Vermont’s youth need a place to go when they’re out of school. Our goal is to expand existing school-age (ages 5–12 years) afterschool and summer programs of any size and start new ones so that any youth in need of an afterschool or summer spot can say, “there’s room for me.”

To serve this goal, we’re proud to offer the Room For Me Grant!

Since January 2023, Room For Me Grants have added over 400 slots for school-age children (5-12) in afterschool and summer learning programs across Vermont. Beginning in January 2024 and on a rolling basis through June 2024, we’re proud to continue working with the Vermont Department for Children and Families’ Child Development Division to award the remaining $150,000 in federal funding to afterschool programs through a Mini Room For Me Grant.

The Mini Room For Me Grant is designed to maintain the amount of school-age child care slots that are available or have newly opened across Vermont through:

  • Small maintenance, installation, and repair projects aimed at maintaining slots (Projects may include minor remodeling, equipment, materials, or increased levels of staffing [e.g., hiring, training, or increased or extended staffing hours])
  • Quality improvement purchases (equipment, supplies)
  • Improvement of STARS rating
  • Single projects or multiple smaller projects
  • Short- or long-term projects (Note: expenses will not be reimbursed if they occur after the grant period is over)

To be eligible for this grant, programs must:

  • Be an existing regulated, center-based child care or afterschool program, or family child care home in good regulatory standing with the Vermont Child Care Licensing regulations specific to the type of program being operated.
  • Provide the option to enroll children/families eligible for and participating in CDD’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program.
  • Provide child care for school-age children (ages 5–12) for at least 42 weeks of the year.
  • Propose a type of project that is aimed at maintaining its number of child care slots, its program, or improving its program quality in alignment with STARS assessments or other quality improvement needs.

Grant Timeline

  • Rolling Applications Open – Closed.
  • Questions Open – January 3, 2024 – May 31, 2024
  • Award Notifications – Made within two weeks of receiving the application
  • Program/Award Period – Grant award notification through June 28, 2024
  • Final Reporting Due – July 12, 2024

For more information, click here to view the Request for Proposals or visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions. To submit a question, click here.

Effective February 8, 2024, the Mini Room For Me Grant application is closed. With the number of applications currently being reviewed, we expect we will meet the award total. If you have already submitted an application, we will notify you of the award decision.

A Little History

Prior to the pandemic, the state of Vermont identified several ‘deserts’ across the state where families did not have access to afterschool programs that met the needs for working families—an issue only made worse by the pandemic and the increase in child care workforce capacity challenges across the system. Expanding access and increasing spots for school-age children served by early childhood and afterschool programs in Vermont was identified as an urgent need to help support Vermont families.

Beginning with the successful 2021 Summer Matters grant initiative, Vermont Afterschool has offered multiple grant opportunities to reduce gaps in Vermont’s current summer and afterschool system (kindergarten through grade 12) by addressing affordability, increasing availability, building long-lasting partnerships to promote sustainability, and piloting innovative approaches.

In the summer of 2022, Vermont Afterschool was proud to work with Governor Phil Scott and Senator Bernie Sanders to award a total of $4.23 million in Afterschool & Summer Expanding Access Grants to 39 programs from 11 Vermont counties for summer 2022 and 2023 and the 2022–2023 school year. Read the governor’s press release on the grants here.

In 2022–2023, we awarded a total of $593,455.50 in Room For Me Grants to 16 programs in 9 Vermont counties.

In 2023–2024, we awarded a total of $925,684.17 in Room For Me Grants to 22 programs in 9 Vermont counties.

Many community partnerships have been built and fostered through our expansion grants, which is an important component in our collective work toward achieving universal afterschool in Vermont.

Afterschool and summer programs provide safe and inclusive environments with more time for learning and growth and allow children and youth to build relationships, explore interests, develop skills, and have valuable experiences. Afterschool and summer programs also provide a lifeline for working families and caregivers on whom Vermont’s businesses, economy, and communities rely.

Our collective efforts to reduce barriers and expand access to quality afterschool programs and summer enrichment opportunities, combined with the progress Vermont has made toward offering universal afterschool and summer programs, have helped address the needs created or worsened by the pandemic and continue to bring the state that much closer to ensuring all young Vermonters are active, connected, engaged, and heard.

Other Grant Opportunities

We understand the need for programs of all types to have access to grant opportunities, whether they need funding to try out a new, innovative idea, or are looking for funding streams to help with the long-term sustainability of the program. We strongly believe that sustainable program budgets support quality and access for all youth.

Vermont Afterschool Grants

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Grant

Vermont Afterschool is working with the Family Services Division of the Department for Children & Families and the Children and Family Council for Prevention Programs to administer a new Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grant program. Up to $39,000 will be available each year to:

  • Support schools, community-based & other youth serving organizations, and state agencies in addressing racial and ethnic disparities and to promote positive youth development, youth resilience and leadership;
  • Reduce criminogenic and substance abuse behaviors in youth ages 10-23 years; and
  • Promote engagement in positive youth development programs and activities.

