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Parents

Answers to the top five questions that parents and primary care givers routinely ask VACCRRA member agency staff:

1. When and where do I start?
2. What is quality child care?
3. What type of child care is available?
4. How much can I expect to pay? Is financial assistance available?
5. Who do I contact with questions, concerns and or complaints?

1. When and where do I start?

It is never too early to start searching for child care. All VACCRRA member agencies help families through the process of finding child care that works. Call your local VACCRRA member agency. They can provide profiles of programs that might meet your needs, provide guidance on evaluating the program, and assist you with financial eligibility determination.

2. What is Quality Child Care?

Quality child care meets the child care regulations set by the State of Vermont; high quality child care exceeds these standards. Many providers in Vermont seek to increase their professionalism and provide a quality environment for children. Families and children both benefit from the increased education and the competency of providers who have made this clear professional commitment to their work. Ask about quality programs (accreditation, credentials and STARS).

Use a quality checklist to help determine if the program meets your needs.

3. What type of child care is available?

All VACCRRA member agencies refer parents to family and center based programs that are regulated by the State of Vermont. Vermont Law requires any person who provides care for children from more than two families, other than their own children, to be Registered or Licensed by the Department for Children and Families. Regulated and licensed programs must meet the minimum health, safety, program, staffing and training requirements set by the state of Vermont.

For a summary of types of regulated child care programs and staffing ratios, view Vermont Quick facts.

For more detailed information about state regulations for Vermont child care programs, visit the state website or call the state's Child Development Division at 1-800-649-2642.

4. How much can I expect to pay? Is financial assistance available?

There are a variety of factors that play a role in determining child care expenses: age of child; number of children; location; type of child care program (family, center, or other); type of care needed (fulltime, parttime or nontraditional care); and quality of the program are just a few of the factors that influence child care expenses. In some areas, infant care can cost up to $18,000 per year!

To determine if you are eligible to receive child care assistance, please contact your VACCRRA member agency or complete the online prescreen application available on the state website.

5. Who do I contact with questions, concerns and or complaints?

Not all programs are licensed and or regulated by the state. In addition, licensing does not guarantee that you have a high quality program.

If you have a concern or question about a licensed or registered program, call the Child Care Consumer Line at 1-800-649-2642 x 7. This hotline can also be used to find out information about a program's licensing history within the past year. If you would like to file a complaint on line, please visit theBright Futures website.