Child care subsidy program gets stimulus boost

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(Host) Federal stimulus money is flowing into Vermont to help low-income families keep their jobs.

Almost $3 million will go toward subsidizing child care over the next two years. The money is targeted to low-income families.

Steve Dale is the commissioner of Vermont’s Department of Children and Families. He says the money will help a program that badly needs the money.

(Dale) "We have a significant issue in our child care financial assistance. The rates that we pay aren’t competitive and the eligibility tables are based on a very out of date federal poverty level. So there’s significant change that’s needed, improvement in that system, and the stimulus money is assisting with that."

(Host) The Legislature and the governor have also recommended putting more state money toward the child care subsidies.

Vermont already spends about $38 million on the program.

Dale says the federal money will be a modest increase. But he says it will help get assistance to a few more people.

He says, for many people, the biggest barrier to getting a job is finding affordable, quality care for their children while they’re at work.

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