Agency of Human Services
Department for Children and Families
Child Development Division
280 State Drive, NOB 1 North
Waterbury, VT 05609-1040
[fax] 802-241-0850 (not for proposal submissions)
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
Child Development Division
Administration of Vermont’s State
Quality Rating and Improvement System
July 15, 2020
July 27, 2020
QUESTIONS DUE BY:
July 29, 2020
RFP RESPONSES DUE BY:
August 17, 2020
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL NOTIFICATIONS, RELEASES, AND ADDENDUMS ASSOCIATED
WITH THIS RFP WILL BE POSTED AT:
THE STATE WILL MAKE NO ATTEMPT TO CONTACT INTERESTED PARTIES WITH UPDATED
INFORMATION. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH BIDDER TO PERIODICALLY CHECK THE
ABOVE WEBPAGEFOR ANY AND ALL NOTIFICATIONS, RELEASES AND ADDENDUMS
ASSOCIATED WITH THIS RFP.
Early Childhood and Afterschool Systems Specialist
1.1. SCOPE AND BACKGROUND: Through this Request for Proposal (RFP) the Agency of Human Services/
Child Development Division (hereinafter the “State”) is seeking to establish a contract with an entity to
provide administration and information services related to Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System
(STARS) to maximize the number of regulated child care programs in Vermont that engage in practices
supportive of children, families and the people/staff who work in these settings.
STARS is Vermont’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care, preschool, and afterschool
programs. Programs that participate in STARS are stepping ahead — going above and beyond state
regulations to provide professional services that meet the needs of children and families. The Child
Development Division (CDD) has been implementing this system of program recognition through an
agreement with a community-based organization. Due to state contracting rules, these functions are
subject to procurement.
1.2. CONTRACT PERIOD: Contracts arising from this request for proposal will be for a period of one year
with an option to renew for two additional years subject to funding and performance of the recipient.
Proposed start date is October 1, 2020.
1.3. SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT: All communications concerning this RFP are to be addressed in writing
to the State Contact listed on the front page of this RFP. Actual or attempted contact with any other
individual from the State concerning this RFP is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification.
1.4. BIDDERS’ CONFERENCE: A mandatory bidders’ conference will be held remotely at the date and time
indicated on the front page of this RFP.
1.4.1.If there is a remote bidders’ conference, , all potential bidders may send an e-mail to the State
Contact with Bidder’s firm and contact info and shall then be provided call-in details.
1.5. QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD: Any vendor requiring clarification of any section of this RFP or
wishing to comment on any requirement of the RFP must submit specific questions in writing no later than
the deadline for question indicated on the first page of this RFP. Questions may be e-mailed to the point
of contact on the front page of this RFP. Questions or comments not raised in writing on or before the last
day of the question period are thereafter waived. At the close of the question period a copy of all
questions or comments and the State's responses will be posted on the State’s web site
http://www.bgs.state.vt.us/pca/bids/bids.php . Every effort will be made to post this information as soon as
possible after the question period ends, contingent on the number and complexity of the questions.
1.6. CHANGES TO THIS RFP: Any modifications to this RFP will be made in writing by the State through the
issuance of an Addendum to this RFP and posted online at http://www.bgs.state.vt.us/pca/bids/bids.php .
Verbal instructions or written instructions from any other source are not to be considered.
2 DETAILED REQUIREMENTS/DESIRED OUTCOMES: To establish a contract with an entity to implement
Vermont’s STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS), as defined by the Vermont Child Development Division
according to Attachment A.
3 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS:
3.1 PRICING: Bidders must price the terms of this solicitation at their best pricing. Any and all costs that
Bidder wishes the State to consider must be submitted for consideration. If applicable, all equipment
pricing is to include F.O.B. delivery to the ordering facility. No request for extra delivery cost will be
honored. All equipment shall be delivered assembled, serviced, and ready for immediate use, unless
otherwise requested by the State.
3.1.1 Prices and/or rates shall remain firm for the initial term of the contract. The pricing policy
submitted by Bidder must (i) be clearly structured, accountable, and auditable and (ii) cover the full
spectrum of materials and/or services required.
Cooperative Agreements. Bidders that have been awarded similar contracts through a
competitive bidding process with another state and/or cooperative are welcome to submit the
pricing in response to this solicitation.
