For Families

Need help paying for child care?

Your child may qualify for the First Steps Scholarship.

First Steps helps Burlington families pay for high-quality child care. Qualifying families are awarded scholarship funds that will go directly toward your childcare tuition payment, along with help to secure additional state support.

  • First Steps supports low-income Burlington families both find and afford high-quality child care

  • We work directly with families to find care at partner programs in the area - both in and outside the City

  • Programs must be high-quality or 4 or 5 STARs

  • Families can qualify for this scholarship if they are new to care or already enrolled somewhere - both at center and home-based child care programs

Program History

Who Can Apply?

To qualify for the scholarship your child must:

  • Be a Burlington resident

  • Be at least 8 weeks old at the time of enrollment and younger than 3 years of age by September 1st (and not yet age eligible for Vermont’s Universal Prekindergarten funding)

  • Be looking for full-time care

  • Be either currently enrolled at a First Steps approved partner program and eligible for the state’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) or be willing to apply for CCFAP (we will assist) if newly entering child care

  • Family household income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) - See chart below:

Household Size 80% Area Median Income
2 People
3 People
4 People
5 People
6 People
7 People
80% Area Median Income
2 People $76,100
3 People $85,600
4 People $95,100
5 People $102,750
6 People $110,350
7 People $117,950

How to Apply

Do you meet these requirements? Apply today to get started. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and child placements are made on a rolling basis based on available space. Apply online or print the application and mail in to:

City of Burlington c/o Rebecca Reese
131 Church Street, Suite #209
Burlington, VT 05401

Apply Online

Download Application

Call or email Rebecca Reese at or 802-865-7533

Current Childcare Centers with First Steps Children

To receive a First Steps scholarship your child must attend a participating partner program. If you’d like to attend a program that is not listed, we will reach out to other qualifying* providers on your behalf.

*Programs must be high-quality or 4 or 5 STARs.

Burlington Based:

  • Burlington Children’s Space
  • Pine Forest Children’s Center
  • Robin's Nest Children’s Center
  • ONE Arts Community School – Burlington
  • Frog and Toad Child Care and Learning Center
  • Trinity Children’s Center
  • Full Circle Preschool
  • Heartworks - Burlington 
  • YMCA

Outside of Burlington:

  • ONE Arts Community School – Colchester
  • Ascension Childcare Inc
  • Early Learning Center, Inc.
  • Old School of South Burlington
  • Sports & Fitness Edge - Kids & Fitness
  • Twin Oaks - Kids & Fitness
  • Kid Logic Learning, LLC. 
  • Kid Logic Learning @ Tech Park
  • Little One’s University
  • Lund Child Care
  • Carolyn’s Red Balloon
  • Pitter Patter Childcare Center
  • Heartworks - South Burlington 
  • Little Lakers Academy