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.

  • Featured post

    Weekly News - May 15, 2017

    Budget Update

    All four caucuses and the Governor's Office have proposed budgets. Remember this is still the negotiating phase and you may find your program is in one budget but not another. As deliberations continue, it's important for lawmakers to hear from their constituents with a clear message: we cannot cut our way out of a budget deficit. Many of these programs are already operating at bare bones, and further cuts or complete elimination will hurt Connecticut families. We need to look at revenue options, including the sugar sweetened beverage tax. When it comes to the budget, we need you to call your legislators and tell them to protect programs and services that children and families rely on in CT. Tell them you support revenue options like the sugar sweetened beverage tax. We need to make it clear that we vote and that while business and industry is important to our economy, so are the families that live here. 

    That said, please remember our Care4Kids efforts, including the LINK to contact your legislators (you do not have to write a new message - it's pre-written for you to send to your senator, representative, and Governor Malloy), or join the Thunderclap (which will use your social media (Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr), to push out a common message at the same time to amplify our presence). To protect Connecticut's vulnerable families who need to work and care for their children, Care4Kids funds CANNOT be cut any further. Contact your legislators through this YMCA advocacy tool LINK and to learn more about the campaign, click HERE. You can also join our THUNDERCLAP, which will use your social media (Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr), to push out a common message at the same time to amplify our presence. Click HERE to support the Thunderclap! We've hit our 100 supporters, but the more who sign on, the larger our reach will be!

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    Weekly News - May 8, 2017

    Join the Campaign to Protect Care4Kids

    You may have received an email from the Alliance on May 8 regarding the current budget mess and the potential for more drastic cuts to spending. To protect Connecticut's vulnerable families who need to work and care for their children, Care4Kids funds CANNOT be cut any further. Contact your legislators through this YMCA advocacy tool LINK and to learn more about the campaign, click HERE. You can also join our THUNDERCLAP, which will use your social media (Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr), to push out a common message at the same time to amplify our presence. Click HERE to support the Thunderclap! We need 100 supporters to make our message go live!

    ZERO TO THREE'S Strolling Thunder Included CT Family

    Stephanie and TaylorLast week, an Early Head Start family from Connecticut participated in "Strolling Thunder," where babies and families from all 50 states come together in Washington to tell Congress to "think babies!" Stephanie and her daughter, Taylor, represented Early Head Start and All Our Kin, speaking to members of Congress, including Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. ZERO TO THREE designed the "Think Babies" campaign to promote enriching early experiences and a strong foundation for development from the start.  Science shows the human brain grows faster between zero and three than any other time in our lives.

    QRIS Listening Sessions

    Statewide listening sessions have begun on the draft Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS). To see the list of upcoming listening sessions, click HERE. To take a look at the draft QRIS, click HERE (you'll have to turn the document).

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    Weekly News - May 1, 2017

    Happy Retirement, Juleen!

    Juleen and AliceJuleen Flanigan, retired from EdAdvance last week (formerly Education Connection, a RESC in western CT). She served as the director of early childhood services, where she managed the development and operations of direct service programs, such as Birth to Three and Family Resource Centers. Prior to taking this position in 1996, Flanigan served as the director of the Northwest Regional Family Services Coordination Center for Education Connection, as a program evaluator for the CT Department of Children and Families, director of the Parent Aide Program for the Danbury Regional Commission on Child Care, Rights, and Abuse; a consultant and evaluator for the Behavioral and Organizational Consultants Associates in New York; and a regional liaison for the Birth to Three Interagency Council in Hartford.  She received her Master's Degree in Social Work from Fordham University, her Bachelor's Degree from Molloy College and her 150 post-graduate certificate in Chemical Dependency from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency. Last week, colleagues and friends gathered in Danbury and Litchfield at EdAdvance to send Juleen off. Juleen has been an active member of the CT Early Childhood Alliance since 2002, spending a number of years as a co-chair.  Juleen will remain with EdAdvance part-time for the next six months to help with the transition. We wish you nothing but the best as you start this next chapter of your life, Juleen!

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    Weekly News - April 24, 2017

    Appropriations Committee Doesn't Vote on Budget Plan

    Here's how things are shaking out at this moment: The good news - the budget the Appropriations Committee planned to vote on on Tuesday put additional money into Care4Kids ($10 million over the Governor's proposal and approximately $3 million above the current appropriation) and partially restored funding for Family Resource Centers. The bad news - Even Start, Help Me Grow and Community Plans were all zeroed out of the budget. The REALLY bad news - what was presented Tuesday was probably the high water mark for spending - it won't get any better. And the committee couldn't get the votes to pass that budget. The Republicans noted they will release their own budget plan by the end of the week and it's unclear if the Appropriations Committee will be voting on a budget by their deadline. It's also unclear if the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee will have a revenue package ready by its committee deadline on Friday. Everyone needs to be contacting their legislators. If you would like to take a look at what was presented by the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, click HERE. Remember, this budget plan did not get a vote. This article and this article on CT Mirror explains what happened on Tuesday. This article on CT Newsjunkie from April 20 explains where the Finance Committee might go with revenue. This CT Newsjunkie article also explains what went on Tuesday with the Appropriations Committee. Governor Malloy issued a statement following the collapse of the Appropriations vote on Tuesday.

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    Weekly News - April 17, 2017

    Advocacy Day is Thursday, April 20!

