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    URGENT Congressional Request

    Contact Your Members of Congress NOW!

    (From First Five Years Fund) We need your help to ensure the child care industry receives the crucial support it needs to survive the mounting economic crisis.

    Across the country, businesses and families are grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Congress considers a far-reaching economic stimulus package in response to this crisis, click here to contact your lawmakers in Washington and urge them to include robust support for the industry that makes it possible for millions of working parents to go to work each day: child care.

    The nation is facing months of uncertainty and the potential for extended business closures due to the growing crisis. The strain being placed on our child care providers, who are already operating on razor thin margins, could force many out them of business permanently.

    At the same time, as businesses and schools are being told to close their doors to limit the spread of this deadly coronavirus, countless workers on the front lines of battling this pandemic are still relying on child care to be able to show up to work and keep our country running. 

    Congress needs to hear from as many people as possible that the child care industry requires substantial assistance in the upcoming economic recovery package.

    Click here to contact your lawmakers now.

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    Weekly News March 16, 2020

    Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates & Information

    We are in unprecedented and uncertain times. The Alliance will share information as it becomes available from the CDC, Office of Early Childhood, and Governor Lamont's Office. Information is moving fast - we will keep the memos concise and offer as many resources as we have at our disposal.

    The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has been issuing memos (memos can be found HERE) since March 12 regarding the fast-moving situation. Child care centers are not being told to close at this time. Two new memos have been released from the OEC - Memo 6 and a memo regarding Birth to Three and Home Visiting

    One of Governor Lamont's Executive Orders waives certain licensing and other requirements to maintain and increase availability of child care. The OEC has issued a new memo (Memo 7) to describe these waivers further.

    Here is a Survey Monkey LINK from 2-1-1 Child Care to track child care opening/closure status during COVID-19. 

    There is also a link available to a NAEYC survey regarding child care challenges, including financial hardships programs may be facing. This survey is gathering information to share with Congress, the media, and state policymakers. 

    Tonight (3/16) at 6:45 p.m., CSEA-SEIU and All Our Kin will be hosting a phone call primarily for family child care providers in regards to Care4Kids payments, but OEC Commissioner Beth Bye will join for a Q&A. The call is at 6:45 p.m. and YOU will receive a call at that time to join the call. The link to register is HERE.  

    Finally, the White House is now recommending that people avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people. 

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    Weekly News March 9, 2020

    Bills Update

    The following have reported out of committee

    HB 5220 An Act Expanding Care4Kids to Parents Participating in Even Start or in Certain Secondary Education Programs 

    HB 5222 An Act Expanding Eligibility in the Care4Kids Program for Homeless Families

    HB5213 An Act Concerning the Creation of a Pilot Program for an Early Childhood Business Incubator Model

    HB5121 An Act Concerning Certain Protections for Group and Family Child Care Homes

    SB282 An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Employers That Make Payments Toward Child Care Costs of Employees

    HB5336 An Act Requiring Background Checks for Certain Employees of Licensed Youth Camps

    SB87 An Act Concerning Eligibility for the Office of Early Childhood’s Child Care Subsidy Program for Victims of Domestic Violence

    SB227 Act Concerning a Fair Work Week Schedule

    We are also concerned about:

    HB5439 (section 4) which would change the elementary education certificate back to K-6 and thus making the Early Education preK – 3 cert much less attractive to prospective teachers

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    FACT SHEETS for Education Committee Hearing

    Here is a list of bills to be heard on Friday, March 6, before the Education Committee in Room 1E (10 a.m. start, but we anticipate afternoon testimony). Several of the bills listed below have fact sheets associated with them.

    Written testimony should be sent to Edtestimony@cga.ct.gov by 3pm on Thursday.  If you would like to testify in person on Friday, it probably won't be until the afternoon or evening.  If you would like us to sign you up to testify in person, email Merrrill at merrill@earlychildhoodalliance.com. The following early childhood bills will be heard on Friday.

    H.B. No. 5218 (RAISED) AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.

    H.B. No. 5216 (RAISED) AN ACT ELIMINATING THE LICENSURE EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING CHILD CARE SERVICES.

    H.B. No. 5220 (RAISED) AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM TO PARENTS PARTICIPATING IN AN EVEN START PROGRAM OR ENROLLED IN CERTAIN SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS. FACT SHEET

    H.B. No. 5222 (RAISED) AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES. FACT SHEET

    H.B. No. 5379 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ALLOCATION OF SLOTS FOR STATE-FUNDED CHILD CARE CENTERS.

    H.B. No. 5213 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A PILOT PROGRAM FOR AN EARLY CHILDHOOD BUSINESS INCUBATOR MODEL. INCUBATOR FACT SHEET

    If you'd like us to sign you up to testify on Friday or would like more information on how to testify, email Merrill at merrill@earlychildhoodalliance.com

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    Weekly News March 3, 2020

    Testimony Needed by 3 p.m. Thursday!

    The Education Committee's Public Hearing has been scheduled to Friday, March 6, starting at 10 a.m., in Room 1E. Written testimony should be sent to Edtestimony@cga.ct.gov by 3pm on Thursday!  If you would like to testify in person it probably won't be until the afternoon or evening.  If you would like us to sign you up to testify in person, email Merrrill at merrill@earlychildhoodalliance.com. The following early childhood bills will be heard on Friday.

    H.B. No. 5218 (RAISED) AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.

    H.B. No. 5216 (RAISED) AN ACT ELIMINATING THE LICENSURE EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING CHILD CARE SERVICES.

