Weekly News August 5, 2019

We Need YOU to Contact Senator Murphy on Wednesday!

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) needs to hear from YOU! Call and tweet to urge his support of AT LEAST $2.4 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which helps pay for Care4Kids. Senator Murphy is a member of an important Senate Committee (HELP Committee), which decides on budget allocations for child care. We need to make sure the Senate's appropriations bill meets or exceeds the U.S. House appropriation for CCDBG.

Please CALL and TWEET Senator Murphy on Wednesday, August 7. His office phone number is 860-549-8463.

Sample script (when the staff answers): "Hi,my name is _______ and I live in _______. I have a son/daughter in child care. I'm calling to urge Senator Murphy to support an increase in CCDBG funds by AT LEAST $2.4 billion and Head Start funds by at least $1.5 billion. Thank you."

TWEET Senator Murphy at @ChrisMurphyCT

Sample tweets:

Increased CCDBG funding has allowed Connecticut to improve & expand child care services. Let’s build on that success! @ChrisMurphyCT #FundChildCare

CCDBG funds have improved child care access, but many families still can’t afford the quality care they need. @ChrisMurphyCT, please support increased CCDBG funding! #FundChildCare

.@ChrisMurphyCT, we are counting on you to prioritize increased funding for child care in this year’s appropriations bill! #FundChildCare 

If you if have a Twitter account, but don't use it much, you can re-tweet and like other pertinent posts using the #FundChildCare hashtag. Or, search for us at @CTECA and retweet our tweets.   

PROVIDERS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT WORK WITH PARENTS - Please consider printing our fliers (full page HERE and two-to-a-page HERE) to hand out to your parents to make the calls and send out tweets.

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Weekly News July 22, 2019

BUILD Initiative to Host Immigration and Trauma Webinar

On Wednesday, July 24, at 2 p.m., the BUILD Initiative will host a webinar on Immigration and Trauma. 

Recent changes in immigration policy are creating new and intense challenges, including increased trauma, for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families, and the teachers and programs that work with them. With funding from the Irving Harris Foundation, the BUILD Initiative, in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Policy, has organized a series of webinars and blogs intended to help providers, state policy leaders, and advocates work most effectively in this climate.

Please join the BUILD Initiative in the final webinar in a four-webinar series in which they shared important areas for consideration in the provision of trauma-informed care as it relates to immigration and US immigration policies. Topics have included immigration policy and trauma; the impacts of immigration trauma on the health and development of young children; using a trauma-informed approach in working with providers and families; and promising practices and strategies for policy and legislation.

This webinar will provide an update to federal policies as well as practical steps programs can take to support vulnerable families and children and the providers who care for them.

To register for the webinar, click HERE.

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Weekly News July 15, 2019

Big Announcement: Rate Increases for Care4Kids Program

Wednesday morning, the CT Office of Early Childhood announced the first substantial Care4Kids center-based provider rate increase since 2002. Effective September 1, 2019, center-based infant/toddler care rates will increase to the 50th percentile of the market. Preschool rates will increase to the 25th percentile of the market. The dollar amounts of these rate increases vary across the five regions, based on the market cost of care. In the North Central region (Greater Hartford) that includes the most children, the rate for full-time infant/toddler care will increase form $201 per week to $308 per week. The rate for full-time preschool care will increase from $160 to $203 per week. The impact of all this is that parents will have more options for care where they won't have to pay the difference between the tuition cost and the value of the Care4Kids subsidy. In addition to the center-based rate increase, family child care homes also got raises negotiated under the collective bargaining agreement between OEC and CSEA SEIU-2001.

The rate adjustment has three major benefits: 1) gives parents, particularly those with infants, better buying power and access to child care options; 2) helps stabilize child care providers financially, many of whom are small business owners; 3) and enhances the ability for child care centers to improve the quality of care for developing minds.

The rates are being increased at the scale necessary to respond to federal requirements to provide greater choice and access to families. The federal government requires 25th percentile for rates and recommends 75th percentile. Connecticut is making great strides with the news today, moving infant/toddler care from the 2nd percentile to the 50th percentile and preschool from the 7th percentile to 25th percentile. Ultimately, this means less out-of-pocket expense for parents and a more economic stability for child care providers. 

The OEC has updated its rate table (increase is effective as of September 1). It can be found HERE. CT Newsjunkie, CT-N, and WFSB all covered the announcement.

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