Weekly News - May 21, 2018

UPDATED: CCDF Plan Released; Feedback Due by May 31

The Office of Early Childhood has released the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan. Note that CT’s Care 4 Kids child care subsidy program is supported through CCDF funding. The three-year plan must be submitted to the federal Office of Child Care near the end of June 2018. On May 6, the OEC presented on the CCDF State Plan. Here is the PowerPoint presentation. The actual plan can be found HERE. The OEC is asking for feedback and input from families, providers and other stakeholders. The Alliance summarized the plan, which is about 170 pages long. The Alliance has its official comments HERE. The public may submit feedback electronically through an online survey tool.

Online Survey Tool:
Feedback may be submitted electronically through the online survey tool. It is recommended that users review the plan prior to completing the online tool. The online survey tool will be available through May 31, 2018.

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Weekly News - May 7, 2018

Last Hours of the 2018 Legislative Session

The legislative session ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. There will be a flurry of activity between now and 11:59. We are closely watching three bills that have passed the House, but have not yet been taken up by the Senate.

House Bills 5169, 5449, and 5450 have all passed through the House and are now awaiting action in the Senate. CALL YOUR SENATORS and ask that these three bills be placed on the Senate Consent Calendar.

HB 5169 - Among the provisions, this bill would make it easier for homeless families to obtain child care, thus helping them work and change their situations. The bill also fixes an error that creates unreasonable background checks and requirements on grandmothers and other family members that are caring for children using Care4Kids.

HB 5449 - This bill will allow the OEC to prioritize infants and toddlers if there is a Care4Kids wait list. It would make it easier for the OEC to adjust provider rates for School Readiness and state-funded centers.

HB 5450 - Would push back the 50/50 and Bachelor's degree requirement deadline by two years and require the OEC to prepare a report evaluating these requirements and the issues the field has had in meeting these requirements.

Please call now! Senate Democrats: 860-240-8600 and Senate Republicans: 860-240-8800

Senate Bill 256 has passed both chambers of the General Assembly. Thanks to all who made phone calls to get this bill passed. Your voices were heard! This bill would allow legislators to request a racial and ethnic impact statement on any bill before the General Assembly. This will be an important tool to understand and address inequity in public policy. It now heads to the Governor's desk for his signature.

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Care4Kids Enrollment Update

Uptick in Care4Kids Enrollment, but Room for More Applicants

925 children were enrolled in Care4kids during the month of February, bringing the total to 15,305. That is still 7,652 short of peak enrollment in August 2016. The February enrollment figures were the largest monthly increase since the program reopened in November, after 15 months of closure.

“We are glad that word is spreading that the program is now open and processing applications pretty quickly,” said Merrill Gay, the executive director of the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

Care4Kids can help with cost of child care for families earning up to 50% of the state median income ($55,074 for a family of 4).

“Child care for two small children can easily exceed the cost of rent or a mortgage just about anywhere in Connecticut” Gay added.

Families can get information about the program at www.ctcare4kids.com or by calling 1-888-214-5437.

Town-by-Town Care4Kids Numbers (February 2018)