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 - January 3, 2017

    Legislative Session Begins

    It's January, it's 2017...it's time to start a new legislative session. It will be different this year. Democrats and Republicans are tied in the Senate with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman able to cast a deciding vote. In the House, Democrats hold a slim majority (78-72). There will be three special elections to replace Senators Rob Kane and Eric Coleman, as well as Rep. Stephen Dargen, who all resigned to accept appointments to other positions. The evenly-split Senate led to a new power-sharing agreement last week. The Appropriations Committee appears to have its leadership set, with two Senate chairs and one House chair. To read more about it in the CT Mirror, click HERE. The budget will play a big role this year, as the governor proposes a new, two-year budget. Like last year, the state is facing a deficit (approximately $1.5 billion) and additional cuts to programs and services are likely. The Alliance website has an updated legislator list and the 2017 policy priorities

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    Weekly News - December 12, 2016

    Care4Kids Forum Wrap-Up

    CRT and Alliance RepresentationThank you to everyone who came out to the Legislative Office Building (or who watched the broadcast on CT-N) for a very comprehensive look at the economic impact child care and the Care4Kids program has on the state of Connecticut. Thank you to the very knowledgeable speakers and our collaborative partners, including the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, who co-hosted the event with the Alliance. The forum drew a number of legislators from both sides of the aisle and brought up a number of questions and thoughtful responses. If you couldn't attend or watch the forum live on CT-N, it's available On-Demand. The media also covered the forum, including CT Newsjunkie and WTNH Channel 8. Around the same time of the forum, Stateline released a very comprehensive look at child care subsidies across the country and The Middletown Press did a follow-up. We will continue to keep you aware of the issues surrounding Care4Kids, action steps to take, hearings at the Capitol as the session starts, and more. Watch for our weekly updates for more information. (Photo credit: CRT.)

    Child Care Aware of America Releases Cost of Care Report

    For the 10th year now, Child Care Aware of America's annual report reveals a trend in the lack of access to quality, affordable child care. The latest report finds that child care is too expensive for today’s families, costing more than one year of college tuition, housing, transportation, or food. This leaves families unable to afford child care in 49 out of 50 states across the country.

    On Tuesday, December 13, at 3 p.m., Child Care Aware will hold a webinar to further discuss the newly-released report. To register, click HERE

    What Do President-Elect Trump's Nominee Choices Mean for Early Education?

    New America takes a closer look at the two nominees President-Elect Trump has put forth for the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, and Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price. 

     

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    Weekly News - December 5, 2016

    The Economic Impact of Child Care and the Care4Kids Program: 12/7 Forum

    On Wednesday, December 7, the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, in collaboration with the CT Early Childhood Alliance, will host a forum on child care and the Care4Kids program, specifically focusing on the economic impact both have on this state. We anticipate an interesting discussion to evolve and welcome your attendance. Legislators have been invited to attend, so they can hear first-hand how changes to these programs and services can disrupt an already fragile system. The forum will take place in Room 2B of the Legislative Office Building from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. To RSVP, click HERE. NOTE: CT-N anticipates a high volume of events tomorrow and does not expect to cover the event. We will attempt Facebook Live for those who are on Facebook and attempt to record for interested parties to watch later. 

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    Weekly News - October 31, 2016

    We Need Your Help!


    Care4Kids LogoWe fear that as early as mid-November, Care4Kids could announce a complete closure of Priority Group 4. This means all families coming up for redetermination 30 days after the notice is posted will be cut off from C4K.  Our only chance to stop this is to put enough pressure on elected officials to find money to fund the program. Critical to creating that pressure is finding parents willing to tell their story to the press. If you have a C4K voucher that's coming up for redetermination or you know of families reaching their redetermination date who would be willing to share their story, please contact Jessica Ciparelli at jessica@earlychildhoodalliance.com. If you haven’t already, please sign the petition, then share the video and petition link with your networks.

    Webinar: Why Early Learning is a Bipartisan Issue

    Save the Children Action Network and Child Care Works will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 2, at 1 p.m. Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) believe that every child deserves the best start in life. They are building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning. The webinar will focus on the importance of early childhood education and the broad, bipartisan support that this issue receives. To register, click HERE

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    Weekly News - October 24, 2016

    Care4Kids Update

    Care4Kids VideoThe Care4kids has a projected deficit again. In August, the program was closed to new Priority Group 4 applicants.  That means the only remaining option to save money, is to reduce the caseload.  The most likely way this would happen would be by not renewing certificates when they come up for redetermination.  Under state law, Care4kids has to post a notice on their web page 30 days in advance of such a change.  So far this has not happened.  The Alliance is doing all that we can to prevent it from ever happening.  If you haven’t already, please sign the petition, then share the video and petition link with your networks. Also please talk to your legislators.  Finally, we are looking for parents whose C4K certificate is up for renewal in the first half of 2017 to record a short video answering the question, “What will happen if you lose your Care4Kids?” Two articles came out late last week in CT Mirror and CT NewsJunkie discussing the current Care4Kids situation. 

