Weekly News - December 10, 2018

QRIS Presentation from Alliance Meeting Available

Michelle Levy of the CT Office of Early Childhood presented on the Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS) at our December Alliance meeting - her presentation is attached. As expected, there were a lot of questions and we ran out of time to answer them all. The QRIS document itself may be ready by the end of the year for review. The presentation is available HERE and we have set up a Google form for questions to be submitted and answered by the OEC.

September Care4Kids Enrollment Falls, But Expected as Children Age Out

(Thank you to CAHS for the information) The September Care4Kids numbers are available, and the number of children on Care4Kids fell, but that was to be expected. In September, numbers often drop, as children head off to Kindergarten. 17,586 children were enrolled in August and the numbers dropped to 15,590 in September. But numbers are higher than they were in 2017 (September 2017 numbers were 13,796). While the numbers are higher in 2018 versus 2017, they're still way off from the pre-2016 closure of 22,957. If you know of families who should apply for Care4Kids, please encourage them to do so. 

Alliance Seeking Interns

The CT Early Childhood Alliance is seeking two interns - one is a policy internship and one is a video storytelling intern.

Policy Intern

Start Date: Position available until filled, to last Academic Term or summer
Available: Academic Year or Summer
Hours: 15–25 hours per week, between the hours of 9am –5pm
Compensation: This is an unpaid internship. The Alliance is willing to work with academic institutions to support credit-bearing internships

Policy interns participate in every phase of policy development: conducting research, developing messaging, assists with lobbying activities, and coalition building. Policy interns will attend meetings at the Connecticut General Assembly and during the Spring Semester; interns will get a first-hand experience of a Connecticut Legislative Session. The Policy Intern will report to the Executive Director, and will work collaboratively with volunteers as well as our communications and advocacy staff.

Primary Responsibilities:
Assist with research on early childhood policy issues;
Gather data and help to create local data briefings on early childhood issues;
Track and analyze relevant early childhood legislation;
Assist in developing messaging and lobbying materials;
Attend coalition meetings;
Assist with the planning and execution of the Alliance’s Early Childhood Advocacy Day

Qualifications:
The ideal candidate has strong written and verbal communication skills, is detail-oriented, has excellent interpersonal skills, and is organized and pays attention to detail. It is also important that the applicant has a keen interest in the policy process and a willingness to learn about early childhood policy issues.

To Apply:
Please send a resume and cover letter with the subject line “Policy Intern” to Kayla Goldfarb, Director of Outreach,kayla@earlychildhoodalliance.com

Video Storytelling Intern

Start Date: Position available until filled, to last Academic Term or summer
Available: Academic Year or Summer
Hours: 15–25 hours per week, between the hours of 9am –5pm
Compensation: This is an unpaid internship. The Alliance is willing to work with academic institutions to support credit-bearing internships

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance uses digital tools, including video communications, to strengthen and amplify a network of adults working to make things better for young children. The Alliance seeks a Video Storytelling Intern to help gather, document, produce and share the stories of families and early childhood educators to raise awareness of key early childhood policy issues. Stories produced by the Video Storytelling Intern will be shared with legislators, key allies, and the Alliance’s member organizations as an essential advocacy tool. The Video Storytelling Intern will report to the Executive Director, and will work collaboratively with volunteers as well as our communications and advocacy staff.

Primary Responsibilities:
Film short stories of early childhood stakeholders;
Editing video stories;
Develop consistent messaging and branding for Alliance videos;
Create a plan for disseminating videos and tracking their reach;

Qualifications:
The ideal candidate has experience filming and editing videos, has strong written and verbal communication skills, is detail-oriented, has excellent interpersonal skills, and is organized and pays attention to detail. It is also important that the applicant has a keen interest in early childhood policy.

To Apply:
Please send a resume and cover letter with the subject line “Video Storytelling Intern” to Kayla Goldfarb, Director of Outreach, kayla@earlychildhoodalliance.com

SNAP Changes Out in New Farm Bill Compromise

According to NPR, lawmakers have unveiled a compromise regarding the Farm Bill - and it takes out the stricter work requirements for those who receive SNAP. But with SNAP changes out, something new may be added - industrial hemp. To read more about it, click HERE.

CT Voices to Hold Annual Budget Forum

CT Voices for Children will host its 18th Annual Budget Forum on Thursday, December 13, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Old Judiciary Room of the State Capitol. Voices will explore some of the pressing budgetary issues and suggest evidence-based solutions. This event occurs prior to the release of the state budget, which will occur in February. Speakers include Ben Barnes, Office of Policy and Management; Comptroller Kevin Lembo, and Elizabeth McNicol, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To RVSP, click HERE.

Time is Running Out to Enroll for ACA

Time is running out to enroll! Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through Access Health CT closes on December 15. Remember, CT does not use the national exchange - insurance is obtained here through Access Health CT. More plan information, assistance and renewal can be done at www.AccessHealthCT.com

FBI Background Check Fees Go Up in 2019

Now is the time to get your background checks done - FBI fee for processing fingerprint-based background checks will increase on January 1, 2019. The OEC has released a document to answer any questions you may have and the old vs. new fees. Background check documents received by the OEC after December 15 should include the new fee rates.

More information coming from the OEC Legal Division Background Check Unit:

Progress toward full compliance with federal requirements for comprehensive background checks continues.

There is new information regarding the "Authorization for Release of Information from DCF" form - it is now three pages instead of one page and three signatures are required before sending to OEC. (See document for more information)

The OEC will internally launch the ABCMS on December 12 - the Applicant Background Check Management System (ABCMS) will be used by staff starting December 12. You will notice no difference, but staff will beta test all functions before full launch in early 2019. See more info on the document.


Support for the Alliance comes from of our members and our funders: The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, Connecticut Health Foundation, Connecticut Community Foundation, Children's Fund of Connecticut, CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CT Council of Philanthropy; The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut; Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; and Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.