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 - May 23, 2016

    Internships Available at CTECA!

    InternshipsWe have a number of internship opportunities available at the CT Early Childhood Alliance this summer. If you you know someone who might be interested, please pass the information on to them!

    Children of Incarcerated Parents Roundtable Scheduled for May 26

    On May 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

     at Capitol Room 310, CT Association for Human Services (CAHS) and Connecticut Children with Incarcerated Parents (CTCIP) will host a roundtable discussion on a state-specific report that will be released that day. The state report is complimentary to a report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT policy report, A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities. Although every child, and each parent-child relationship, is different, having a parent in jail or prison can be traumatic and result in long-term negative outcomes. To RSVP, click HERE.

    Urge Congress to Support a Significant Increase in Funding on May 25

    (From the National Women's Law Center) We need to make sure that Congress hears NOW about how important increased investments in early learning are in the FY 2017 Appropriations bill - especially child care because of the impact of the CCDBG reauthorization. Members of Congress are continuing to debate funding priorities and the House and Senate committees that make these decisions are likely to move forward in early June. We must make our voices clear. We will make it easier for you by setting aside a day to do this next week on Wednesday May 25! The letter to Congress from national groups lays out the funding asks including a $1.2 billion new investment in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). This $1.2 billion would not only support the implementation of the new CCDBG law but also ensure that no children lose child care assistance. A sample alert is available HERE for the Wednesday May 25th call in to Congress to make the case for increased funding for early learning programs.

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    Weekly News - May 16, 2016

    Senate & House Pass Budget

    Capitol On Thursday and Friday of last week, the Senate and the House both passed a $19.76 million budget for 2017. We are still reviewing the impact of the budget cuts to early childhood, but here's what we know so far:

    1) The Office of Early Childhood budget was cut $3.5 million, but was spared some of the huge cuts made elsewhere. (SB 501)

    2) The tax on diapers was repealed (through the budget implementer bill, SB 502, Sec. 205, page 284) The repeal takes effect July 1, 2018.

    3) Community plans for early childhood - the funding used by many local early childhood councils - was cut by $52,700, but remains in the budget. 

    4) The budget combines 3 early childhood program line items (Child Day Care/State Funded Centers, School Readiness and Early Childhood Program). The total appropriation for the 3 programs has been cut by 2% ($1.5 million). It is our understanding that the cut represents the amount that was not spent this fiscal year. The Head Start-Early Childhood Link line item has been eliminated.

    5) There is language in the implementer bill (SB 502, Sec. 94, page 136) that will allow the Office of Early Childhood to increase rates for CDC/State Funded Centers to the same rate as School Readiness for 3 and 4 year olds.

    Commissions - The six former commissions were consolidated down to two commissions, the "Commission on Women, Children and the Elderly" (combines Commission on Children, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and Commission on Aging) and the "Commission on Equity and Opportunity" (combines African-American Affairs Commission, Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, and Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission). The legislative language defining this new Commission on Women, Children and the Elderly can be found in SB 502 Sec. 131, page 186. This new commission is funded at $700,000. Previously, the three separate commissions were funded at $1.8 million combined. These changes will take place effective July 1, 2016. The Alliance will share any additional information regarding the consolidation as it becomes available. 

    HUSKY/Medicaid - We're looking into impact on the the HUSKY program, but the cut to Medicaid is $100 million.
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    Weekly News - May 9, 2016

    Session Wrap Up: No Budget Yet

    Capitol While a budget agreement was in place prior to the end of the legislative session on May 4, it was not voted on.  The legislature is expected to return for a special session to pass the budget on Thursday, May 12. A small number of early childhood bills did pass before the end of the legislative session. ClickHERE to see what early childhood bills passed.

    Seeking Stories Regarding HUSKY Termination

    The New Haven Legal Assistance Association is looking for stories about people cut off of Medicaid at redetermination/renewal. See the flier for more information or to pass the word along. 

    Middlesex Coalition for Children Meeting

    CT Early Childhood Alliance Executive Director Merrill Gay will be a guest at the May meeting, to wrap-up the 2016 legislative session. The second half will be a presentation from our Wesleyan Community Research Seminar on the Elementary Education Opportunity Gap. The meeting is Thursday, May 12, at 9 a.m. at deKoven House in Middletown.  

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    Weekly News - May 2, 2016

    Last Days of Session: What to Expect

    Things change quickly when it comes to the budget, as the governor proposed another plan yesterday and negotiations went on late into the night. When all is said and done, we may or may not have a budget fix in place by the end of session on May 4.  CT Mirror gives a good breakdown of what has been happening up at the Capitol these last 24 hours. The Alliance sent out a video update last night - if you haven't made calls to your legislators, now is the time to do it.

