Weekly News - July 11, 2016

Care4Kids Update

Following the announcement by the Office of Early Childhood regarding Care4Kids, the Alliance and partners continues to hold meetings across the state. While 4,450 families will not lose their Care4Kids, there are thousands of families who will not qualify as of August 1. We will continue to meet with legislators and our federal contingent to advocate re-opening the program to low-income families. 

We urge you to sign the CT Early Childhood Alliance's petition, as we call on our U.S. Senators and members of Congress to increase federal appropriations for CCDBG to cover the costs required by the 2014 reauthorization. Please share it with your friends and family and ask them to sign it, too. 

Commissioner Jones-Taylor Rescheduled Date Set 

The meeting that was cancelled on June 28 in New Haven with CT Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Myra Jones-Taylor has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 19, at6:30 p.m. For more information, click HERE

Child Care Pay Addressed in Two New Reports  

Early childhood salaries are low, and two reports help bring that issue to light. Early educators are among the lowest-paid workers in Connecticut. The median hourly wage for child care workers is $10.77, which is a 7% decrease from 2010. Preschool teachers fare better with a median hourly wage of $15.20, a 7% increase from 2010, but they still earn less than elementary school teachers, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSSCE), University of California, Berkeley.

The Early Childhood Workforce Index, the first-ever comprehensive state-by-state analysis of early childhood employment conditions and policies, shows that Connecticut falls short on a number of measurable indicators, which include earnings and economic security, early childhood workforce policies, and family and income support policies.

Connecticut has taken some positive proactive steps by:

• Making headway on family and income support policies, such as income supports (EITC) and supports for health and well-being (paid sick days and expanded Medicaid eligibility).

However, in other areas, the state is falling short:

• Workforce policies, including compensation strategies, quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) and work environment. 

The state-specific data can be found HERE. An interactive map can be found HERE. The executive summary can be found HERE and the full report can be found HERE. CT NewsJunkie covered the report's release and spoke with our executive director, Merrill Gay. To read the story, click HERE. Within the story, there is a link to the June report by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services that lists Connecticut as one of 13 states where preschool teachers earn less than 50 percent of the annual wages earned by Kindergarten teachers.

In the second reporting, Child Care Aware listed the average annual incomes of a child care worker, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Connecticut is just slightly above the national average of $22,310. Connecticut is $24,370, but in Alabama, the average is $18,690. The highest average income for someone listed as a child care worker was in Washington, DC., where it was $26,900. To read the state fact sheets, click HERE

UConn Nutritional Sciences Seeks Assistance 

The University of Connecticut Nutritional Sciences is seeking the assistance of agencies, practices, and organization across the state to gather information for a Child Health and Development Institute-funded project. Dr. Amy Mobley in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at UConn is leading a content analysis of educational materials and websites that are currently available or provided to parents of children ages birth to 24 months old on the topics of child feeding, physical activity/sedentary behavior or other related topics that might be associated with childhood obesity. If you have materials to submit, please emailuconnchildnutrition@gmail.com for more information.  

Celebrating Kathy Queen at Annual Family Picnic 

Please join the Wallingford Community Day Care Center at its annual family picnic onWednesday, August 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., as they honor Kathy Queen for her years of dedicated service to the center. Please RSVP at WallingfoDay@sbcglobal.net or by calling 203-294-4176. For more information, click HERE.

Early Childhood Matters! 

The annual "Early Childhood Matters" publication has been released. The publication takes a global look at early childhood issues and a name well-known in the early childhood world,Joan Lombardi, has been a guest editor for the publication. 

Send Us Your Children's Oral Health News! 

The Alliance will be including information regarding children's oral health in upcoming updates. Do you know of an interesting study, article or other information that should be shared with our community? Please email Jessica Ciparelli at jessica@earlychildhoodalliance.com if you have something to share.