Revised April 17, 2020
Page 2 of 21
Retainage. In the discretion of the State, a contract resulting from this RFP may provide that the
State withhold a percentage of the total amount payable for some or all deliverables, such
retainage to be payable upon satisfactory completion and State acceptance in accordance with the
terms and conditions of the contract.
3.2 STATEMENT OF RIGHTS: The State shall have the authority to evaluate Responses and select the
Bidder(s) as may be determined to be in the best interest of the State and consistent with the goals and
performance requirements outlined in this RFP. The State of Vermont reserves the right to obtain
clarification or additional information necessary to properly evaluate a proposal. Failure of vendor to
respond to a request for additional information or clarification could result in rejection of that vendor's
proposal. To secure a project that is deemed to be in the best interest of the State, the State reserves the
right to accept or reject any and all bids, in whole or in part, with or without cause, and to waive
technicalities in submissions. The State also reserves the right to make purchases outside of the awarded
contracts where it is deemed in the best interest of the State.
Best and Final Offer (BAFO). At any time after submission of Responses and prior to the final
selection of Bidder(s) for Contract negotiation or execution, the State may invite Bidder(s) to
provide a BAFO. The state reserves the right to request BAFOs from only those Bidders that meet
the minimum qualification requirements and/or have not been eliminated from consideration during
the evaluation process.
Presentation. An in-person or webinar presentation by the Bidder may be required by the
State if it will help the State’s evaluation process. The State will factor information presented
during presentations into the evaluation. Bidders will be responsible for all costs associated
with providing the presentation.
3.3 WORKER CLASSIFICATION COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS: In accordance with Section 32 of The
Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Act No. 54), Bidders must comply with the following
provisions and requirements.
Self Reporting: For bid amounts exceeding $250,000.00, Bidder shall complete the appropriate
section in the attached Certificate of Compliance for purposes of self-reporting information relating
to past violations, convictions, suspensions, and any other information related to past performance
relative to coding and classification of workers. The State is requiring information on any violations
that occurred in the previous 12 months.
Subcontractor Reporting: For bid amounts exceeding $250,000.00, Bidders are hereby notified that
upon award of contract, and prior to contract execution, the State shall be provided with a list of all
proposed subcontractors and subcontractors’ subcontractors, together with the identity of those
subcontractors’ workers compensation insurance providers, and additional required or requested
information, as applicable, in accordance with Section 32 of The Vermont Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Act No. 54). This requirement does not apply to subcontractors
providing supplies only and no labor to the overall contract or project. This list MUST be updated
and provided to the State as additional subcontractors are hired. A sample form is available online
at http://bgs.vermont.gov/purchasing-contracting/forms. The subcontractor reporting form is not
required to be submitted with the bid response.
3.4 EXECUTIVE ORDER 05-16: CLIMATE CHANGE CONSIDERATIONS IN STATE PROCUREMENTS:
For bid amounts exceeding $25,000.00 Bidders are requested to complete the Climate Change
Considerations in State Procurements Certification, which is included in the Certificate of Compliance for
After consideration of all relevant factors, a bidder that demonstrates business practices that promote
clean energy and address climate change as identified in the Certification, shall be given favorable
consideration in the competitive bidding process. Such favorable consideration shall be consistent with
and not supersede any preference given to resident bidders of the State and/or products raised or
manufactured in the State, as explained in the Method of Award section. But, such favorable
consideration shall not be employed if prohibited by law or other relevant authority or agreement.
Revised April 17, 2020
Page 3 of 21
3.5 METHOD OF AWARD: Awards will be made in the best interest of the State. The State may award one or
more contracts and reserves the right to make additional awards to other compliant bidders at any time if
such award is deemed to be in the best interest of the State. All other considerations being equal,
preference will be given first to resident bidders of the state and/or to products raised or manufactured in
the state, and then to bidders who have practices that promote clean energy and address climate change,
as identified in the applicable Certificate of Compliance.
