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    Weekly News - May 13, 2019

    Perry Preschool Project Finds Inter-generational Benefits!

    We've all heard about the Perry Preschool Project and the benefits it brought to the children who took part. Fast-forward to 2019 and the exciting news that has just been released - the CHILDREN of the children of the Perry Preschool Project are seeing benefits, such as being much more likely to finish high school without suspension, hold full-time employment, and spending at least three times the amount of time with stably married parents before age 18. 

    This is very exciting news and we highly encourage you to download the report, graphics, etc, and share them with your social networks, spreading the word on this inter-generational success. This proves that programs DO make a difference! But we need to continue to INVEST in programs that are REALLY high quality, so we can replicate the results.

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    Weekly News - April 29, 2019

    The Great Give Starts May 1 - Please Support The Alliance!

    For the second year, the CT Early Childhood Alliance will be participating in The Great Give, a 36-hour giving campaign, starting May 1, through the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. We would appreciate your financial support, to keep the Alliance moving forward, and continuing to advocate for Connecticut's young children and families.

    We are a 17-year-old statewide membership and advocacy organization committed to improving developmental outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety, and economic security for children ages birth to eight.

    While the giving event starts at 8 a.m. on May 1, early donations are welcome! Our link is here - https://www.thegreatgive.org/organizations/ct-early-childhood-alliance

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    Weekly News - April 22, 2019

    SAVE THE DATE: Advocacy Day Scheduled for May 23

    Please Save the Date and plan to join the Alliance, along with our partnering organization of the CT After School Network, for the 2019 Advocacy Day! It's Thursday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., in Room 310 of the State Capitol. More details will come as we move closer to the date - as we know which bills remain alive and what is happening with the state budget. But we've love to fill the room and welcome you to register to attend. (Please wear yellow - it's been our unity color all session!) To RSVP, click HERE.

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    Weekly News - April 8, 2019

    Equity in Education Event TONIGHT in Southington

    Southington Women for Progress and the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington will be hosting an "Equity in Education" event Monday, April 8, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Derynoski School Auditorium, 240 Main Street, Southington. A panel of experts, including our ED Merrill Gay, will discuss racial equity in Connecticut schools. Admission is free, but registration is required. Click HERE to register.  The event flier can be found HERE

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    Weekly News - March 25, 2019

    The Economic Impact of the Child Care Crisis

    The forum, "Want to Grow the Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis" is one week from today! Join us at the Legislative Office Building on Tuesday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Room 2E, for a forum on the economic impact the lack of affordable, accessible child care has one the state's families and on the state's businesses. For more information, click HERE. As this is a public event, you can attend without RSVPing, though we would appreciate a headcount before the event.

    PARENTS: We are seeking a parent or two who would be able to attend the forum - if you're a parent who struggles to pay for child care beyond what your Care4Kids certificate provides for, or if you couldn't finish your GED or post-secondary degree because Care4Kids wouldn't cover you as a student, please contact us. You can contact Kayla Goldfarb at kayla@earlychildhoodalliance.com or Jessica Ciparelli at jessica@earlychildhoodalliance.com.

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    Weekly News - March 18, 2019

    April Forum Will Focus on Growing the Economy, Fixing Child Care Crisis

    Join us at the Legislative Office Building on Tuesday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Room 2E, for a forum on the economic impact the lack of affordable, accessible child care has one the state's families and on the state's businesses. For more information, click HERE. As this is a public event, you can attend without RSVPing, though we would appreciate a headcount before the event.

    We are also seeking a parent or two who would be able to attend this forum - if you're a parent who struggles to pay for child care beyond what your Care4Kids certificate provides for, or if you couldn't finish your post-secondary degree because Care4Kids wouldn't cover you as a student, please contact us. You can contact Kayla Goldfarb at kayla@earlychildhoodalliance.com or Jessica Ciparelli at jessica@earlychildhoodalliance.com.

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    Weekly News - March 11, 2019

    THANK YOU For Attending DAY OF ACTION!

    March 6 was a very busy day for us up at the Capitol and we thank each and every one of you who came to the press conference, submitted testimony or waited patiently all day and evening to testify in person. The hearing lasted well into the night (finished around 10 p.m.), but offered some thoughtful testimony. If you'd like to watch the hearing on CT-N, the link is HERE. (Hearing starts around 20 minute mark - the link should take you to that point.) A full gallery of photos is available on our Facebook page. To see the album, click HERE. Visit our Facebook page to see the album, Facebook live feed of the press conference and wrap-up video. Search "CT Early Childhood Alliance" on Facebook, and if you haven't already, give us a "LIKE!"

    While media coverage was tough (there was a tolls press conference and public hearing that most of the press attended the same day), we did get a couple stories placed. The New Britain Herald and Channel 8 both ran pieces.

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    Weekly News - February 25, 2019

    First Early Childhood Public Hearing Coming 3/6

    OUR DAY HAS COME! On March 6, we have our chance to make the case - why teachers need to be paid more, why providers need to be paid more, why there needs to be loan forgiveness, why Care4Kids needs to be available for parents in school. The Alliance is seeking parents, ECE college students, teachers, and center directors who would be willing to testify before the Education Committee at a public hearing held exclusively on early childhood bills.

