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 - 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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    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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