Building Bright Spaces for Bright Futures Fund Grants Now Accepting Applications through Vermont Community Loan Fund

The Vermont Community Loan Fund is now accepting applications for Building Bright Spaces for Bright Futures (BBSBF) 2019 grants. The fund was created in 2002 by the Vermont legislature to increase the quantity and quality of child care and early education programs in Vermont. Since 2006, the fund has awarded over $1,388,987 in grants to 134 Vermont child care programs, benefiting 4,085 Vermont children and their families.

Administered by the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF), the BBSBF program is funded with revenue generated from the sale of specialty child care license plates, contributions from the general public and monies provided by the State of Vermont Child Development Division.

The BBSBF Fund links Vermont families to services, resources and information, with an emphasis on providing access to high quality early childhood programs.

BBSBF grants can be used for assistance in starting, relocating, expanding, or improving a Vermont child care program’s physical facility and/or accessibility. Grants also may be used for real estate purchase, facility construction and renovation, as well as pre-development costs, interest rate subsidies and costs in meeting child care licensing facility requirements.

Grant requests cannot exceed $15,000 or total more than 25% of the full project cost. The application process for these funds is very competitive, and funds are limited. Applications must be received by VCLF no later than 3:00 pm on August 12, 2019 to be considered.


Basic Eligibility


  • For-profit or private non-profit operations (family or center), licensed, registered or in the process of becoming so, located in Vermont.
  • Projects that serve or plan to serve children from families receiving support through the State Child Care Financial Assistance Program.
  • Projects in compliance, or in process of complying, with all applicable local, state, and federal zoning, accessibility, environmental, and other laws and regulations.
  • Youth programs that reach out to all children with positive youth development opportunities.
  • Programs that participate, or intend to participate, with Early Childhood Councils or Community Child Care Support Agencies (Resource & Referral) and who are members of a local child care provider network.


Funding priorities for this year’s grants:

  • Programs that operate on a full day/full year schedule;
  • Programs targeting funds to improve their ability to serve infants and toddlers or children receiving Specialized Child Care supports;
  • Programs that plan to use the funds to meet child care licensing or STARS requirements;
  • Programs providing care during non-traditional hours (evenings and/or weekends);
  • Programs seeking to expand the number of child care slots available.


While all qualifying programs are welcome to apply, these factors are used to help determine priorities for grant funding.

All applications will be reviewed for quality of care and regulatory compliance. Applicantsmustbe active participants in the STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS). Special consideration will be given to start-up programs.

Applications can be downloaded from Application information is available from VCLF at 802-223-4425 or


Since 1987, the Vermont Community Loan Fundhas loaned almost $110 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved 6,500 jobs; built or rehabilitated 4,100 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 4,100 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.