Click here for more information.

Click here to apply.

Other Funding Opportunities

Vermont Grants
Act 112 Mental Health and Well-being Service to Youth Grant – Intent to Apply

Audience: Schools, SUs, and relevant community partners

To support an efficient application process the Agency of Education and the Department of Mental Health are seeking an Intent to Apply for Act 112 grants. Completing this form does not commit you to apply nor do you need to complete this form to apply. This grant opportunity is a two-year allocation of unexpended ARP ESSER funds, beginning in the fiscal year 2023. If you are not yet registered in the Grant Management System or need more information, please contact Tracy Watterson.

Contact: Tracy Watterson, VTmtss Program Manager at tracy.watterson@vermont.gov

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) Grant Application

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) Grant Application is now open for the purpose of providing high-quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities. Investments are for five years. Virtual applicant trainings for teams will be held on Oct. 13  (part 1) and Nov. 3, 2022 (part 2) from 9-11:30 AM. E-Letters of Intent are due November 22, 2022. Applications are due February 3, 2023 in the GMS system. To view a paper copy of the grant application go to the AOE 21C webpage. To be placed on the applicant mailing list and to register for trainings, fill out the 21C Competition Contact Form. You may also view the 21C quick eligibility checker.

Contact: Emanuel Betz, 21C State Coordinator, at Emanuel.Betz@vermont.gov or 802-828-6977

Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation

Priorities: Grants are awarded to Vermont 501(c) 3 nonprofits organizations, municipalities or schools that provide primary prevention programs for children and their families. Grants are not given to individuals or for-profit organizations.

Deadline(s): March

For more information visit: http://www.vtchildrenstrust.org/

A.D. Henderson Foundation

Supports initiatives in Florida and Vermont around children birth to age eight.

Funding information: Please contact a Foundation Program Director to discuss the program/project. Grants range in size from $15,000 to $100,000 depending on the impact, and in some cases may be lower or higher. The organization should start the conversation at least 4-6 months ahead of when funding is needed. For inquires in Vermont, please contact Eddie Gale at eddie@hendersonfdn.org or 802-888-1188.

For more information visit: http://www.hendersonfdn.org

The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust

Supports initiatives in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Priorities are health and welfare; camp scholarships; and Education scholarships. A letter of inquiry may be submitted prior to full proposal.

Funding information: Grant awards between $1000 – $5,000.

Deadline(s): Proposals reviewed monthly

Contact: Amy B. Lampert, Administrative Director, 978-455-7818, admin@lindsaytrust.org; The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust, 10 North Road, Suite A, Chelmsford, MA 01824.

For more information visit: http://www.lindsaytrust.org/

The Thomas Thompson Trust

This trust only funds Windham County. Priorities are health; education; and social or civic betterment.

Funding information: Grant awards up to $25,000.

Deadline(s): Quarterly

Contact: Susan T. Monahan, Grants Coordinator, 617-951-1108, smonaham@rackemann.com; The Thomas Thompson Trust, c/o Rackermann, Sawyer & Brewster, 160 Federal Street, 15th Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1700.

For more information visit: http://thomasthompsontrust.org/

Turrell Fund

Turrell Fund grants for at-risk youth are awarded to organizations that provide or foster the creation and delivery of quality developmental and educational services to at-risk children, especially the youngest, and their families in Vermont and New Jersey.

Deadline(s): February 1st; August 1st

Contact: application@turrellfund.org

For more information visit: https://www.turrellfund.org/

Vermont Community Foundation

Nonprofit capacity grants; Spark community grants; and place-based grants.

Funding information: Up to $10,000

Deadline(s): varies

For more information visit: http://www.vermontcf.org/

Windham Foundation

Priorities: Agriculture and food systems; Disadvantaged youth; Environmental enhancement; Education in the broadest sense; Public policy issues; Promotion of the arts; Meeting basic human needs; Historic preservation

Deadline(s): November, February, May, August

For more information visit: http://www.windham-foundation.org/

Grant Databases and Listings

Afterschool Alliance – This site has information about funding tools, expert advice, and a funding database.

Grants.gov – This site contains the most accessible source of information on all U.S. government grants. It is enormous and best handled by signing up for automatic emails of new announcements from the departments and programs related to afterschool.

Channing Bete Company – The Channing Bete Company provides publications, programs, and products to help organizations meet outreach and education goals. Information related to funding sources can be found here.

Digital Wish – This organization helps put technology in the hands of teachers and in classrooms by connecting educators with companies donating technology and equipment. The website also includes a list of specific grant funders.