Investing in Our Future

Who We Are - The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide membership organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security, for children ages birth to eight.

Our Goal - All children in Connecticut will enter kindergarten healthy, eager to learn, and ready for school success.

Our Vision - We envision a time when all Connecticut children are born healthy, live safely within their home and community, and have ongoing opportunities for successful learning. We want all Connecticut children to grow up eager to learn and ready for school success, and we want their families to become, if they are not already, economically self-sufficient. We respect families as the cradle of learning, and we seek to ensure that all families can access opportunities and services that strengthen this critical role.

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    Weekly News - October 31, 2016

    We Need Your Help!


    Care4Kids LogoWe fear that as early as mid-November, Care4Kids could announce a complete closure of Priority Group 4. This means all families coming up for redetermination 30 days after the notice is posted will be cut off from C4K.  Our only chance to stop this is to put enough pressure on elected officials to find money to fund the program. Critical to creating that pressure is finding parents willing to tell their story to the press. If you have a C4K voucher that's coming up for redetermination or you know of families reaching their redetermination date who would be willing to share their story, please contact Jessica Ciparelli at jessica@earlychildhoodalliance.com. If you haven’t already, please sign the petition, then share the video and petition link with your networks.

    Webinar: Why Early Learning is a Bipartisan Issue

    Save the Children Action Network and Child Care Works will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 2, at 1 p.m. Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) believe that every child deserves the best start in life. They are building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning. The webinar will focus on the importance of early childhood education and the broad, bipartisan support that this issue receives. To register, click HERE

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    Weekly News - October 24, 2016

    Care4Kids Update

    Care4Kids VideoThe Care4kids has a projected deficit again. In August, the program was closed to new Priority Group 4 applicants.  That means the only remaining option to save money, is to reduce the caseload.  The most likely way this would happen would be by not renewing certificates when they come up for redetermination.  Under state law, Care4kids has to post a notice on their web page 30 days in advance of such a change.  So far this has not happened.  The Alliance is doing all that we can to prevent it from ever happening.  If you haven’t already, please sign the petition, then share the video and petition link with your networks. Also please talk to your legislators.  Finally, we are looking for parents whose C4K certificate is up for renewal in the first half of 2017 to record a short video answering the question, “What will happen if you lose your Care4Kids?” Two articles came out late last week in CT Mirror and CT NewsJunkie discussing the current Care4Kids situation. 

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    Weekly News - October 17, 2016

    LIVESTREAM NOW on Cost and Quality of Child Care

    NPR is currently livestreaming a panel discussion on cost and quality of child care, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. To watch, click HERE

    OEC Listening Tours on QIS

    Jennifer Johnson, Director of the OEC Quality Improvement Division, is embarking on a listening tour regarding the development of CT’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS).  Your input is needed as a Quality Recognition and Improvement System is being developed.  This system will help families and communities recognize quality early learning environments in their local communities. Most importantly they want to know:

    1) How do we recognize, understand and promote quality;

    2) What aspects of quality are most important to you; and

    3) How do we best support early childhood community and family programs to improve quality?

    Dates and Locations:

    10/27/16  -  5:30 – 7 p.m.   Middletown, 25 Industrial Park Road, Middletown, CT  

    11/10/16  -  6 – 7:30 p.m.  Education Connection, 4 Mountainview Terrace, Suite 201, Danbury, CT

    12/1/16  -  6 – 7:30 p.m.   Torrington City Hall, 140 Main Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium, Torrington, CT

    12/14/16  6 – 7:30 p.m. – All our Kin, 414A Chapel Street, Suite 100, New Haven, CT

    To pre-register, click HERE

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    Weekly News - October 10, 2016

    OEC Creating FAQ on Care4Kids

    Care4KidsDo you have burning questions regarding Care4Kids and suspect others might have the same question? The Office of Early Childhood is developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to capture questions received during the Care 4 Kids Information Sessions conducted this fall.  The OEC has created an email address for anyone to submit questions for clarification regarding changes to the Care 4 Kids Program. 

    The email address is: OEC.C4KChanges@ct.gov

    Questions submitted to the email address will be included in the FAQ and posted on the Care 4 Kids website following the last Care 4 Kids Information Session on October 20th. The FAQ will be updated regularly as new questions are received via the email address.

