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 - 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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    Weekly News - July 25, 2016

    Care4Kids Update 

    REMINDER as we close the month of July. The Care4Kids program will close to most new applicants on August 1. Currently, families who are 30% SMI and under can apply through the end of July. If you know families who should be applying for Care4Kids, encourage them to do so before August 1. Even if they're in the 31-50% SMI range, it should help establish a waiting list.  

    On Where We Live Monday morning, Helene Figueroa, CSEA/SEIU's Director of Family Child Care Team, spoke to the upcoming changes to the Care4Kids program (closing to most new applicants as of August 1). Interview starts around the 36th minute.  

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    Weekly News - July 18, 2016

    Care4Kids Update 

    The Care4Kids program will close to new applicants on August 1. Currently, families who are under 30% of SMI are able to apply through the month of July. If you know of families who should be applying for Care4Kids, encourage them to do so before August 1. Even if they're in the 30-50% SMI range, it should help establish a waiting list.  

    Alliance Executive Director Merrill Gay was a guest this morning on the WICC "Coffee Break Chat," giving a Care4Kids update. To listen, click HERE.  

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    Weekly News - July 11, 2016

    Care4Kids Update

    Following the announcement by the Office of Early Childhood regarding Care4Kids, the Alliance and partners continues to hold meetings across the state. While 4,450 families will not lose their Care4Kids, there are thousands of families who will not qualify as of August 1. We will continue to meet with legislators and our federal contingent to advocate re-opening the program to low-income families. 

    We urge you to sign the CT Early Childhood Alliance's petition, as we call on our U.S. Senators and members of Congress to increase federal appropriations for CCDBG to cover the costs required by the 2014 reauthorization. Please share it with your friends and family and ask them to sign it, too. 

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    You Did It! Care4Kids Update

    Care4Kids Update

    YOU DID IT!! Your phone calls, stories, and great turnouts at meetings in New Haven and Bridgeport made a difference and helped change policy. The Office of Early Childhood listened to the outcry from parents and child care providers about the unfairness of cutting off families who currently rely on Care4Kids. OEC will not eliminate current families whose income remains below 50% of State Median Income (SMI). This does not solve the problem of a $32 million shortfall in Care4Kids, and therefore, the program will close to new applicants as of August 1. During the month of July, Care4Kids will accept new applicants with income below 30% SMI. 

    To read the OEC's press release, click HERE.
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    Weekly News - June 20, 2016

    Care4Kids Update

    Thank you to everyone who has made calls to their House and Senate members, as well as to the Governor's Office. We have received feedback from a number of people who were told by the Governor's Office that there was nothing they could do and the budget wasn't going to be reopened. It can feel defeating, but the calls really are important. Outreach shows that this is an important issue to state residents. Some feedback we've received has been about positive responses from legislators and we continue to plan meetings across the state to facilitate discussion with parents, providers, legislators and advocates.

    Upcoming Care4Kids legislative meetings are scheduled for:

    • Wednesday, June 22, 5:30 p.m., at St. Paul's Child Development Center, 1475 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport. Please RSVP to HB.Advocate@optimum.net 
    • Monday, June 27, 5:30 p.m., Silva's Youth of Today Childcare Learning Center, 656 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 
    • Tuesday, June 28, 10 a.m., at Sleeping Giant Day Care, 11 Pine Street, Hamden
    • Tuesday, June 28, 5:30 p.m., South Norwalk Community Center, 98 South Main Street, Norwalk
    • Thursday, June 30, 5:30 p.m., YWCA, 19 Franklin Square, New Britain

    CT Voices for Children penned an Op-Ed to the Hartford Courant regarding the Care4Kids changes.

    We urge you to sign the CT Early Childhood Alliance's petition, as we call on our U.S. Senators and members of Congress to increase federal appropriations for CCDBG to cover the costs required by the 2014 reauthorization. Please share it with your friends and family and ask them to sign it, too. 

    We have created a section on our website that includes the petition and our position statement. It can be found HERE. We invite organizations to sign onto the position statement. Please contact us if you would like to be included.

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    Weekly News - June 13, 2016

    Care4Kids Update

    There will be a veto session on Monday - please make THREE phone calls before Monday - your House and Senate members and the Governor's Office (860-566-4840or toll-free 800-406-1527). Urge them to fix the Care4Kids shortfall that will result in 4,450 families losing their childcare subsidy. Click HERE to look up your legislators by town. To see how many families will be affected in your town, click HERE. If the changes will impact your family, please tell your legislators and the Governor your story. Throwing families who rely on Care4Kids off the program is not the answer. 

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    Weekly News - May 31, 2016

    Care4Kids Update

    Last week, the Office of Early Childhood announced significant changes coming to the Care4Kids program as of July 1, 2016. These changes could impact 7,200 working families over the next year. 

    Income eligibility for new families will change from less than 50% to a maximum of 30% of the State Median Income (SMI).  Based on the current SMI for a family of three, annual household income eligibility would be reduced from $44,601 to $26,760.

    Families currently holding a Care 4 Kids certificate, things will remain unchanged until they reach the end of the 12 month certificate. At that point, they would need to meet the 30% or under SMI requirement when they reapply for a new certificate.

    Child Care CenterThis is the result of changes required under the CCDBG Reauthorization of 2014. There were many positive changes made in that law, but Congress failed to fully fund the cost, resulting in the shortfall Connecticut now faces. 

    We urge you to sign the CT Early Childhood Alliance's petition, as we call on our U.S. Senators and members of Congress to increase federal appropriations for CCDBG to cover the costs required by the 2014 reauthorization. Please share it with your friends and family and ask them to sign it, too. 

    The CT Mirror covered the topic, including interviews with our ED and legislators, last week. 

    Partnership Forms to Help 18,000 Parents Who Will Lose Medicaid Coverage

    Last week, leaders of the health insurance exchange in Connecticut announced they would work in partnership with three state agencies to assist up to 18,000 low-income parents who will lose their state Medicaid funding as of August 1. A personalized outreach effort is expected to begin on June 2 that includes multiple telephone calls, mailings and enrollment fairs. To read the full story in CT Mirror, click HERE.  

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