    There are a number of bills that are still in play that may or may not get called before session ends. To see the list, visit our Bills page.  

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    Weekly News - April 18, 2016

    Budget Update

    The bumpy budget ride continues. After the Appropriations Committee released their budget proposal, which covered a portion of the cuts needed to fill the deficit, the governor released a 2017 adjustment plan on April 12. Remember, this is still just a proposal. The legislature and governor will go back and forth before a final budget is passed.

    Medicaid/HUSKY A Events Planned in State's Most Impacted Cities

    The governor's most recent proposal includes significant cuts to the Medicaid program, (HUSKY A) impacting thousands of parents and children, along with dangerous cuts to the core Medicaid operating infrastructure. In-district, legislator-press events to fight these cuts to Medicaid are being planned in cities that have high percentages of Medicaid recipients. An event was held in Hartford on Tuesday, and events are being in New Britain on Thursday, April 21, at New Britain Community Health Center, 85 LaFayette Street, 9:30 a.m., and Friday, April 22, at two locations - Waterbury Stay Well Health Center, 80 Phoenix Avenue, Waterbury, 9:30 a.m. and Optimus Health Center, 982 East Main Street, Bridgeport,9:30 a.m. If you are a legislator, health care provider, advocate, faith leader, parent or childcare provider, you are encouraged to attend! 

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    Weekly News - April 11, 2016

    It's Week of the Young Child!

    Did you that there are approximately 345,000 children in Connecticut between birth through age eight? Let's celebrate them and continue working to ensure that they are all safe, healthy and ready for school success!

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    Weekly News - March 28, 2016

    State Budget Update

    The House and Senate will be going into session on Tuesday to pass a deficit mitigation bill for the 2016 budget and extend deadlines for the Finance and Appropriations committees to finish revising the 2017 budget, which currently has the deficit of $900 million. This will give the committees an additional week to figure out how to fill the hole in the 2017 budget. The increasing fear is the real number will go over $1 billion as the first quarter revenue numbers come in at the end of this month. 

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    Weekly News - March 21, 2016

    Why Do We Need to Raise Wages for Early Childhood? Tell Your Story TONIGHT 

    Connecticut's Low Wage Employer Advisory Board wants to hear the needs of underpaid workers. The board will make recommendations to the Office of Early Childhood, which funds child care and early learning programs in Connecticut. The meeting is Tuesday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the City of New Haven Hall of Records, 200 Orange Street, Room G-2 (ground floor). Parking is available on the street or in public garages. Please RSVP to Shola Ajayi at 202-288-3378 or at shola.ajayi@seiu.org. One last step - let us know you're going to this meeting by RSVP'ing to the Alliance HERE.

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    Weekly News - March 14, 2016

    This Week at the Capitol

    State Capitol BuildingAs we get closer to May, committees are moving bills forward. The Children's Committee has issued "JF Reports" (joint favorable reports), with a deadline of March 10. To see the list of JF'd bills from the Children's Committee, click HERE

    The Education Committee has scheduled meetings this Wednesday, Friday and next Monday to finish their bills. Education's Joint Favorable deadline is March 21. 

    Senate Bill 216, "AN ACT EXPANDING THE SALES TAX EXEMPTION TO INCLUDE FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS AND DISPOSABLE OR REUSABLE DIAPERS," had a public hearing on March 7 before the Public Health Committee. 

    The Labor Committee passed SB 221, "AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE," out of committee with joint favorable substitute language and now has been filed with the Legislative Commissioner's Office.  

    SB 391, "AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOUPMENT OF STATE COSTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO LOW WAGE EMPLOYERS," was referred to a public hearing before Human Services on March 8. It was JF'd at the March 15 Human Services Committee meeting. CT NewsJunkie has more on the bill. 

    House Bill 5370, "AN ACT INCREASING THE MINIMUM FAIR WAGE," was referred to the Labor Committee and had a public hearing on March 3. The bill was not called at the 3/10 Labor Committee meeting and the committee is not scheduled to meet again before the committee deadline. 

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    Weekly News - March 7, 2016

    It's Not Too Late!

    You can still submit testimony for Monday's Education Committee public hearing on H.B. No. 5557 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS.  The bill's purpose is to establish an early childhood educator compensation schedule for early childhood educators that ensures the retention and recruitment of qualified educators, secures a standard of living that meets such educators' needs, and reflects the true costs associated with quality standards for early childhood care and education programs.

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