Edwards Child Care Scholarship

This grants program is closed.  We are incredibly grateful to the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation for their generous support for early care and education in Vermont.  Since 1992 the Edwards Child Care Scholarship Fund awarded over $610,000 to more than 75 childcare providers for scholarships for preschool age children who might otherwise fall through the cracks and not get the support they need. 

We encourage you to visit Vermont Birth To Five to learn about resources for early care and education providers. Grantseekers looking for funding for early care and education projects can research opportunities in the Vermont Directory of Foundations.

With funding from the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation, the Vermont Community Foundation has been providing qualified child care centers with scholarships for underserved families since 1990. The Board of Directors of the Edwards Foundation established this grant program at the Vermont Community Foundation to help nonprofit childcare providers serve their most at-risk preschool aged children. We hope this program will reach children who most need a preschool program to help them with the rudimentary knowledge and social skills that are expected of children entering kindergarten. These children are aged 3-4 and their families struggle with needing extra support. This can be due to geographic and economic barriers and/or needing additional services around developmental challenges. It is hoped that by helping to provide a quality preschool experience, they will be able to begin their formal school careers with a pattern of success and stability and the confidence and basic skills so necessary to early achievement.

Who May Apply

Any nonprofit child care center in Vermont with demonstrated participation of children from economically stressed families is eligible to apply. If you are not registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the IRS, you will need to use a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3), municipality, church, or public school. 

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available (meaning any funds having a competitive application process) by the Vermont Community Foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Foundation. 

Grant applicants must employ staff and provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability.

Application Guidelines

These grants are intended to support Vermont children of preschool age (3-4 years old) who are in real need of assistance. We request information about specific individuals that the scholarships will support, as well as socio-demographic information about the populations served. The foundations seek to assure that the child care center has a pre-existing and ongoing commitment to serving these children in need and their families. We evaluate proposals using the following criteria:

  • Programmatic focus on age-appropriate development and learning
  • Organizational track record of working with underserved families
  • Accessibility to working families (hours of operation, cost, summer program, etc.)
  • Maximization of available tuition subsidy and scholarship programs available in Vermont 
  • Geographic areas served 
  • Partnerships with other supporting organizations (for example: WIC, food shelves, mental health providers)
  • Applicant's award history with the Edwards Foundation Childcare Scholarship Fund
  • Availability of funds

The childcare center that receives an award will determine the children to be aided and report periodically on their progress.

Grant Size

$500 to $2,000