    H.B. No. 5220 (RAISED) AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM TO PARENTS PARTICIPATING IN AN EVEN START PROGRAM OR ENROLLED IN CERTAIN SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS. FACT SHEET

    H.B. No. 5222 (RAISED) AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES. FACT SHEET

    H.B. No. 5379 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ALLOCATION OF SLOTS FOR STATE-FUNDED CHILD CARE CENTERS.

    H.B. No. 5213 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A PILOT PROGRAM FOR AN EARLY CHILDHOOD BUSINESS INCUBATOR MODEL. INCUBATOR FACT SHEET

    If you'd like us to sign you up to testify on Friday or would like more information on how to testify, email Merrill at merrill@earlychildhoodalliance.com

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    Weekly News February 24, 2020

    ED Committee Public Hearing Date Changed to 3/6

    The Education Committee's Public Hearing has been scheduled to Friday, March 6, starting at 10 a.m., in Room 1E. While we don't have the agenda yet, we expect these bills to be heard.

    • Childcare Business Incubator Bill (HB 5213) FACT SHEET
    • Care4Kids eligibility (HB 5220) for parents in EvenStart or school for the high demand occupations of nursing, manufacturing and teaching (including ECE)
    • HB 5222, which would provide a 90 day job search for families living in a homeless shelter for more than 2 weeks.

    If you'd like us to sign you up to testify on Friday or would like more information on how to testify, email Merrill @merrill@earlychildhoodalliance.com.

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    Weekly News February 18, 2020

    Education Committee to Hold Public Hearing on Bills of Interest

    On Wednesday, February 26, the Education Committee will hold an afternoon public hearing on bills. While we don't have the agenda yet, there is a very good chance that several bills of interest will be called for a public hearing. You can start writing your testimony now. We will share the full agenda once its released.

    • Childcare Business Incubator Bill (HB 5213) FACT SHEET
    • Care4Kids eligibility (HB 5220) for parents in EvenStart or school for the high demand occupations of nursing, manufacturing and teaching (including ECE)
    • It is possible that HB 5222, which would provide a 90 day job search for families living in a homeless shelter for more than 2 weeks, will also be heard.
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    February Meeting Changes - Date & Time

    ATTENTION! Due to the forecast on Thursday, February 6, we have rescheduled the CT Early Childhood Alliance U.S. Census-related meeting to Wednesday, February 12, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at AFSCME Council 4, 444 East Main Street, New Britain.

    We hope you can attend on February 12, and bring people from your community who you think should be involved in ensuring that all kids are counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. Please invite them to attend with you, in order to work collaboratively. The link to forward to anyone interested in attending is below.

    In 2010, 1 in 10 children under the age of 5 were NOT COUNTED nationwide. And oftentimes, these kids are in hard-to-count areas of the country or the state. We have to COUNT ALL KIDS - and we need your help to do it!

    LOCATION: Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at AFSCME Council 4, 444 East Main Street, New Britain. Free parking available.

    Please bring your laptop or tablet if you have one, in order to follow along with the ROAM Interactive Mapping Tool.

    Space will be limited by the size of the room, so we ask that you please RSVP for yourself and anyone you plan to bring with you.

    RSVP HERE

    The steering committee will meet following the regular meeting.

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    Weekly News January 21, 2020

    CTECA, CAHS Focus on Counting All Kids in Census

    The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance and CT Association for Human Services are pleased to announce a substantial grant from Viking Global, to prepare for the 2020 Census. Now, you may be asking why focus on the 2020 Census? It’s important for our future – for our children’s futures.

    For the next few months (yes…it’s coming up VERY soon), the Alliance and CAHS will be focusing on an awareness campaign, particularly around the under age 5 population, which includes social media, kickoff events with child care centers, materials to distribute, etc. It’s important to engage with “trusted messengers,” such as child care providers, doctors, and faith-based leaders, for families to understand participating in the Census is safe. There will be no question regarding citizenship (struck down by the courts and NOT included on the Census form). The goal of the Census is an accurate count of ALL people living in the United States – regardless of age or status.

    According to the US Census Bureau, an estimated 5% of children under the age of five weren’t counted in the 2010 Census. That’s about 1 million young children, the highest of any age group. In Connecticut, that number was about 3.3%, and children ages 5-9 were 2.5%. The gaps need to close. Undercounts can have negative impacts on federal funding for programs like SNAP, grants for special education, school lunch programs and Head Start. According to CT Voices for Children, in Fiscal Year 2016, Connecticut received over $10.7 billion through 55 large federal spending programs.

    The undercount of children is getting worse – it was four times higher in 2010 than it was in 1980. Reasons for not counting young children vary. Some parents might be confused as to whether to include their children. Some believe the government already has that information available. Some live in large or complex households; some live with grandparents, aunts, or uncles and the adults don’t know if they should count them. Children who have divorced parents might be splitting their time between two homes and neither parent knows who should count the child (in this case, it should be the parent who has the child physically with them on April 1).

    Watch for more information in the weeks that follow. We need to make sure we "Count All Kids!"

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    Weekly News January 6, 2020

    Connecticut Secures Federal Grant

    Late last year, big news came out of the Governor's Office, regarding early childhood. The state received a $26.8 million federal grant to help further child development goals. The Office of Early Childhood will be administering the federal Preschool Development Birth Through Five Renewal Grant. 

    The grant will strengthen the Birth to Five system by supporting a collaboration between eight state agencies to create efficiencies in services, focus on customer service, innovate strategies, and expand public-private partnerships. In the area of data and outcomes, the grant will redesign OEC’s Early Childhood Information System (ECIS), invest in a Quality Improvement System (QIS), establish a performance and accountability process, and improve contracting procurement.

    To read the full press release, click HERE.

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