The Burlington Early Learning Initiative

The Burlington Early Learning Initiative aims to expand access to high-quality child care for Burlington children.

Background Information

After several years of planning, in Fiscal Year 2018, the City of Burlington launched its Early Learning Initiative (ELI) with the short-term goal of expanding the number of high-quality child care opportunities available in Burlington for children ages birth to three, and the long-term goal of ensuring that all Burlington children have the opportunity to succeed regardless of family income level.

To achieve the short-term goal, the City of Burlington is offering grants to increase the availability of high-quality child care for infants and toddlers, through expanding or increasing the quality of existing child care, or starting new high-quality child care programs. Vermont Birth to Five will oversee and administer the grant program on behalf of the City of Burlington, with guidance from an advisory committee.

Grant Information


The ELI grants will fund projects that increase the availability of high-quality infant and toddler child care slots for children from Burlington families of all income levels.

Who Can Apply

  • Organizations or agencies that currently operate or plan to operate a licensed child care program within the city of Burlington
  • Currently registered family child care programs planning to expand to a licensed program within the city of Burlington
  • Individuals planning to open a registered family child care home in the city of Burlington

 Timetable for Grant Process

 November 13, 2017   Grant Guidelines Distributed
 December 11, 2017   Information Session (3:30 – 4:30 PM)
 December 13, 2017   Letters of Intent Submission Deadline
 March 15, 2018   Grant Application Due Date

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Proposed projects must be located in Burlington.
  2. Applicants must serve or plan to serve children ages birth to three years.
  3. Applicants must be high-quality programs (defined as 4 or 5 stars in Vermont’s STep Ahead Recognition System [STARS]) or have a clear plan to become high-quality (achieve at least 4 stars).
  4. Applicants must enroll or plan to enroll children who receive funding through the Child Care Financial Assistance Program in newly created child care slots at a threshold of at least 20%.
  5. Applicants must have or plan to obtain Specialized Child Care status.
  6. Applicants must have or plan to have an employee compensation package that meets the Burlington Livable Wage Ordinance.

Detailed grant guidelines can be found here. For more information, please email Didi Harris.