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    Weekly News - October 17, 2016

    LIVESTREAM NOW on Cost and Quality of Child Care

    NPR is currently livestreaming a panel discussion on cost and quality of child care, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. To watch, click HERE

    OEC Listening Tours on QIS

    Jennifer Johnson, Director of the OEC Quality Improvement Division, is embarking on a listening tour regarding the development of CT’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS).  Your input is needed as a Quality Recognition and Improvement System is being developed.  This system will help families and communities recognize quality early learning environments in their local communities. Most importantly they want to know:

    1) How do we recognize, understand and promote quality;

    2) What aspects of quality are most important to you; and

    3) How do we best support early childhood community and family programs to improve quality?

    Dates and Locations:

    10/27/16  -  5:30 – 7 p.m.   Middletown, 25 Industrial Park Road, Middletown, CT  

    11/10/16  -  6 – 7:30 p.m.  Education Connection, 4 Mountainview Terrace, Suite 201, Danbury, CT

    12/1/16  -  6 – 7:30 p.m.   Torrington City Hall, 140 Main Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium, Torrington, CT

    12/14/16  6 – 7:30 p.m. – All our Kin, 414A Chapel Street, Suite 100, New Haven, CT

    To pre-register, click HERE

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    Weekly News - October 10, 2016

    OEC Creating FAQ on Care4Kids

    Care4KidsDo you have burning questions regarding Care4Kids and suspect others might have the same question? The Office of Early Childhood is developing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to capture questions received during the Care 4 Kids Information Sessions conducted this fall.  The OEC has created an email address for anyone to submit questions for clarification regarding changes to the Care 4 Kids Program. 

    The email address is: OEC.C4KChanges@ct.gov

    Questions submitted to the email address will be included in the FAQ and posted on the Care 4 Kids website following the last Care 4 Kids Information Session on October 20th. The FAQ will be updated regularly as new questions are received via the email address.

    You can also register for the remaining Care4Kids information sessions on October 13 (New Haven), October 15(Middletown) or October 20 (New London). If you cannot attend the information sessions, you can listen to the recorded PowerPoint presentations in English or Spanish. The most up-to-date Care4Kids information can be found HERE

    Listen to "Where We Live" Thursday Morning: Child Care Discussion 

    Tune into WNPR's "Where We Live" on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. Merrill Gay, CT Early Childhood Alliance Executive Director, will be a guest. The topic will be child care and Merrill will discuss the recently-released New America report, discussing cost, quality and access. If you're not able to listen, we'll make sure to include the link in the next memo.

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    Weekly News - October 3, 2016

    CCDBG Regulations Released

    The Administration for Families and Children recently released the CCDBG regulations. The regulations clarify the goals of the law, improve the health, safety and quality of child care; support the early childhood profession; and make child care assistance more accessible and stable for families. 

    Some highlights of the final rule include the following requirements for states to:

    • Establish minimum twelve month eligibility periods (which leads to much-needed consistency for children, families and educators).
    • Establish a graduated phase-out of subsidies for families who, at eligibility redetermination, exceed initial State income thresholds but still have modest incomes. (This allows families to say yes to a small raise, without worrying that accepting the increase would result in losing their child care because of it).
    • Describe policies to prevent suspension and expulsion of children birth to age 5 in child care and other early childhood programs.
    • Improve important provider payment practices, including: base payments to providers on child attendance rather than enrollment; take the cost of providing quality child care into account when setting provider subsidy payment rates; show how base payment rates enable providers to meet health, safety, quality, and staffing requirements; and use valid methodologies to update rates at least every three years.

    Middlesex Coalition to Host Candidate Forum 

    On Thursday, October 13, from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., the Middlesex Coalition for Children will host a candidate forum. This is a chance to hear from many of the candidates running for State Senate and State Representative to represent parts of Middlesex County.  Each candidate will have a chance to speak, have time for a Question & Answer session and wrap up with open 'meet & greet' time at the end. Confirmed candidates include: Dante Bartolomeo, ​Paul Doyle (for part), Ted Kennedy, Matt Lesser, Art Linares, Anthony Moran, Earl Roberts, Joe Serra, Len Suzio, and Linda Szynkowicz. More candidates are expected to be confirmed participants before October 13. Vincent Candelora, Noreen Kokoruda, Len Fasano, Devin Carney, Melissa Ziobron, and Emil "Buddy" Altobello are all running unopposed this election year, so it is unnecessary for them to attend the event. 

