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    Weekly News July 8, 2019

    Fate of ACA Looms in the Balance, as Appeals Court Hears Arguments

    A federal appeals court in New Orleans started hearing arguments in Texas v. United States, which could dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety. If it's overturned, the impact on the State of Connecticut, especially when it comes to Medicaid, could be chilling. Protect Our Care CT has put out a press release, a by-the-numbers look at the impact, and a national fact sheet to help people understand the repercussions. Please share this information with your networks. NPR also has a good article on the topic. Click HERE to read more.

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    Weekly News July 1, 2019

    Paid Leave and Budget Signed by Governor

    On Tuesday, June 25, Governor Lamont gathered with a standing room-only crowd in the Old Judiciary Room of the State Capitol, to sign the Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation into law. "It's about time," Governor Lamont said, right before he signed the bill into law. After signing it, he added, "Long overdue - we got it done."

    The Campaign for Paid Family and Medical Leave put out a great resource to answer any questions you may have regarding the new program. It can be found HERE.

    The day after signing PFML into law, Governor Lamont signed the two year, $43 billion budget. As noted previously, this is how early childhood fared:

    • Care4Kids - Federal funds will be used to raise rates to at least the 25th percentile of the market, $5 million increase in state funds in the second year of the budget. It is still unclear if center-based infant-toddler rates will go higher.
    • Parity for CDCs with School Readiness programs
    • School Readiness and CDCs $100 per child/year increase (~1%) in second year of the budget
    • Diaper assistance - $500,000 grant to The Diaper Bank to provide more diapers to families in need
    • Money for background checks through October 1
    • Raising the eligibility limit to restore HUSKY coverage to 4,000 parents
    • Birth to Three line item increased by $1.4 million in FY20 and an additional $606,443 in FY21 to reflect the increase in caseload
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    Weekly News June 18, 2019

    Legislative Update - The 2019 Outcome

    Family Child Care contract was approved by both the House and Senate, through the budget process.

    Budget - House and Senate have both passed a budget package before the end of session. It now goes to the governor for his signature, which he has indicated that he will sign. Early childhood programs are unscathed, with a few minor increases:

    • Care4Kids - Federal funds will be used to raise rates to at least the 25th percentile of the market, $5 million increase in state funds in the second year of the budget. It is still unclear if center-based infant-toddler rates will go higher.
    • Parity for CDCs with School Readiness programs
    • School Readiness and CDCs $100 per child/year increase (~1%) in second year of the budget
    • Diaper assistance - $500,000 grant to The Diaper Bank to provide more diapers to families in need
    • Money for background checks through October 1
    • Raising the eligibility limit to restore HUSKY coverage to 4,000 parents
    • Birth to Three line item increased by $1.4 million in FY20 and an additional $606,443 in FY21 to reflect the increase in caseload
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    Weekly News - May 28 2019

    Thank You for Attending Advocacy Day 2019!

    Thank you to everyone who made their way to the State Capitol on May 23 for the annual Advocacy Day. It was great to see the sea of yellow, both in room 310 and out and about in the Capitol.

    Among the topics this year - asking the legislature to pass a budget that was not harmful to children and families, fair wages for the early childhood workforce (urging support for several bills that would give pay raises to early educators, extend dates of the staff qualifications requirement for early childhood educators, paid family and medical leave, and support for family child care (HB 6291 and SB 930).

    There was also a strong focus on Care4Kids, which over the past 17 years, has only seen two small increases of 6% (total) for child care centers, and inflation has eroded the value of the Care4Kids subsidy dollar to just 75 cents. While the federal government recommends that the subsidy rates be set at the 75th percentile of the market rate, CT currently pays at the 7th percentile for preschool and the 4th percentile for infant-toddler care (in Greater Hartford). The Care4Kids certificate for infant-toddler care is worth $201 (including the parent share) in Greater Hartford, but the average cost of care is $302 per week. Meaning that parents have to pay their share of the certificate, plus $101.

    We would like to thank the CT After School Network for co-sponsoring the event this year. We hope you had the chance to speak to your legislators while you were there, too.

    If you have photos you would like us to add to our Facebook album, please feel free to email them to jessica@earlychildhoodalliance.com. Our pictures can be found on Facebook at CT Early Childhood Alliance, or click HERE.

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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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