Evaluation Criteria: Consideration shall be given to the Bidder’s project approach and
methodology, qualifications and experience, ability to provide the services within the defined
timeline, cost, and/or success in completing similar projects, as applicable, and to the extent
CRITERIA FOR SCORING
1. INFORMATION FROM THE BIDDER
A. Quality of Bidder’s Experience
• Bidder demonstrates experience administrating a statewide system
• The Bidder has experience working with early childhood systems
• Bidder demonstrates effective coordination and collaboration with a
variety of statewide and regional partners
• Bidder demonstrates an approach of working effectively and
collaboratively with the State of Vermont and has not demonstrated
non-compliance with previous agreements (if applicable)
• Bidder demonstrates the knowledge and ability to gather, synthesize
and organize information
B. Bidder’s Capacity to Perform
• Bidder demonstrates their commitment and ability to provide a timely
and appropriate product
• Bidder demonstrates organizational quality including references or
• The bidder has experience managing proposals of comparable scale,
scope, and complexity
2. TECHNICAL PROPOSAL/PROGRAM SPECIFICATIONS
A. Responsiveness to Specifications
• Bidder describes how they will respond to the scope of work contained 10
in section 3 of the Bid
• Bidder describes how they will ensure that all deliverables will be
readily accessible and provided in a timely manner
• Bidder demonstrates experience with QRIS or Vermont’s STARS
• Bidder demonstrate knowledge and expertise in early childhood
education, existence of a structure that will support development of
this project with multiple stakeholders, existence of strong
partnerships with Vermont's early childhood stakeholders and early
care and education programs, and ability to manage a state-wide
• The bidder demonstrates experience providing technical assistance
B. Program Cost
Schedule A: Summary of Program Costs
• Bidder’s cost proposal is complete, and reasonable
Schedule B: Detail of Expenses
• Bidder’s budget narratives are clear and contain complete
explanations for ALL cost items
Revised April 17, 2020
Page 4 of 21
OVERALL TOTAL SCORE
3.6 CONTRACT NEGOTIATION: Upon completion of the evaluation process, the State may select one or
more Vendors with which to negotiate a contract, based on the evaluation findings and other criteria
deemed relevant for ensuring that the decision made is in the best interest of the State. In the event State is
not successful in negotiating a contract with a selected Vendor, the State reserves the option of negotiating
with another Vendor, or to end the proposal process entirely.
3.7 COST OF PREPARATION: Bidder shall be solely responsible for all expenses incurred in the preparation
of a response to this RFP and shall be responsible for all expenses associated with any presentations or
demonstrations associated with this request and/or any proposals made.
3.8 CONTRACT TERMS: The selected bidder(s) will be expected to sign a contract with the State, including
the Standard Contract Form and Attachment C as attached to this RFP for reference. If IT Attachment D is
included in this RFP, terms may be modified based upon the solution proposed by the Bidder, subject to
approval by the Agency of Digital Services.
Business Registration. To be awarded a contract by the State of Vermont a vendor (except an
individual doing business in his/her own name) must be registered with the Vermont Secretary of
State’s office http://www.sec.state.vt.us/tutor/dobiz/forms/fcregist.htm and must obtain a
Contractor’s Business Account Number issued by the Vermont Department of Taxes
3.8.2 The contract will obligate the bidder to provide the services and/or products identified in its bid, at
the prices listed.
Payment Terms. All invoices are to be rendered by the Contractor on the vendor's standard
billhead and forwarded directly to the institution or agency ordering materials or services and shall
specify the address to which payments will be sent. Payment terms are Net 30 days from receipt of
an error-free invoice with all applicable supporting documentation. Percentage discounts may be
offered for prompt payments of invoices; however, such discounts must be in effect for a period of
30 days or more in order to be considered in making awards.
Quality. If applicable, all products provided under a contract with the State will be new and unused,
unless otherwise stated. Factory seconds or remanufactured products will not be accepted unless
specifically requested by the purchasing agency. All products provided by the contractor must
meet all federal, state, and local standards for quality and safety requirements. Products not
meeting these standards will be deemed unacceptable and returned to the contractor for credit at
no charge to the State.
3.9 CONTENT AND FORMAT OF RESPONSES: The content and format requirements listed below are the
minimum requirements for State evaluation. These requirements are not intended to limit the content of a
Bidder’s proposal. Bidders may include additional information or offer alternative solutions for the State’s
consideration. However, the State discourages overly lengthy and costly proposals, and Bidders are
advised to include only such information in their response as may be relevant to the requirements of this
4 The bid should include a Cover Letter and Technical Response and Price Schedule.
4.1 Proposals shall be submitted using the Vendor Proposal Submission Form located at:
https://form.jotform.com/82564589528170. No other method of submission will be accepted and will result
in a non-responsive proposal
4.2 COVER LETTER:
Confidentiality. To the extent your bid contains information you consider to be proprietary and
confidential, you must comply with the following requirements concerning the contents of your
cover letter and the submission of a redacted copy of your bid (or affected portions thereof).
Revised April 17, 2020
Page 5 of 21