News from the Network: Spotlight on VECF Grantees

Map of Fall 2023 VECF grantees

The Vermont Early Childhood Fund (VECF) supports creative solutions that will improve the well-being of children from the prenatal period to age 8, their families, and the Vermont communities where they live. BBF supports multiple rounds of this funding, and the spring 2024 grant round is now accepting applications through March 22!

Fall 2023 Grantee Spotlights

In December 2023, BBF awarded 19 organizations a total of $1.2 million in grants to support Vermont’s early childhood system. Our grantees are now hard at work launching their programs, expanding training opportunities, giving staff raises, and creating over 200 new child care slots across the state!

Innovation Grant Spotlight (Up to $200,000): This grant awards a program aimed to address some of Vermont’s most persistent barriers to serving children through innovative, replicable solutions.

Northwestern Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Clinic Collaboration Pilot, Franklin County 

This project aims to expand access to developmental assessments and supports for young children as early as possible because the window of opportunity for early intervention is critical to positive, long-term well-being. Best practice recommends universal screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder in all children ages 18 to 24 months, but Vermont children are often on a screening waitlist for a year or more.

The project will set up a developmental clinic space and invest in training more pediatric providers in evidence-based autism assessments to meet the need. Funding will allow for the current part-time clinic to be open more days and to bring in more staff such as care coordination, speech language pathology, and psychiatric consultation all in one place.

Opportunity Grant Spotlights ($10,000 – $80,000): These grants support easy-to-achieve solutions with direct results that strengthen Vermont’s early childhood system.

Wonder in the Woods Child Care Expansion, Windham County

VECF funding will allow this existing family child care program to become a licensed group child care program with a new location and 10 new child care spots! Wonder in the Woods centers around nature-inspired programming where play and learning are intertwined. With the VECF funding, Wonder in the Woods will establish a second location and serve families who have been on local waitlists for months.

GROW Prenatal & Family Center’s NICU Support Groups, Chittenden County

About 550 babies are admitted to UVM Medical Centers Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) every year, yet there are currently no structured family supports in place during this often unexpected and vulnerable life event. In partnership with providers and through three different touchpoints, GROW is establishing support groups for families during the NICU stay, through the transition home, and into the toddler years.

VECF applications open now – deadline March 22

The application period for the spring 2024 round of VECF funding is now open. This round of funding will distribute $1.5 million for the July 1, 2024–June 30, 2025 grant period to support Vermont’s early childhood system.

The VECF Opportunity Grant will provide about 15 recipients one-time funding ranging from $10,000 to $80,000, with the goal of supporting easy-to-achieve solutions with direct results. The VECF Innovation Grant will provide up to four grants of $100,000 to $200,000, with the goal of creating innovative, replicable solutions with the possibility of renewed funding in 2025.

Additional rounds of grants will be made in fall 2024 and 2025. Grants are open to nonprofits, businesses, municipalities, and schools. To be eligible, projects will focus on families and children from the prenatal period to age 8.

Visit the VECF page to access the application as well as to register for upcoming Q&A sessions, view a list of recent VECF grant recipients, and view our VECF FAQ document. If you have any questions, please reach out to Michelle Kersey, BBF’s VECF Grants Manager, at

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