    In an extremely difficult budget season, it's more important than ever to get your voice heard! This Thursday, advocates will gather at the State Capitol in Hartford for the CT Early Childhood Alliance's annual Advocacy Day. Arrival time is 9:30 a.m., and the program will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Please RSVP if you haven't already. If you're planning to attend and haven't set up your meeting with your legislators, please do so as soon as possible. We ask that you wear RED in solidarity. See you Thursday!

    Care4Kids Waiting List

    There are now 3,000 families on the Care4Kids waiting list. Are you one of them? Or do you know someone who is? We're collecting stories. Please contact Jessica Ciparelli at the CT Early Childhood Alliance and share some background detail - how long have you been on the list and what impact has the closure had on your life. We would like to compile a list of individuals who would be willing to speak to reporters or to otherwise get the word out on how this closure impacts your life and that of your family's life. Jessica can be reached by email at jessica@earlychildhoodalliance.com  

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    Weekly News - April 10, 2017

    Legislative Update

    On Tuesday, a number of members of the CT Early Childhood Alliance will testify before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee in favor of H.B. 7314, "An Act Concerning a Tax on Certain Sweetened Beverages." This bill would impose a tax of one cent per ounce on certain carbonated and non-carbonated nonalcoholic beverages that contain added caloric sweetener (sodas, sports drinks). The money raised would be use to fund early care and education (Care4Kids) and obesity-prevention programs. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the First Floor Atrium of the LOB.  Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list.  Please submit 35 copies of written testimony to the Committee staff at 10 a.m. in the First Floor Atrium of the LOB.  Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.  Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov. (Subject Matter: Miscellaneous Bills.") The public hearing starts at 12 p.m. in Room 2E of the LOB. Oral testimony is limited to three minutes. 

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    Weekly News - April 3, 2017

    Care4Kids Resources Now Available

    Merrill Gay, the Executive Director at the CT Early Childhood Alliance, put together a spreadsheet of town-by-town data on Care4Kids, comparing JanuaryCourant Preschool Article 
    2016 to January 2017. It shows that 1,768 fewer children were served in 2017. That breaks down to 744 infants, 499 preschoolers, and 525 school-age children. The impact on providers varies by age: Infants - Impact pretty evenly split between centers and home based care mostly in unregulated settings, 
    Preschoolers - Overwhelmingly centers impacted, School Age - Mostly unregulated family members impacted 

    CT Voices for Children, with assistance from CT Early Childhood Alliance and CT Parent Power, released a Care4Kids brief about the importance of Care4Kids, enrollment trends, stories from providers and parents, and some solutions for funding it. CT Voices welcomes you to use the data in your advocacy efforts. 

    CT Association for Human Services (CAHS) has created an interactive map and a companion blog post (map can be seen through the blog post as well) that show how each town in CT is impacted by the closure of the Care4Kids program. 

    Finally, if you click the screenshot from the Hartford Courant article, it will take you to an article that ran in a column April 1 paper. The column focuses on cost of child care and why Care4Kids is so important to families. 

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  • Featured post

    Weekly News - March 27, 2017

    Child Care Call-In Day

    This Thursday, call your member of Congress at: 

    Tell them to urge the Appropriations Chairman to increase funding for the Childcare & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $1.4 billion so that states can implement the improvements required by the reauthorization without cutting children off the childcare subsidy.  After you've done that, contact them through Facebook using the new Town Hall feature (this can be found under the "Explore" heading on a desktop or mobile app version of Facebook).

    Without this additional $1.4 billion, states will not be able to implement the important reforms contained in the CCDBG Act of 2014 while maintaining the current number of children served. There has already been a significant decline in the number of children served, with 373,000 fewer children receiving child care assistance in 2015 than in 2006. As of February 2016, only one state was paying providers at the federally recommended rate. Given the pressing need for greater child care investments, and the growing attention on child care as an issue, now is the time to make a special effort around child care funding. A call-in script is available HERE

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  • Featured post

    Weekly News - February 6, 2017

    Governor's Budget Plan Released

    Governor Malloy released his biennium budget Wednesday. While budget analysts are thoroughly reviewing it, we can share what we've discovered so far. This is a bad budget for early childhood. Here's what we know:

    • The budget keeps Care4kids closed for the next 2 years. This would keep Care4Kids closed to all but current TANF families for the next two years. The impact of these cuts will be that as children age out, Care4Kids will largely cease to pay for early childhood services and become bascially a school age program. This will have serious implications for the economic viability of many early care programs, threatening care for many more children. 
    • It cuts $7.7 million from the Early Care & Education line item in FY18. That translates to approximately 1,100 children who won't get infant/ toddler, preschool or after school care next year. 
    • Head Start is cut $384,000
    • Child Care Quality Enhancement is combined with School Readiness QE and reduced by $212,000 (It is unclear what this means for local QE) 
    • Birth to 3 would move to DSS
    The following are completely eliminated:
    • Community Plans for Early Childhood
    • Improving Early Literacy 
    • EvenStart
    • Healthy Start
    • Help Me Grow
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  • Featured post

    Weekly News - January 30, 2017

    Legislative Update

    The CT Early Childhood Alliance is very concerned about a number of proposed bills that would dismember, or otherwise weaken, the CT Office of Early Childhood. Additionally, bills have been introduced that would impact Care4Kids funding, teacher credentials, and paid family leave. We will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed.

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