    You can also register for the remaining Care4Kids information sessions on October 13 (New Haven), October 15(Middletown) or October 20 (New London). If you cannot attend the information sessions, you can listen to the recorded PowerPoint presentations in English or Spanish. The most up-to-date Care4Kids information can be found HERE

    Listen to "Where We Live" Thursday Morning: Child Care Discussion 

    Tune into WNPR's "Where We Live" on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. Merrill Gay, CT Early Childhood Alliance Executive Director, will be a guest. The topic will be child care and Merrill will discuss the recently-released New America report, discussing cost, quality and access. If you're not able to listen, we'll make sure to include the link in the next memo.

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    Weekly News - October 3, 2016

    CCDBG Regulations Released

    The Administration for Families and Children recently released the CCDBG regulations. The regulations clarify the goals of the law, improve the health, safety and quality of child care; support the early childhood profession; and make child care assistance more accessible and stable for families. 

    Some highlights of the final rule include the following requirements for states to:

    • Establish minimum twelve month eligibility periods (which leads to much-needed consistency for children, families and educators).
    • Establish a graduated phase-out of subsidies for families who, at eligibility redetermination, exceed initial State income thresholds but still have modest incomes. (This allows families to say yes to a small raise, without worrying that accepting the increase would result in losing their child care because of it).
    • Describe policies to prevent suspension and expulsion of children birth to age 5 in child care and other early childhood programs.
    • Improve important provider payment practices, including: base payments to providers on child attendance rather than enrollment; take the cost of providing quality child care into account when setting provider subsidy payment rates; show how base payment rates enable providers to meet health, safety, quality, and staffing requirements; and use valid methodologies to update rates at least every three years.

    Middlesex Coalition to Host Candidate Forum 

    On Thursday, October 13, from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., the Middlesex Coalition for Children will host a candidate forum. This is a chance to hear from many of the candidates running for State Senate and State Representative to represent parts of Middlesex County.  Each candidate will have a chance to speak, have time for a Question & Answer session and wrap up with open 'meet & greet' time at the end. Confirmed candidates include: Dante Bartolomeo, ​Paul Doyle (for part), Ted Kennedy, Matt Lesser, Art Linares, Anthony Moran, Earl Roberts, Joe Serra, Len Suzio, and Linda Szynkowicz. More candidates are expected to be confirmed participants before October 13. Vincent Candelora, Noreen Kokoruda, Len Fasano, Devin Carney, Melissa Ziobron, and Emil "Buddy" Altobello are all running unopposed this election year, so it is unnecessary for them to attend the event. 

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    Weekly News - September 19, 2016

    Alliance Honoring 29 Children's Champions 

    Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, Legislator of the YearWe've certainly been busy over the past two weeks! Alliance staff has been crossing the state to honor 29 legislators as Children's Champions. Every year, the Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety. Although the budget took center stage this past session, there was some important legislation introduced. Among the items passed this year: Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which was included in the budget implementer and is set to take effect July 1, 2018; and House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home. Important issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. 

    Our "Legislator of the Year," Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, was honored at The Diaper Bank's "Rock Your Baby" event on September 15, at Amarante's Sea Cliff in New Haven. To see the photos of our honorees thus far, click HERE to see the album on our Facebook page. You don't have to have an account to see our pictures. 

    This year's honorees are:

    Legislator of the Year: Rep. Kelly Luxenberg 

    Representatives: Cathy Abercrombie (D), Tim Ackert (R), Juan Candelaria (D), Michelle Cook (D), Jeff Currey (D), Andrew Fleischmann (D), Noreen Kokoruda (R), Gail Lavielle (R), Matt Lesser (D), Kelly Luxenberg (D), Patricia Billie Miller (D), Gayle Mulligan (R), Robyn Porter (D) Christine Randall (D), Bobby Sanchez (D), Diana Urban (D), Toni Walker (D).

    Senators: Dante Bartolomeo (D), Toni Boucher (R), Beth Bye (D), Len Fasano (R), Mae Flexer (D), Terry Gerratana (D) Ed Gomes (D), Art Linares (R), Martin Looney (D), Marilyn Moore (D), Gail Slossberg (D), Gary Winfield (D).    

