) promotes better health, education, and well-being for all children and families, with a focus on children and young adults with special needs. VFN provides general information about early childhood programs and providers. VFN maintains a directory of providers as a resource to families and professionals. Check it out on VFN’s website or call 1-800-800-4005.
Family play groups are a great way to expand you and your child’s support network. Play is a great learning tool for kids, too. Find a group near you by visiting www.buildingbrightfutures.org. You may find some referrals for play and/or parent support groups by visiting with your Resource Coordinator, as well.
Looking for an alternative? Here are some strategies that can help you find the right mix of childcare, play, summer camps (it’s never too early to start thinking about summer), and experiences to fit the needs of your family.
- UVM Babysitter Mingler (A chance for parents/families & kids in need of babysitters to meet and mingle with UVM students who are interested in babysitting! Free and open to all; registration requested and highly encouraged). The last mingler was January 31st but sign up for future “minglers” on their website.
- KidsVT (parenting magazine with stories, playgroups, events, summer camp planning guide in March, and tips) at KidsVT.
- American Camp Association at www.acanewengland.org or 781-541-6080. Apply now and ask camps directly if they have subsidies or sliding fee scales.
- Front Porch Forum (local community email listserv). Register at www.frontporchforum.com. You can ask your neighbors for their ideas, referrals, and recommendations. Word of mouth sometimes leads to new solutions.