    The date for the hearing is Wednesday, March 6, 2 p.m. Besides the hearing itself, we are working on other action steps, including a morning press conference (time being finalized) and an early evening rally (5:30 p.m. start time). More information will be released in the coming days. Click this LINK to sign up to testify or participate in our Day of Action!

    Our flier for distribution can be found HERE (English and Spanish available)

    The Alliance can assist with testimony writing, talking points and signing people up to testify. We understand a daytime public hearing is difficult for many people, so if you'd be willing to SHARE YOUR STORY and have it read aloud by a hearing attendee, please click HERE.

    If you plan to testify or attend in support, we ask that you wear the yellow "We Vote for Kids" t-shirt if you have one, or wear the color yellow. This will be a unifying color for us. 

    Here are the bills of interest. We are most interested in testimony on 931-935 and 937.

    S.B. No. 930 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A PILOT PROGRAM FOR AN EARLY CHILDHOOD BUSINESS INCUBATOR MODEL', to establish a pilot program that authorizes the Commissioner of Early Childhood to issue a license to a person or group of persons to operate a family child care home or group child care home in a space that is not a private home and which has been provided by an association, organization, corporation, institution or agency. REF. EDUCATION

    S.B. No. 931 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT CONCERNING PAYMENTS TO CHILD CARE PROVIDERS', to require Care4Kids program payments to be at least equal to the seventy-fifth percentile of the market cost of child care; to require that any increase in funding to child care centers and school readiness program providers are to be used for increasing educator salaries; and to reestablish school readiness grant rates in the general statutes and to increase such rates. REF. EDUCATION

    S.B. No. 932 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT CONCERNING THE STAFF QUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENT FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS', to make revisions to and extend the dates of the staff qualifications requirement for early childhood educators. REF. EDUCATION

    S.B. No. 933 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY FOR CERTAIN FAMILIES IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM', to expand the eligibility of the Care4Kids program to include families with a gross income of up to seventy-five per cent of the state-wide median income and require advance notice of expanded program eligibility. 
    REF. EDUCATION

    S.B. No. 934 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY IN THE CARE4KIDS PROGRAM TO PARENTS ENROLLED IN OTHER TYPES OF SCHOOL', to expand eligibility in the Care4Kids program to parents who are enrolled in school, in addition to high school, and require advance notice of expanded program eligibility. REF. EDUCATION

    S.B. No. 935 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT REQUIRING THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD TO DEVELOP AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR COMPENSATION SCHEDULE', to require the Office of Early Childhood to develop an early childhood educator compensation schedule and for early childhood program providers to implement such compensation schedule. REF. EDUCATION

    S.B. No. 936 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD', to implement the recommendations of the Office of Early Childhood. REF. EDUCATION

    S.B. No. 937 (RAISED) EDUCATION. 'AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS', to establish a student loan forgiveness program for early childhood educators.

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    Weekly News - February 11, 2019

    Commissioner Says Backlog is Not Acceptable as Care4Kids Meeting Draws Large Turnout

    Incoming Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye heard heartbreaking story after story from child care providers on the ongoing Care4Kids backlog - mostly home child care providers - at a forum hosted by the CSEA SEIU Child Care Union on February 2. Many in the packed room recounted long waits for payment - some as far back as October - and the painful consequences they are now facing. One provider said her car has been re-possessed and many face overdraft charges from their banks. Commissioner Bye said additional workers have been added to alleviate the backlog and the call center would be open all weekend. She added that certificates would be extended through the computer system, and with the additional workers, Care4Kids is moving two to three times faster now. But those measures don't make up for the current situation, she said.

    "It's not acceptable," Commissioner Bye said. "I will do everything in my power to make it better," she said, adding that the legislators in the room, including the chairs of the Education Committee, Human Services Committee, and Children's Committee, will do the same.

    Legislators noted they weren't aware of the issue until just a few days before the February 2 meeting. Some were alerted by constituents. That's when they contacted the incoming commissioner, who said she was just finding out as well.

    "You're the boots on the ground," said Rep. Cathy Abercrombie, who represents parts of Meriden and Berlin and co-chairs the Human Services Committee. "Don't assume we know about issues. Tell us."

    All legislators and the commissioner herself encouraged those in attendance to reach out when there is an issue. Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams, who chairs the Children's Committee, said she would begin educating her fellow senators to the issue when she returned to the Capitol on Monday. But she needs help from the providers, encouraging them to reach out to their own senators and representatives as constituents to alert them to the problem.

    "We want to correct this wrong - because it is a wrong," Senator Daugherty Abrams said.

    You can look up your legislators HERE.

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    Weekly News - January 28, 2019

    Alliance Issues 2019 Priorities

    The Alliance has created its list of 2019 Priorities and a survey we ask you to take to let us know if you are in agreement.

    The Alliance 2019 Priorities:

    Improve the Quality of Early Care and Education

    • Raise wages of early educators in state-subsidized child care and preschool programs and index them to future increases in the minimum wage.
    • Raise Care4Kids payment rates to child care providers to the federally recommended 75th percentile of market
    • Ensure parity in funding between various programs providing the same early care and education services

    Support Parents in Raising Thriving Children

    • Adopt Paid Family Medical Leave
    • Require Predictable Work Schedules (with exceptions for industries with legally required staff to client ratios)
    • Fix the broken Birth to Three Early Intervention Program
    • Adopt Two-Generation Strategies to grow the economy and end poverty
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