    Early Childhood Education Positions of the Presidential Candidates

    Over the last few weeks, early childhood education has become a topic for both major party candidates for president and was widely covered in the media. Are you wondering where your candidate of choice stands on the issue? You can find their position statements here, as well as a report from the Ms. Foundation:
    Hillary Clinton 
    Donald Trump
    Ms. Foundation Report

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    Weekly News - September 6, 2016

    Care4Kids Meetings Scheduled Across State

    In order to understand changes made to Connecticut's Care4Kids program through the re-authorized federal CCDBG (Child Care Development Block Grant), a number of resources are being made available to parents and providers - one of which is meetings in several towns across the state. The meetings will be held September 14 in Hampton, September 19 in Danbury, October 6 in Torrington, October 13 in New Haven, October 15 in Middletown and October 20 in New London. Seating is limited and reservations are needed. To register, click HERE. In the "options" section, click the drop-down menu to find "Care4Kids Information Sessions." Click "book" to register for the meeting of your choice. 

    Other resources available include the Care4Kids website, information flyers in both Spanish and English (also found on the website) and this week, a recorded Powerpoint presentation highlighting the important changes.

    Alliance Honoring 29 Children's Champions 

    Rep. Michelle Cook - Children's Champion 2016The CT Early Childhood Alliance is honoring 29 legislators as Children's Champions. Every year, the Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety. While much of the session was focused on filling holes in the budget, there was some important legislation introduced. Among the items passed this year: Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which was included in the budget implementer and is set to take effect July 1, 2018; and House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home. Important issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. 

    This year's honorees are:

    Legislator of the Year: Rep. Kelly Luxenberg

    Representatives: Cathy Abercrombie (D), Tim Ackert (R), Juan Candelaria (D), Michelle Cook (D), Jeff Currey (D), Andrew Fleischmann (D), Noreen Kokoruda (R), Gail Lavielle (R), Matt Lesser (D), Kelly Luxenberg (D), Patricia Billie Miller (D), Gayle Mulligan (R), Robyn Porter (D) Christine Randall (D), Bobby Sanchez (D), Diana Urban (D), Toni Walker (D).

    Senators: Dante Bartolomeo (D), Toni Boucher (R), Beth Bye (D), Len Fasano (R), Mae Flexer (D), Terry Gerratana (D) Ed Gomes (D), Art Linares (R), Martin Looney (D), Marilyn Moore (D), Gail Slossberg (D), Gary Winfield (D).    

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    Weekly News - August 22, 2016

    September Alliance Meeting

    Our next Alliance meeting will be Thursday, September 1, at the Graustein Memorial Fund, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.   

    Early Childhood Affordability, Teacher Compensation in the Media Spotlight   

    The New York Times and Bloomberg have both taken on the issue of affordable child care this weekend and last week, PBS Newshour addressed teacher compensation and how many educators, including those who have degrees, cannot make ends meet without government assistance or a second job. 
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    Weekly News - August 15, 2016

    Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor Leaving OEC 

    MyraThe CT Early Childhood Alliance would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor for her dedication to Connecticut's young children as the first commissioner of the state's Office of Early Childhood. We wish you the best in your future endeavors. Dr. Jones-Taylor will leave her post as Commissioner effectiveSeptember 1. To read more about her departure, see articles in CT MirrorHartford Courant and CT NewsJunkie. Click HERE to read the Governor's press release.  

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    Weekly News - August 1, 2016

    No August Alliance Meeting  

    There will be no meeting of the Alliance membership in August. We will resume with our monthly meetings in September (9/1). Watch for more details in the coming weeks. 

    Federal Children's Budget Webinar on August 4 

    Child Care Aware® of America will co-host a webinar with First Focus on Thursday, August 4, at 1 p.m., to discuss the children’s budget. The webinar will include:

    • The status of the FY 2017 appropriations process, and
    • A summary of First Focus's 2016 Children's Budget

    The presenters for the webinar will be Jay Nichols, Director, Federal Policy and Governmental Affairs with CCAoA, and John Monsif, Vice President, Government Relations with First Focus.

    Webinar will be recorded for those who cannot attend. Click HERE to register. 

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