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    Weekly News - September 19, 2016

    Alliance Honoring 29 Children's Champions 

    Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, Legislator of the YearWe've certainly been busy over the past two weeks! Alliance staff has been crossing the state to honor 29 legislators as Children's Champions. Every year, the Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety. Although the budget took center stage this past session, there was some important legislation introduced. Among the items passed this year: Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which was included in the budget implementer and is set to take effect July 1, 2018; and House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home. Important issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. 

    Our "Legislator of the Year," Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, was honored at The Diaper Bank's "Rock Your Baby" event on September 15, at Amarante's Sea Cliff in New Haven. To see the photos of our honorees thus far, click HERE to see the album on our Facebook page. You don't have to have an account to see our pictures. 

    This year's honorees are:

    Legislator of the Year: Rep. Kelly Luxenberg 

    Representatives: Cathy Abercrombie (D), Tim Ackert (R), Juan Candelaria (D), Michelle Cook (D), Jeff Currey (D), Andrew Fleischmann (D), Noreen Kokoruda (R), Gail Lavielle (R), Matt Lesser (D), Kelly Luxenberg (D), Patricia Billie Miller (D), Gayle Mulligan (R), Robyn Porter (D) Christine Randall (D), Bobby Sanchez (D), Diana Urban (D), Toni Walker (D).

    Senators: Dante Bartolomeo (D), Toni Boucher (R), Beth Bye (D), Len Fasano (R), Mae Flexer (D), Terry Gerratana (D) Ed Gomes (D), Art Linares (R), Martin Looney (D), Marilyn Moore (D), Gail Slossberg (D), Gary Winfield (D).    

    Early Childhood Education Positions of the Presidential Candidates

    Over the last few weeks, early childhood education has become a topic for both major party candidates for president and was widely covered in the media. Are you wondering where your candidate of choice stands on the issue? You can find their position statements here, as well as a report from the Ms. Foundation:
    Hillary Clinton 
    Donald Trump
    Ms. Foundation Report

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    Weekly News - September 6, 2016

    Care4Kids Meetings Scheduled Across State

    In order to understand changes made to Connecticut's Care4Kids program through the re-authorized federal CCDBG (Child Care Development Block Grant), a number of resources are being made available to parents and providers - one of which is meetings in several towns across the state. The meetings will be held September 14 in Hampton, September 19 in Danbury, October 6 in Torrington, October 13 in New Haven, October 15 in Middletown and October 20 in New London. Seating is limited and reservations are needed. To register, click HERE. In the "options" section, click the drop-down menu to find "Care4Kids Information Sessions." Click "book" to register for the meeting of your choice. 

    Other resources available include the Care4Kids website, information flyers in both Spanish and English (also found on the website) and this week, a recorded Powerpoint presentation highlighting the important changes.

    Alliance Honoring 29 Children's Champions 

    Rep. Michelle Cook - Children's Champion 2016The CT Early Childhood Alliance is honoring 29 legislators as Children's Champions. Every year, the Alliance recognizes legislators for their leadership on issues that impact the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition, and safety. While much of the session was focused on filling holes in the budget, there was some important legislation introduced. Among the items passed this year: Repeal of the sales tax on diapers, which was included in the budget implementer and is set to take effect July 1, 2018; and House Bill 5466, which requires background checks and notice of convictions for any household member in a family child care home or group child care home. Important issues raised included paid family and medical leave, childhood obesity prevention, increased access to early childhood programs for homeless children, and recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. 

    This year's honorees are:

    Legislator of the Year: Rep. Kelly Luxenberg

    Representatives: Cathy Abercrombie (D), Tim Ackert (R), Juan Candelaria (D), Michelle Cook (D), Jeff Currey (D), Andrew Fleischmann (D), Noreen Kokoruda (R), Gail Lavielle (R), Matt Lesser (D), Kelly Luxenberg (D), Patricia Billie Miller (D), Gayle Mulligan (R), Robyn Porter (D) Christine Randall (D), Bobby Sanchez (D), Diana Urban (D), Toni Walker (D).

    Senators: Dante Bartolomeo (D), Toni Boucher (R), Beth Bye (D), Len Fasano (R), Mae Flexer (D), Terry Gerratana (D) Ed Gomes (D), Art Linares (R), Martin Looney (D), Marilyn Moore (D), Gail Slossberg (D), Gary Winfield (D).    

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